Fleets overpaying millions on inflated highways repair bills

The plight of fleet operators and drivers paying excessive highways repair bills has come under focus in a speech by the the Earl of Lytton in the House of Lords as new research suggests fleets have overpaid millions for incorrect invoices.

In his speech, the Earl of Lytton called for better public administration and corporate social responsibility as he said he welcomed the attention being given to the question of spurious personal injury claims in motor accidents, adding: “But Highways England’s own contractors are apparently not averse to submitting inflated ‘green claims’, as they are known, for highway infrastructure damage caused during motor accidents. These increase insurance costs, too, and appear to be out with the contractual arrangements with Highways England, and yet nothing seems to be done about them.”

His comments have been welcomed by Claims Management & Adjusting (CMA), which has been campaigning for years now against excessive claims for infrastructure damage, saying that five-figure savings can be made by fleets investigating overcharging from Highways England contractors.

In fact, CMA estimates that drivers, fleet operators and insurers have paid at least £10m too much over the last three years in overstated invoices.

CMA managing director Philip Swift, a former police detective, said: “Evidence in our possession indicates that many drivers, fleet operators and insurers have had claims and facts misrepresented to them. Highways England has so far failed to put a stop to this practice, seemingly content to simply accept what their contractors present.

“Hopefully recent managerial changes will prompt a change in approach. When only basic investigations so frequently result in these claims being halved or dismissed entirely, something is clearly very wrong. These incisive comments by the Earl of Lytton can only help to raise awareness of the issue.” 


Update 14/07/2017 – Highways England investigates ‘false’ claims allegations

Highways England is taking seriously a claim raised in Parliament that its contractors are driving up insurance costs by making inflated claims for damage from road accidents.

In the debate on the Queen’s Speech late last month, the Earl of Litton said:

‘I welcome the attention being given to the question of spurious personal injury claims in motor accidents, but Highways England’s own contractors are apparently not averse to submitting inflated “green claims”, as they are known, for highway infrastructure damage caused during motor accidents.

‘These increase insurance costs, too, and appear to be outwith [outside] the contractual arrangements with Highways England, and yet nothing seems to be done about them.’

So-called green claims are made to cover the cost of repairs to roads and associated infrastructure and can be made by contractors depending on the level of claim and the type of contract.

A Highways England spokesperson said: ‘When there’s damage to the road network as a result of an accident or breakdown, it makes sense that the costs of repairs are claimed back from insurers so taxpayers don’t always end up with the bill.

‘We take the suggestion that our suppliers may have submitted inflated claims for Crown property repairs very seriously and are looking into the allegations.’

In response to Lord Lytton’s allegations, claims management company CMA Ltd stated that ‘over the past years’ it had ‘collated much information to demonstrate’ that contractors were not complying with their obligations and Highways England had ‘failed to uncover the conduct – or failed to address it’. – source – highwaysmagazine

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