Contest Claims!

Motorists hit with surprise bills from authorities for road repairs following an accident should contest them, advises a claims management company – because five-figure sums are there to be saved.

Citing a “shocking lack of transparency”, Kent claims firm CMA says the repairs bills from local councils, Highways England, Transport for London or associated contractors should always be studied carefully because “we frequently see cases of serious overcharging”.  full article @:  motoringresearch.com

A further article, appearing in www.cvengineer.com (magazine) reads:

How Widespread is this highway robbery?

Since highlighting the issue of excessive highway repair bills a couple of months ago (Commercial Vehicle Engineer May), we have received overwhelming support from across the fleet and insurance industries, from colleagues and competitors alike.

If you damage Crown property, for example by striking a motorway barrier, hitting a traffic sign or damaging a road surface, you or your insurer will be presented with a bill, usually from a council, Highways England, Transport for London (TfL) or one of their contractors.  I would urge drivers, fleet operators and insurers to challenge the costs rather than simply paying up.  It probably would be wise to engage a specialist to scrutinise the invoice.

In may I used three exampled to illustrate the point.  Over the past few weeks we have been contacted by numerous insurance and motor trade companies, notably fleet operators, reporting similar experiences with certain Highways England contractors.  They share our concerns about the lack of transparency in pricing and worry that they are being routinely overcharged.  Ten invoices from one contractor with a total value of £102,000 were immediately re-priced to £56,000, almost halved, simply on being queried.

As Robin Reames, director of Auto Rescue Logistics (ARL), observes, the insurance industry has seen this sort of behaviour before.  Ten years ago ARL fought back against excessive vehicle recovery and storage charges.  It took an insurer then to go to court and challenge those charges.  This changed road traffic law and stopped the nonsense.

Now we are exposing the same kind of unjustified charges, levied on insurers by managing agent contractors.  Insurers have a choice: hand over their dinner money to the bully in the playground or take a stand.

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