Warning; pirates ahoy!

It was so long ago as to now classify as a piece of ancient history. Nonetheless, it’s worth a mention in light of what appears to be a novel and unwelcome approach from Admiral Insurance.

In 2008, Admiral Insurance wanted to test whether it was cheaper to settle claims inside the GTA protocol or to compel CHOs to litigate outside of it. They selected two large CHOs to act as crash test dummies and Accident Exchange drew the short straw. We know that because Stuart Morgan, who was head of claims at the time, came up to Coleshill, enjoyed a sandwich lunch and then told us the plan. You can imagine our reaction.

We made a complaint through the GTA Technical Committee and those around the table, even other insurers, were quite supportive. However, Admiral declined to change their approach and continued to treat Accident Exchange claims outside of the GTA protocol for the best part of a year.

I raise this point because, in the last couple of days I have had three messages from members relating to what may be a new tactic from Admiral to attempt to reduce third party claim handling costs. It strikes me as an issue the industry need to react to very quickly.

On behalf of our members, I am keen to know whether the practice is more widespread than just the few instances that emerged last week. I would be happy to act as a communication filter if the industry need to talk about how best to respond.

I have seen this issue emerge in both litigated cases being managed by a lawyer and in respect of cases yet to litigate.

Details of the challenge have been posted in the Feedback Loop on the Forum website and subscribers can access the detail at https://www.credithire.org.uk/insurer

Please take five minutes to review this important development.

Finally, as regards the Accident Exchange experience in 2008, we were pleased to discover that Admiral did not establish any cost saving from refusing to work within the GTA with our claims. We were also pleased that what evolved from a challenging period in history was a period of rapprochement that benefitted both business models.

If anyone has any feedback to share on the current matter, please do let me now at sae@credithire.org.uk.

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