Published 07/04/2014 00:00:00 in Press Releases

The RMI’s National Association of Bodyshops (NAB) proposal for an independent lead body to define and enforce market rules in the car insurance sector, has been backed by the Vehicle Builders and Repairers Association (VBRA).

The proposals have now been passed to the Competition Commission and will form part of the Commission’s ongoing investigation into the Private Motor Insurance (PMI) market.

NAB and the VBRA say that the behaviour of motor insurers leading up to and continuing throughout the investigation of the PMI market by the Competition Commission has breached governance standards required by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) by failing to treat consumers fairly and behaving in ways that have risked the integrity of the market

In the submission both organisations, which combined together represent the majority of bodyshops in the UK, accuse FCA and its predecessors of ‘falling short of protecting consumers by failing to carry out assessments of motor insurers that would have identified misconduct’.  They also suggest FCA has ‘failed to monitor products and other issues to ensure motor insurers and others involved in claims processes following an accident play fair and don’t compromise consumer interests or threaten the integrity of the industry’.

For more than two decades, NAB and the VBRA along with others have recorded concerns about the dysfunctional nature of the motor insurance market  with various government departments, The FCA (and its predecessor) and The Office of Fair Trading. 

Until the Competition Commission (CC) Private Motor Insurance (PMI) investigation, which is due to report its findings later this year, their concerns had gone largely unnoticed.

Speaking on behalf of both bodies, Frank Harvey, Head of NAB says, “NAB’s submissions to the PMI investigation have consistently promoted a vision of a pan-industry adjudicator - an Independent Lead Body - to uphold legal, ethical and moral behaviour in the sector.  We are delighted to have been given the opportunity by CC to amplify this vision through the proposed establishment of ‘The Motor Insurance Conduct Adjudicator (MICA)’ and also that our proposals have the unequivocal support of NAB and VBRA.

“We suggest that MICA is an essential component to restore consumer confidence in the motor insurance sector by defining fair rules for all.  It can offer a credible, independent platform to mitigate current and future market dysfunction by providing a platform for key industry stakeholders to collaborate”.

Malcolm Tagg, VBRA Director General, adds, “The essentials of insurer/repairer relationships are relatively simple in concept. The Insurer takes a premium, the customer has an accident, the repairer puts the vehicle back together the way it should be and the insurer (their own or the third party) indemnifies the customer for the costs involved.  Over the last 20 years or so this simplicity has been compromised through the insurer’s dominant position, and the consumers finding themselves in unfamiliar circumstances are the ones left confused and exploited”.

The proposals for the new watchdog include a Motor Insurance Code of Conduct covering designated stakeholders involved in selling car insurance and processing car insurance claims and a Motor Insurance Code of Practice to ensure consumers always get a fair deal and first class service.




Rupal Rawal, Communications Officer
Tel: 020 7307 3412
Mob: 07528 977 157
Press Office direct line: 020 7307 3422
Press Office fax: 020 7307 3406

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The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.

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