RSA says opponents have ‘exhausted all options’ to challenge its repair model

The Supreme Court has refused Allianz’s bid to appeal against an earlier decision in its legal challenge to RSA’s subrogation repair costs model.

The decision should draw a line under legal challenges against the insurer’s repair costs and pave the way for RSA to receive the payments it is owed.

The case dates to a 2011 judgement in Romford County Court which found that RSA had “fabricated” repair costs when making repairs for not-at-fault customers.

The High Court overturned the ruling in June 2012, declaring RSA’s repair cost model lawful. Covéa and Allianz sought to challenge the High Court ruling in the Court of Appeal, but lost their appeal in December 2013.

Allianz then appealed to the Supreme Court, but this application was rejected on Wednesday.

An RSA spokesman said: “We are pleased that the Supreme Court has upheld earlier judicial decisions and has refused the application to appeal.

“We have always believed that our repair model is legally robust and this decision vindicates our view. Our customers benefit through lower premiums, and we are glad that they can continue to do so.

“Our opponents have now exhausted all options to challenge the validity of our model and, given the clarity of the judgment, we look forward to the prompt and complete recovery of all amounts owed to us.

We remain open to talks with any interested insurer on the possibility of bilateral agreements to increase market efficiency and to avoid any further disputes.”

Allianz UK claims director Graham Gibson said: “This is a sad day for consumers and for the reputation of our industry. We can only hope that the CMA will recognise the inequitable nature of the dual pricing model and act accordingly.”

The Supreme Court also ordered Allianz to pay RSA’s legal costs.

The case will now proceed to the Mercantile Court, where test cases will be used to determine the amounts due to RSA.

RSA will be due claims payments from across the industry because payments similar to the ones in dispute were put on hold pending the outcome of the case.