A woman who runs a kissogram company clocked up more than £13,400 in car hire costs in less than a year, court documents seen by Insurance Times reveal, writes Christopher McKevitt.

The value of the credit hire claim at £13,429.74 compares to the value of the car at the time of the accident which was £750. The car was hired for a total of 346 days.

The massive bill arose as a consequence of a two-car collision in Plymouth on November 29, 1996 in which the claimant Michelle Andrews, insured with Provincial, alleges she was run into by another woman, Patricia Winton who works as a social worker and is insured with East West Insurance.

In her statement, Andrews says her car was written off. As she required a car for her kissogram business she contacted Accident Assistance which arranged for her to hire a vehicle from December 3 that year. The car was hired through Kenning Car, Van & Truck Rental based in Plymouth.

Ms Andrews says that financially she was not in a position to replace the car but needed one to run her kissogram business.

The resulting action led to a counterclaim which was settled in favour of Winton's insurers on a without prejudice basis and with no admission of liability.

The credit hire costs associated with the case were described as "amazing" by Tony Baker of the ABI. This week the association launched its much vaunted scheme to slash the claims costs associated with credit hire by directing clients to one of two car hire firms. The two hire firms are National and Enterprise.