31/10/2019 saw NSoRC ‘suspended’; Highways England’s new pricing process, required because the Authority claims to have no repair costs agreed with contractors in many Areas, has been abandoned. The process which assured us of transparency and the insurance industry (Third Parties) receiving the benefit of the rates that the Authority has been able to secure in a competitive market, addressed neither.
The Authority, seemingly struggling to determine prices, need only have looked to the bills they see daily to determine costs. The pricing process engaged until 24/06/2019 required a contractor to use a ‘base rate’ and add a fee … why not just ask the contractor for the schedule of rates being used 23/06/2019?
As for ‘transparency’, we received assurances rates used to make up the NSoRC components would be provided but these were withheld. Whilst we managed to obtain the component breakdown, the rates themselves were withheld.
Th outcome of the pilot? Highways England will ‘revert to pursuing claims based on the actual cost of carrying out the repairs and will continue to explore options for a transparent and equitable set of rates.’
‘Transparent Rates’, a highways oxymoron. But the issue is not simply ‘prices’, these are likely to be the simplest aspect of a DCP event. There is a need for a complete review of processes to ensure those involved from collision to conclusion understand the rules and ‘play’ by them. Whilst we have presented many suggestions to the Authority, can they implement them?
For more about NSoRC, please visit our TP Claims website here. We understand Highways England is currently reviewing the project outcome … watch this space!