12th August 2022
Tell us about your role and how you got to where you are today?
I kick-started my career in the insurance industry in 2005, working in business development for a large credit hire company. I enjoyed the credit hire aspect of my role the most, so decided to move to a more technical role dealing with credit hire claims directly. Since then, I’ve been involved in a range of interesting cases, and I now look after our credit hire claims intervention team at Davies.
I oversee the team who produce witness statements for defence of credit hire and costs. My day-to-day duties include overseeing reports, ensuring they are compliant and worded correctly. I also share my credit hire knowledge and experience with the wider team.
What type of losses do you evaluate?
I deal with credibility reports for the defendant’s cause. Providing reports to solicitors & insurers, I gather evidence to prove that the rate that has been billed is inflated. We provide the tools needed to negotiate and keep costs down.
What do you find most interesting about your role?
I like the technology we have in our VeriRate platform. It’s fascinating to see the impact of the results it produces – and how it plays such a key role in negotiating and settling claims. The way the reports & witness statements are written is interesting too and seeing each case from the perspective of insurers, claims management businesses and solicitors. It’s varied and such an interesting role!
What do you see as the biggest challenge for credit hire across the UK and Ireland in the next year?
There are a lot of challenges facing the industry. There are backlogs due to COVID, and other external factors such as Brexit and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine are impacting repairs and parts availability.
The cost-of-living crisis is going to have a big impact; historically, in times of economic uncertainty, we have seen an increase in price inflation. In addition, the increasing cost of oil and petrol will have a knock on effect on delivery charges on vehicles, and with more cities implementing clean air charges we can expect to see an increase costs on commercial vehicles too.
The cost of metal and parts have also increased, leaving rental car companies with depleted vehicle fleets at a time where demand has increased significantly, as they are no longer able to purchase vehicles at a discounted cost. Resulting in the general increase of daily hire rates.
The rise of electric vehicles is also a challenge for credit hire as they’re not listed on the General Terms Agreement (GTA), and this is how the prices, and the levels of vehicles are set out including what companies can bill. Without strict guidelines on electric and hybrid vehicles and the GTA categories they will inhabit; hire companies can inflate the costs with minimal evidence to query the billed rates.
There are also a minimal number of mainstream hire companies that stock Electric or Hybrid vehicles, so gaining basic hire rate comparisons against these are significantly reduced.
What are three things you’ve learned in your career and what’s your best piece of advice to someone starting their career in credit hire claims?
Be a good listener – My number one tip to someone starting out is to be an excellent listener. Capturing every detail is essential when dealing with credit hire claims. The impact of missing key information, depending on the claim, can be worth thousands of pounds.
Read up on how claims have been won & lost before – there are case laws on how claims have been won & lost in the past, and how they have changed the structure and pattern of credit hire claims. By reading every detail you’ll learn to pick up the judges’ views – and you’ll gain an understanding of how hire companies operate. It’s key knowledge to have when you work on credit hire claims for defendants day-to-day.
Recognise & support the people around you – Recognising people you work with isn’t always the easiest, but it’s a crucial skill of any leader. The support from empathetic colleagues makes all the difference when dealing with complex credit hire claims – and having a thick skin is a must.
Credit Hire Manager
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