CMA order falls short

RMI Bodyshops (NAB and VBRA) does not believe the requirements of the Competition and Market Authority’s (CMA) Private Motor Insurance Order go far enough.

The CMA introduced the order, which applies to all providers of private motor insurance, to reduce premiums for drivers.

But RMI Bodyshops is not convinced it will have the desired effect.

Executive director Jason Moseley said, ‘We have several concerns regarding the CMA’s Private Motor Insurance Order. We believe that the focus has been transactional and lacks transparency.

‘There is still the potential for those inclined, to develop ‘work arounds’, a concern that we expressed both during and after the CMA’s investigation.

‘The CMA has not addressed all the issues to our satisfaction, and RMI Bodyshops will be continuing to push for the appointment of an independent adjudicator to oversee the moral and ethical behaviours of insurers, to ensure that the motoring public and our members are treated fairly.’

It is not the first time that the UK’s leading trade association for vehicle repairs has addressed issues in something proposed by the CMA. In 2014, the CMA conducted a Private Motor Insurance Market Investigation. In response to this, the National Association of Bodyshops (NAB) highlighted the ways in which insurers may have gained advantages over their competitors, arguing that behaviours seen within the insurance sector had the potential to increase the price of private premiums.

As predicted by NAB, private insurance premiums have increased year on year since 2014, with a 19% increase in premium prices in the second quarter of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015; the biggest increase in half a decade.

RMI Bodyshops is now questioning whether this trend will be reversed by this order and is keen to point out that they predicted private motor insurance premiums would rise, thus denying consumers fair prices for the social utility that is motor insurance.