Broker urges hauliers to aim for the 1% Club 01 September 2023

McCarron Coates claims feet insurance

Fleet insurance broker McCarron Coates is urging haulage operators not to push their claims into the 300% club by waiting more than 25 days to report them.

McCarron said submitting a claim on day one can put them in the 1% club or better.

According to McCarron, leading insurers’ figures show a claim reported 25-30 days after it occurred, can easily cost more than four times the sum it would have cost, if reported on day one. Some put the increase at 396%.

Although the swift reporting message has been appropriate for some time, it has never been more relevant. Claims inflation was at 17.4% even at the end of 2022, the highest for five years. The average cost of a motor claim has soared from £4502 in 2019 to £6280 in 2022.

As economies continue to face Covid-19 impacts, more cross-sector challenges have emerged, including labour shortages, rising energy prices and a scarcity of raw materials caused by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

McCarron claims manager Steve Stockley, said: “It is also true to say lingering labour backlogs may affect operations and increase costs, whilst the persistent pressure on energy prices can further strain budgets. Raw materials shortages due to geopolitical tensions can lead to supply chain disruptions and inflated material costs. Moreover, the repair and maintenance of electric vehicles can be costlier to manage than is the case with traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, making it imperative for fleet managers to be vigilant in managing claim expenses.”

In this complex, challenging environment, McCarron added haulage firms must prioritise efficient claims reporting and management. By promptly reporting claims and taking proactive steps to control costs, operators can safeguard their financial stability and continue to navigate the current trying times with greater resilience.

Director Ian McCarron (pictured) said: “The clock is literally ticking from the moment a collision takes place, and the impacts on the cost of a claim are palpable. The minute an insurer loses control of the claim to a third party, that third party can start adding in significant costs – car hire, medical treatment for injuries, inflated repair costs and the like.

“The more a company or individual can do to control the cost of their claim and keep things in their own insurer’s hands, the more they can exercise a positive influence on their renewal premium. One practical and highly useful thing that anyone involved in an incident can do is to report the claim immediately. It’s as simple as that.”

However, McCarron emphasised that reporting a claim quickly often means getting hold of someone. Those hauliers required to contact an insurer call centre, or whose brokers have been absorbed into large centralised control centres, are paying the price, as caller response times were woeful even before the pandemic and working from home regimes and have worsened since.

Many trying to report a claim do not have 45 minutes or an hour to wait on the end of a phone line, if on the road and able to move. Time is lost because the claims reporting system is too slow, overloaded and unresponsive.

McCarron has a client app that is said to enable quick information capture to move a claim forward, direct from the roadside where the incident occurred. The app has voice to text capacities, can collate photographs, gives a GPS location for the incident and guides the driver through every stage of in-situ claim submission.

Ian McCarron added: “Nobody should be allowing claims to enter the 300% club, and yet that club has an awful lot of members, due to post-incident stress, apathy, physical inability to get through to a call centre, poor administrative systems and many other reasons.

“We have the claims team to keep the claim in our insurers’ hands from day one and the technology to help make that happen. This is a huge advantage, as people are only human and can forget or underestimate the importance of acting swiftly.

“In a time of huge claims inflation, allowing a claim to drift can lead to a very nasty shock at renewal, when insurers seek to recoup the losses they had not factored in, caused solely by late reporting.”

Transport Engineer

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