Fleets are being urged to check and challenge highway repair charges after accidents.
Claims Management & Adjusting (CMA) is telling fleet operators and insurers to challenge the costs associated with road surface and street furniture repairs following a crash, spillage or fire.
Charges for repair to street furniture or infrastructure are often made to fleets or insurers by Highways England, Transport for London or local councils.
Previous cases dealt with by the company include an insurer hit with a £56,000 claim for resurfacing a stretch of road in South East England. A Freedom of Information Act request demonstrated that a larger contaminant spill in Scotland had been addressed for £750.
In another case, a driver was hit with a £4,700 claim for a small paint spillage, CMA discovered that the contractor had attended within half an hour and washed the road surface within 16 minutes. A new settlement figure of £700 was presented, representing an 85% reduction on the original bill.
CMA managing director Philip Swift said: “My experience of dealing with hundreds of these below-radar claims, which Highways England acknowledge they do not supervise, has caused me to question whether many of the costs being presented are accurate or appropriate.
"There is a shocking lack of transparency – contractors are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act – and we frequently see cases of serious overcharging. In a not insignificant number of cases, no payment is warranted at all.”