12 June 2014
MASS is concerned that the full impact of the link between hire and repair with the same personal injury case is not being fully understood by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA). Separating the two elements to provide remedies in one area that impact the other is not, in our view, the best approach to take.
We are pleased to see that the CMA has taken on board that the current General Terms Agreement model (an agreement between insurers and hire companies), that the majority of claims for hire and repair progresses through, is a good way of progressing claims. But the proposal of the rate cap seems to us to be fraught with complexities surrounding what the ‘low rate’ cap should be and a sweeping statement that the ‘daily GTA rates are about twice direct hire daily rates ‘ seems at odds with our experience of litigation over rates and what the ‘basic hire rate’ in the claimant’s locality is. Often this rate is comparable with the GTA rate and is rarely lower.
A key concern for MASS has been ensuring that accident victims are fully aware of their rights when purchasing a policy and following an accident. We support the CMA’s proposal that standardised information be given to all accident victims and policyholders. A quarter of accidents have no admission within the first 15 working days, and there may or may not be admission even before a trial. This information should not just be given by insurers but should be put together across the industry, providing consumers with balanced details of all their rights.
Consumers may be surprised when they find out the reality of how price comparison websites work, but hopefully the remedies suggested should help consumers when purchasing insurance and may contribute to premiums reducing.
Notes to editors:
MASS is a non-profit making national association of solicitors who specialise in road traffic accidents, representing the accident victim. Formed in 1991, MASS promotes the highest standards of legal services through education and representation in the pursuit of justice for the victims of road traffic accidents. MASS comprises 150 solicitor firms that employ over 2,000 legal staff, throughout the UK. Collectively member firms conduct in excess of 600,000 road traffic accident personal injury claims each year.
The victim, and what is in their best interests, must remain at the centre of the debate. Our goal in this debate is to both protect the rights and interests of consumers who are victims of genuine road traffic accidents as our constitutional objective.