Dave Lamb’s Claims Update September 2022

Following a summer of inflationary and supplier pressure on repairers, Dave Lamb, our business claims handler, has put together the following summary:

2022 has seen one of the largest shocks to inflations for a number of decades. For those readers that can’t remember the last time this happened (1970s, and I was there!), inflation hampered economic growth for a number of years. Whilst we’re not quite living it all over again, we are seeing huge pressure put onto suppliers and repairers for a variety of claims.

Typically higher prices put pressure on the supply of spare parts. While this has been exacerbated by problems due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the basic principle is that both materials and labour are in short supply.

Particular to motor claims is the lack of semiconductor chips used in many electric cars and hybrid, petrol and diesels using driver assistance technology.

What this means for policyholders is longer wait times for repairs, increased hire charges (where this isn’t picked up by the garage) and generally higher claims settlements.

Insurers are doing what they can to mitigate these circumstances, including simply accepting one quote for repair/replacement where it is practical to do so. As policyholders there are a few things you can do to help mitigate the situation too:

  • Keep a list of local suppliers/traders you use – in the event of a loss this will help you identify key contacts who can help
  • For your household, identify any old or out of date utilities and consider upgrading them to avoid failure, breakdown or a the lack of spare parts. Sometimes a delay is better than no parts at all.
  • For motor vehicles, check with your dealership on the availability of spares and parts – is there anything they would do or suggest to help keep you on the road?
  • If you’re running a specialist item of machinery or vehicle, and where it is practical to do, keep a few spares in storage in case of the need to access them
  • Where your business runs a special process, how many people are trained to do it? Consider expanding that knowledge base in case you lose a key worker

As always with any claims advice please do give either myself, Tish for farming or Jane for household a call and we are very happy to help