Hastings COVID 19 Update

Updated: Apr 19, 2020

Today’s note is a bit depressing. The more you read the comments made by defendant insurers and their solicitors, the more it seems like we are living through Groundhog Day. In today’s note:

· Hastings suggest a willingness to agree protocols by deviating from the GTA protocol and proposing their right to intervene;

· The Hastings approach appears to be based on an agreement reached with the CHO trade body on behalf of subscribers to the GTA (or at least that is what their covering email claims);

· In other news, Horwich Farrelly join with Keoghs, DAC Beachcroft and Clyde & Co to share their views about how insurers might react to credit hire claims following the end of the lockdown, and

· In conclusion, there has never been a more appropriate time for the credit hire industry and those engaged with settling credit hire claims, to regroup, debate and consider how best to manage both the current lockdown and the conflict that is likely to follow. Doing nothing is a very strange choice.

One of the things I found appalling about Hasting’s advice was their suggestion about the steps a consumer might make to buy a replacement car during the current lockdown. The concept of acting in haste and repenting at your leisure seems to have been lost on Hastings but the suggestion that you should advise a consumer to replace their car ‘unseen’ on the basis that they have cancellation rights under consumer legislation and might be happy to embark upon litigation under the 1967 Misrepresentations Act seems to fall short of recognising the need to treat customers fairly, especially when those customers are innocent victims of the negligence of their policyholder. The CHO should be calling these things out. I would suggest the media would be keen to know what insurers are suggesting as they benefit from lower claims, fewer driven miles, furloughed employees paid for by taxpayers but a constant premium base stimulating higher profits. It is not lost on me that Hastings issued a profit warning earlier this year.

First, dealing with the approach from Hastings, the link below will take you to the pdf document which is snappily titled “HD Working Together CV CHO V7.pdf”.


I struggle to imagine what versions 1 to 6 of the document looked like but at least the covering e-mail had quite an optimistic tone: