Arbitrate’s technology will allow the provider to extend into rate assessment for credit hire and other purposes in the vehicle rental market

Insurance services provider Bridgetech Group has acquired a 40% equity stake in start-up rates assessment firm Arbitrate, with an option to buy a further 11% if certain targets are reached.

Matthew Porter, Bridgetech chief executive, said the move will enable the group to expand its services in the Bridgetech Automotive division, to include rate assessment for credit hire and other purposes in the vehicle rental market.

Insurers use rates assessment to determine basic hire rates (BHRs) for vehicles across the UK, to determine costs of replacement vehicles for credit hire. Replacement vehicles are required under credit hire terms for an estimated 250,000 road accidents each year, while the customer’s vehicle is being repaired.

The expected change to the Ogden rate and strong competition have been driving down prices in the UK motor market, with analysts and industry players revealing the pain being felt across the industry.


Porter said: “After the Autofocus scandal (which ended in 2017 after seven executives were jailed for doctoring rate hire evidence), the sector badly needed to change.

“The technology revolution has enabled new players, such as Arbitrate, to emerge, combining sophisticated technology with strong integrity and transparency to ensure clients can use their data with confidence and make substantial cost savings.”

Arbitrate’s was founded five years ago and its technology can identify the cost of any vehicle in the UK. This can be immediately delivered to insurance clients.

Porter added: “We’ve been hugely impressed by the concept that Arbitrate has developed and the technology capability that they’ve put in place to deliver data to clients across the UK.

“This solution will be of great interest to many of Bridgetech’s clients and we look forward to working with the Arbitrate team as we grow the business.”

Phil Thomas, co-founder of Arbitrate, said: “We’ve spent many years creating a unique database of information, containing more than 11m rows of data, and we’re excited by the opportunity to build our presence in the insurance sector.”