Insurance payouts slow to snails pace

Analysis by Claims Management & Adjusting (CMA) has found that car theft victims are frequently waiting more than seven days longer for insurance payouts due to the new National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and Association of British Insurers (ABI) data sharing agreement.

The Kent-based vehicle claims specialist saw a sharp rise in theft case resolution times during the fourth quarter of 2022, following the introduction of the latest NPCC/ABI National Guidance on Data Sharing in August.

Philip Swift, managing director of CMA, said: “The new guidance is a retrograde step. It complicates the access essential for loss adjusting and introduces an additional layer of bureaucracy, to the detriment of motor policyholders. Frustratingly, after 20 years of seamless working, a crime report can no longer be sent to a loss adjuster acting on behalf of an insurer, only directly to the insurer.

“To make matters worse, most constabularies still send this information by snail mail. Claims handlers at insurance companies then have to forward it on, either electronically or, again, by post. No wonder we’re seeing delays. It is all so unnecessary and problematic, especially for suspected fraud when time is of the essence.”

He added: “A vehicle theft is a traumatic event, so efficient resolution is key. I urge the ABI and NPCC to revise the wording, and more broadly, I urge all interested parties – the police and all insurance professionals – to adopt a more joined-up approach to vehicle crime.”