And credit repair rates can be as much as 30% more expensive than the open market
Insurers are being overcharged for credit hire and credit repair claims through overinflated invoices, according to the TCF Credit Hire and Repair Barometer, published exclusively by Insurance Times.
The research reveals that the average credit hire claim in the UK referred for investigation is overinflated by an average of 57.7%, and credit repair claims are higher by as much as 29.7%.
TCF Corporate client services director Tony Jones said solicitors and credit hire organisations (CHOs) were driving up costs as a way to increase revenues by forcing claims to exit the Ministry of Justice portal.
“Where found to be inflated, credit repair, recovery and storage invoices, can lead to cases being taken out of the small claims track boosting claimant revenues through inflation of the invoices and increased legal fees in areas where not all insurers’ defences are as finely tuned as they are in the defence of inflated credit hire claims,” he said.
And chief executive Stuart Dennis said this was a result of the credit repair sector being seen as a soft target.
“Over-inflation in storage and recovery and credit repair could be deemed as easy pickings by rogue CHOs exaggerating invoices,” he said.
But the picture is not the same across the whole of the UK, with some regions overinflated by as much as 68.4%.
However, Dennis was adamant that credit hire was still needed by the market, if it was offered properly by service providers.
“We believe there is a genuine need for credit hire and fully support the service sitting in place for genuine cases and fair rates,” he said.
For a full breakdown of what regions of the UK are the most overinflated read the full report on the barometer here.
The TCF Credit Hire and Repair Barometer is based on a subset of the TCF Corporate database containing data from instructions referred to TCF from over 30 insurers and 19 solicitors. The TCF Corporate database is the only database in the UK building ‘man on the street’ repair data sourced via recorded mystery shopping telephone calls.
The TCF Barometer credit hire and comparative basic hire rate data is drawn from instructions from three solicitor clients representing 20 insurers over the period July – November 2013 where over-inflation is suspected. The TCF Barometer Credit Repair and comparative ‘man on the street’ data is drawn from instructions from eight insurer clients and seven pilot insurer clients since July 2013 when the service launched.