More expensive and frequent damage claims on the way, says DAC Beachcroft

Insurers are being warned that they should expect more expensive, and more frequent vehicle damage claims that cover the cost of a vehicle’s repair, storage and recovery, and its diminished value following an accident.

Speaking at the international law firm’s annual credit hire conference, DAC Beachroft’s head of credit hire, Emma Fuller said: “Over the last year, we have seen a 30% increase in both volumes and values of damage claims linked to credit hire.

“Historically, a ‘diminution in value’ claim for the difference in the vehicle’s value, pre and post-accident, may have hovered at around 3-4% of the vehicle’s pre-accident value,” she explained, “but in the last 12 months we’ve seen claimants alleging their vehicle has dropped in value by 10-15% as a result of the accident.

”The net result is that the amount being claimed for diminution has risen by around £500 per claim, making the average diminution claim worth £2,250.”

So what does Fuller see happening in the future?

“We predict that damage claims will increase in the future, given that the reforms being introduced by the Civil Liability Bill currently only cover personal injury, with credit hire and vehicle damage claims not included. As a result, we’re expecting more claims management companies to move into this area.”