January 14, 2020

Why bother with Accident Management?

Why is Accident Management Important?

Consider some statistics:

  • There were nearly 123,000 road accidents involving personal injury reported to the police in 2018, this doesn’t include the vast number of minor incidents that are not reported1.

  • It’s estimated that around a quarter of all road incidents involve someone driving for work2.

  • The estimated total cost of road accidents in the UK in 2018 was over £35b3.

  • UK motor insurance claims topped £7b in 20184.

  • Vehicle off road costs can be as much as £800 per day in addition to direct repair costs5.

While these figures are quite confronting, many businesses still don’t take the cost involved in dealing with work-related car and van accidents seriously. This could be due to the fact that while repair and insurance excess costs are clearly reported in the P&L, there are a range of additional costs that go largely under the radar.

Some of these are not simple to quantify, such as losing key personnel to injury or post-incident ill-health, loss of business due to lack of capacity and damage to the organisation’s reputation. But there are also some easily measured costs, such as increases in insurance premiums due to poor claims experience, that every business should be seeking to track and control.

So how does Accident Management reduce costs?

Perhaps the obvious point here is that reducing vehicle incidents is the best way to bring down costs to the business, but it’s a fact of life that if you have vehicles on the road, they’re going be involved in accidents at some stage.

When incidents do happen, there are plenty of opportunities to reduce the financial impact on the organisation. A professional accident management provider will help to do this by putting a range of measures in place, including:

  • Management of repair providers to reduce vehicle downtime to a minimum
  • Utilising mobile units to undertake minor repairs at the roadside
  • Recovering uninsured losses as rapidly as possible
  • Scrutinising every repair estimate to ensure fair pricing and no unnecessary charges

However, there are other elements of the service that help to reduce accident-related costs, in particular future increases in insurance premiums, that might not be immediately obvious.

The importance of speed of response

One of the key elements of a good accident management service is 24/7 phone and app access to a dedicated team to allow reporting of incidents from the scene. This helps to ensures that there’s no delay in capturing the details of third parties involved in the incident. This is critical so that these individuals can be contacted as quickly as possible to prevent them being approached by, or seeking out, credit hire and repair companies.

These organisations pay for the cost of repairs and hiring replacement vehicles on behalf of the individual and then claim these back from the insurance company. As such, they have little incentive to find good deals on vehicle hire or repair, and even less cause to get vehicles back on the road as quickly as possible, meaning that costs can spiral. They then put in an inflated, but legal, claim to the organisation’s insurer which can have major implications for motor premiums.

By capturing the third-party details at the scene, the accident management company will aim to put the individual in a replacement vehicle supplied by them and get the damaged vehicle into their own repair network. As the whole ethos of accident management is to reduce costs and inconvenience for the client, this can make a huge difference to the size of the claim submitted to their insurer. In fact, CLM’s industry leading accident management partner, FMG, provide third-party capture services to much of the UK insurance industry, so are ideally placed to deliver this solution.

It’s not just about cost savings

Accident management services are usually sold on their ability to reduce vehicle downtime and the associated costs, but there are a host of other benefits available if you choose the right provider.

Driver safety – Any road accident is a traumatic event, often leaving drivers disoriented and confused about what to do in the aftermath. The call-handlers at good accident management providers will put the safety of the individual first, ensuring that they put themselves in no further danger, have checked themselves and others for injury and have called the emergency services if required. A calm voice at the end of the line can make all the difference in these difficult situations.

Enhanced mobile services – With the advent of advanced mobile repair technologies, minor damage can often be fixed within 24 hours of the incident. If mobile repair isn’t possible, the provider will arrange for rapid recovery of the vehicle to a specialist repair centre and for the delivery of a replacement vehicle to keep the driver on the road.

Repair quality and price assurance – Through the use of industry accredited repair providers, and rigorous monitoring and auditing of individual garages, the best suppliers will provide a guarantee of up to three years on all work undertaken. This guarantee should also be transferable to future owners of the vehicle to help preserve residual values.

Similar scrutiny should be expected of the prices charged by repairers for labour and parts. It can be very difficult to judge the fairness of the quoted price for a repair, particularly with the array of technologies now fitted to many vehicles. Clients should expect their accident management providers to employ in-house engineers to assess each quote to ensure that the most efficient repair methodology is being used and that parts and labour rates fall within agreed benchmarks.

Incident reporting and trend analysis

While the live, online tracking of each incident through to repair and insurance claim completion give those responsible greater control over costs and the mobility of drivers, it’s the cumulative data on types and causes of incidents, and the drivers involved, that give the greatest insight. This information is invaluable to fleet decision-makers in improving driver safety, reducing incident rates and severity and minimising the financial impact to the organisation.

A good accident management company will help to take this trend analysis further by benchmarking the client’s data against that of other organisation’s with similar fleets. This wider context provides the business with a much greater understanding of their relative strengths and weaknesses.

To assist in scrutinising the value delivered by the accident management provider, they should also be expected to deliver reporting on the savings they have been able to make through the dissection of repairer quotes, and their claims handlers’ success in recovering uninsured losses from non-fault incidents.

An integral part of fleet management

At CLM we view accident management as one facet of a broader fleet management solution. Through years of experience, and by selecting the very best industry partners, we have been able to reduce our clients’ average off-road time to just 14 days and resolve the majority of uninsured loss claims in under 90 days. We even offer a payment-per-incident solution, so you can experience the benefits with no up-front commitment.

For a short period, we’re offering you the chance to sign up for a free-of-charge trial of our accident management solution. If you’re interested in finding out more click here or call us on 01908 210100.

1 Department for Transport statistics, Reported accidents and accident rates by road class and severity, 2018

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/ras10-reported-road-accidents

2 Health & Safety Executive, Driving at Work publication http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg382.pdf

3 Department for Transport statistics, Total value of prevention of accidents by severity and road type, 2018

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/ras60-average-value-of-preventing-road-accidents

4 ABI General Insurance Overview Statistics, 2019

https://www.abi.org.uk/data-and-resources/industry-data/free-industry-data-downloads/

5 Research by Northgate Plc, April 2019

https://www.commercialfleet.org/news/van-news/2019/04/02/van-downtime-costing-business-24bn