September 22, 2015

Jim Reaper of insurance firm Conveyor is not a happy man.

Everywhere you look, the scourge of motor insurance claims is flailing out of control, costing insurers arms and legs left right and centre – and forcing them to pass the pain on down the line to ordinary decent policyholders.

We all know this, of course. But why it happening?

Jim’s pretty sure he knows. It’s all the fault of good for nothing so-called watchdog the Competitors and Meerkats Authority (CMA) who kicked up a big old fuss last year when an in-depth industrial probe revealed that post-prang vehicle repair costs are being inflated – and then proceeded to do absolutely nothing whatsoever about it.

It’s not so much a case of its bark being worse than its bite, as of the so-called watchdog being 100% bark focussed and 0% bite. Rather than acting as any proper self-respecting canine would, and getting stuck right in dentally, the CMA is behaving like some uselessly noisy water fowl.

“I think the CMA basically ducked the issue,” Jim told top insurance trade mag Insurance Tights this week. “They said,” he said, “that, yes, there is a problem there, but they couldn’t come up with a solution to it.”

In other words, they simply rolled over, ran up the white flag and gave car repair cost inflators carte blanche free rein to make hay til the cows come home.

“I think certain players in the market looked at that,” Reaper told Tights, “and saw it is an opportunity to not only keep on doing what they are doing, but accelerate it and push the model even harder.”

They might as well have sent a letter out to repair cost inflators saying: ‘Hey Guys, looks like you might be massively increasing the financial impact of motor insurance claims by pumping up the old repair costs. Naughty, naughty! We can’t be bothered to do anything about it though. So you may as well carry on as you are. In fact – what the hell – knock yourselves out, get stuck in, fill yer boots!

Is that any way for a watchdog to carry on?


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