Profiting from Claims
If your vehicle hits a motorway barrier you, your fleet manager or insurer (Third Party), expect to be charged for the repair. This should be by use of a prescribed methodology (contrary to what Highways England, who wrote the policy, state). But it is not.
In Area 9 the billing process was agreed in, or about, 07/2014. But from the outset, Kier Highways Ltd (KHL) failed to comply with the agreement and Highways England (HE) either did not monitor their activity or turned a blind eye enabling the public for whom they work to be fleeced.
The process is simple … there is a base cost for staff, plant & materials (£) to which an uplift (%) is added. It makes no difference to whom the bill is to be presented, a driver, their insurer or the Public Authority, a base or ‘defined’ cost (£) does not change, is unaffected. Whether it is right or wrong to charge differing uplifts (%) is a matter for others but we are told the uplifts are set by HE:
- 7.38% is what HE pay
- 20% to 26% is what a driver, fleet or insurer is charged
- the Public Authority is not monitoring or enforcing the process,
- Third Parties are not told there are ‘rules’, an agreed methodology. Third Parties can find the contract on line and the annexes to the contract but curiously, the rules have not been published.
- HE have kept the base costs secret stating they are ‘commercially sensitive’ and must not be disclosed,
Therefore, the only party able to check the bill they have received is correct, compiled in accordance with the rules, is Highways England as they posses the schedule of rates and understand the environment inside-out.
How do you, a driver, fleet or insurer, satisfy yourself KHL are acting correctly, in accordance with the contract, honestly? The answer is you cannot.
We have been telling Highways England, the contract is NOT being complied with and third parties ARE being overcharged. To date, the process continues.
Since 2015, we have been asking Highways England to address the situation and to this date they have misrepresented facts, obstructed us and acted in a hostile fashion toward us – we have been bullied. All we have asked is that their contractors act in accordance with the agreement entered into, the basis upon which they were appointed.
In 09/2016 an incident occurred (U07C218) and KHL’s staff (AIW’s) attended in a vehicle, BD14CXE. The repair cost was over £10,000 and Highways England received the KHL invoice. The hourly rate for the attendance van was presented as:
- £14.12 / hour defined cost
- £ 1.04 / hour 7.38% fee uplift
- £15.16 / hour total
We saw the above charges in an 04/2015 invoice presented to HE (T12D508).
Three months later, in 12/2016 (U03A908) this same vehicle attended an incident and the repair cost was below £10,000. The driver, in turn their insurer, received the bill for the attendance van:
- £36.91 / hour
IF the contracted process were followed, the driver would be billed at:
- £14.12 / hour defined cost
- £ 4.24 / hour if a 30% uplift
- £18.36 / hour total
But drivers, fleets and insurers (Third Parties) are being charged excessively, other than in accordance with the contract, on EVERY facet of the repair – not just the vehicle (above) and while the vehicle exaggeration is over 100%, some overstatements are far higher.
Our next post will deal with the exaggeration associated with operatives – not simply the vast embellishment of hourly rates (above) but the means by which these are further increased by use of multipliers where such additions are not a cost KHL incur but misrepresented to us, Third Parties and the Courts.
Above threshold claim (U07C218), clearly laid out with defined cost and uplift:
Below threshold claim (U03A908), laid out with NO defined cost displayed and NO uplift identifiable: