The CHO responds to whiplash consultation

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The CHO, the trade association for the UK’s credit hire industry, has urged ministers to support and encourage a more collaborative approach between insurers and credit hire companies (CHCs), through the GTA.

In its submission to the MoJ, in response to the credit hire elements within the government’s whiplash consultation, Martin Andrews, co-chair of the CHO, said the GTA (a voluntary protocol already used by most insurers and CHCs to manage replacement vehicle motor claims), had proven to be highly effective in removing friction.

Andrews said: “Our submission makes clear that the needs of non-fault consumers after an accident must be at the front and centre of the government’s thinking, and these consumer principles are firmly embedded in the GTA. We would like to see government actively endorse this voluntary approach when it responds to the consultation in April 2017.”

He continued: “We do however question why the government is revisiting credit hire so soon after an exhaustive three-year enquiry into the market by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).”

“The CMA concluded in September 2014 that the GTA was a sensible approach, and that credit hire fulfilled a legitimate consumer need (putting a non-fault accident victim back on their feet) which insurers are unwilling to deliver themselves.”

Andrews explained that the CMA had stressed how important it was that consumers are aware of their legal rights following an accident. “The CHO has issued its own customer charter in response to the CMA recommendation, but we have yet to see anything from the ABI. We urge ministers to use this call for evidence to insist that insurers themselves make consumers aware of their rights and responsibilities under law post an accident.”

Turning to regulation, Andrews said most CHCs are already MoJ/FCA registered, because they deliver insurance-related activities connected to mobility via credit hire. But, he added: “We would be happy to work with the MoJ and/or the FCA to agree the credit hire related activities that could be regulated under the umbrella of the FCA.”

He said: “This would quality stamp the pedigree of the credit hire service provision itself, and so improve consumer confidence. FCA regulation would also assist us in identifying and removing rogue CHCs, which damage the reputation of the sector.”