Court ruling shows The Earl of Lytton was 100% right: Highways England contractors have inflated Crown property claims
Following Highways England’s commitment to investigate allegations that its suppliers submit inflated invoices for Crown property repairs, Claims Management & Adjusting (CMA) has highlighted a new court ruling which shows The Earl of Lytton was 100% right.
In a case at a Bristol Court on 10 July, the judge reduced a claim expressing concern that the costs presented to the defendant (an insurance company) were significantly higher than those charged to Highways England itself. For example, Kier Highways (the Highways England contractor) response staff known as Asset Incident Watchmen (AIWs) were charged at over £70 per hour to the insurer but only about £25 per hour to Highways England.
The Earl of Lytton (pictured) told the House of Lords on 26 June: “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 out with the contractual arrangements with Highways England, and yet nothing seems to be done about them.”
Managing Director of CMA, Philip Swift, a former police detective, said: “The judge’s comments fully support The Earl of Lytton’s statement. Too often invoices for repairs to motorway barriers, traffic signs and road surfaces are way over the top. We estimate that drivers, fleet operators and insurers have paid at least £10 million too much over the last three years. We have gathered clear evidence of this excessive charging, repeatedly voicing our concerns to Highways England about not simply accepting the costs their contractors present. This ruling must surely prompt a change in approach. If not, there are potentially thousands of similar cases which will end up in court. This would not only be a drain on the public purse, it would also be an additional expense for insurers which will ultimately push up premiums – a double whammy for the motoring taxpayer.”
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