Commenting on the publication of the OIC consumer guidelines [Guide To Making A Claim] (i) Kirsty McKno, managing director of Cogent Hire, part of handl Group, said:
“The new portal was always going to be complex for injured people to manage on their own, and we have lobbied MoJ hard to make sure that the information provided to the litigant-in-person (LiP) about credit hire would be customer-friendly.
“However, The Guide to Making a Claim does not meet these concerns. Although it is not intended to advise, the Guide should at least live up to its title and give guidance, but there is an information black hole for credit hire, which risks prejudicing the claimant’s right to like for like mobility. It is good news, however, that the MoJ has answered concerns about guidance for claims where the NVC (credit hire) takes the value of the claim above £10K, by telling the claimant to get advice. But the guide should indicate in much more detail when a LiP should ask advice.
“Credit hire companies must work with their customers and insurers to recover vehicle related costs in as frictionless a way as possible. This will require more collaboration between CHCs (credit hire companies) and insurers and will encourage alternative ways of resolving claims – such as alternative dispute resolution – that protects the non-fault claimant from risk of detriment.”
· The guide omits any explanation or signposting in respect of the issue of insurer intervention that would arise from the question asked about the requirement for a replacement vehicle.
· Completing the Annex C document (credit hire) is very complicated and is not explained in any detail. It is unclear whether the form could be downloaded as a blank document when the insurer would have to make an Annex D response through the portal.
· Exit from the portal to determine liability for a LIP without access to the evidence and resources that a CHC provides may prejudice the claimant in terms of outcome, but there is no guidance given to suggest that it may be appropriate to seek advice or possible representation from a CHC to that point.
· There will be circumstances where the main user of the vehicle is not the injured party, which causes technical/legal issues that neither the rules or the guidance adequately address in terms of whether the hire charges should be included as NVC.