Chief executive reveals details of Autofocus case


Allianz chief executive Andrew Torrance revealed that the insurer has paid a “six-figure sum” to credit hire provider Accident Exchange in an out-of-court settlement for using now defunct rate-setting company Autofocus.

The case centres around Autofocus, which is alleged by Accident Exchange to have provided incorrect and potentially fraudulent evidence on credit hire spot rates.

Autofocus supplied a number of major motor insurers with reports on credit hire rates until it went into administration in 2010.

At a presentation of Allianz’s 2011 results held the company’s London offices today, Torrance said: “We were using Autofocus in a very small way, and I should say we were absolutely on the periphery of using them.

“We were certainly unaware of what was going on at Autofocus and would in no way condone it whatsoever.

“But I don’t think we should lose sight of the bigger picture, which is there are lots of dubious practices carried on by credit hire providers.”

A spokesman for the company said that Allianz was prevented by the terms of the agreement from discussing the figure involved, but added that it would not have a material impact on the company’s results.