Following damage caused to the road network, who pursues a driver or their insurer (third parties) for reimbursement of the costs often depends upon the sum involved. Typically, if the amount is over £10,000 the contractor sends their bill to Highways England who pay them. Highways england then seek recovery from the driver or their insurer.
If the sum is under £10,000 the contractor retains the claim, they are not paid by Highways England but must obtain payment form the driver or their insurer. In support of this parce, the following information was provided in response to a Freedom of Information Act request:
Sent: Friday, February 12, 2016 at 12:00 PM
From: “FOI Advice” <FOIAdvice@highwaysengland.co.uk>
To: Kim White
Subject: makeup of payments to contractors for damage
Dear Kim White
As stated in my previous emails, payments to contractors vary in each area therefore I can only provide generic information rather than specifics. Firstly, for Highways England contractors there are two different aspects to consider:
1) Incident response. That is making the asset safe, and then repairing the asset and
2) Recovering the damages from insurers/ third parties.
Each contractor is paid a ‘lump sum’ for asset maintenance (for activities such as repairing potholes), which will vary by contractor. There are also circumstances where cost relating to third party damage can be recovered. For below threshold claims (usually, but not exclusively, claims with a value less than £10,000) the contractor undertakes all work, repairs damage and recovers damages from insurers. The contractors keep money from insurers.
For above threshold claims the contractor undertakes incident response & make safe. Costs incurred for repairing the asset can be claimed as cost reimbursable from Highways England. Is it then up to Highways England to recover damages from insurers/third parties. Highways England keep money from insurers. Information relating to numbers of claims is issued as part of the tender process. Please see the attached relating to Area 9 in the West Midlands –Area 9 NI 6.6 Green Claims Rev 0
But is is right for the contractor claim a far greater sum from the driver or their insurer than they would bill Highways England?
Are the sums being charged to Third-Parties (drivers, fleets & insurers) reasonable, correct?