July 5, 2013

If you think reading Bankstone News is dull, imagine having to write it! In an attempt to keep things fresh and lively this week, Bankstone News has come up with an ingenious little drinking game as an aid to focus and motivation.

For every story written Bankstone News plans to quaff a triple Aldi Cooking Brandy washed down with a cheeky little can of Special Brew. And just to wet the whistle, so to speak, and blow away any cobwebs from the usual Thursday night session down the Badgers, Bankstone News has had one before starting.

By now, you’ll probably be champing at the bit, for some proper insurance news. Lucky for you then that Bankstone News this week stumbled across the following fascinating story: an absolute must-read for anyone with even a passing interest in cars getting fixed on the insurance following motor accidents.

Motor repair-minded residents on the so-called Fourth Estate were excited to get their oily hands this week on the some working papers relating to an investigation into the shadowy world of the “private” motor market currently being carried out by the Competitors Companion.

This was not, apparently, because the CC people left them on a train or anything, but because they decided to publish them of their own free will, possibly so that people wouldn’t start thinking they’ve just been sitting around doing nothing all this time.

With news this big, there’s really only one organ to accommodate it fully. And that, of course, is the Journal of the Institute of Automotive Engineer Assessors, from whose excellent, if not necessarily entirely exclusive, report Bankstone News has lazily cribbed the more factually-oriented elements of this story.

Yes, but what do these working papers reveal, you demand with understandable frustration. Bankstone News is glad you asked that – and, if you would kindly stop butting in with pointless interruptions, was just coming to that. The papers showed that the Competitors Companion has been looking at “private” motor claims and has arrived at some deeply disturbing interim findings.

For one thing, it seems the baleful influence of the dreaded claims management sector continues to wreak havoc. Claims management firms were ‘mainly responsible for managing claims’ in 16% of cases, the workings reveal ambiguously.

Bankstone News thinks this means that claims management firms were more involved in managing claims in 16% of cases than anyone else was; but, for all we know, it might mean that, in 16% of cases, managing claims was the main capability that claims management firms brought to bear, focusing more on other ‘services’ in the other 84%. Or something. It’s actually rather good this Aldi Brandy (just snuck in an extra one – must be getting near the end of this story by now – just look at all those words up there).

What else, let’s see… Ah yes, 33% of people whose vehicles had been damaged in an accident believed they were entitled to choose where they got it repaired. But when claims management companies got involved, this figure rocketed to 61%. Conversely, it fell to just 29% where a not-at-fault insurer managed the claim directly. All very odd! Could really do with some peanuts or scratchings of something with all this booze.

Ninety two percent of people asked for – or were offered – a replacement vehicle. Seventy nine percent of people got one. Around 10% got told ‘the policy says no’ or words to that effect, and a handful of clueless weirdos claimed they could manage fine without a replacement vehicle and didn’t want to push everyone else’s premiums out by making their insurer pay for one.

Blah, blah, blah… oh here’s a good one: 13% of people said they thought their vehicle was in better condition following accident repairs than it had been before the accident – clearly indicating that insurers are being royally ripped off. A mere 11% thought their vehicles remained in worse shape following repairs. What do they bloomin’ expect – free upgrade?! This is motor insurance, after all, not some dodgy ‘old TV mysteriously gets broken’ home insurance thing!

Er… 46% bought their “private” motor insurance online, 42% by phone, and 7% had the front to buy “private’ motor insurance face to face, in personally, or whatever. Time for another drink. Story ends.

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It feels like a new car!


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