By: 8 March 2013

The motor claims industry must take decisive action to discourage bad practice instead of waiting for measures to be imposed by external regulators, the managing director of the Surrey-based ABS Vamco has said.

Vamco, a specialist in motor insurance claims, last month became the UK’s first outsourced claims management firm to operate an in-house law firm. Managing director Tony Rand said that the firm has embraced ABS status because ‘we didn't think the traditional structure of using solicitors’ panels worked well’.

In the wake of the collapse of Drive Assist, which left around a hundred body-shops with little hope of reclaiming the £7m they were owed, Mr Rand has announced that all money received by Vamco and earmarked for its body-shop partners will be ‘ring-fenced’.

‘Everyone in the motor insurance industry knows that changes are needed, and that higher levels of transparency are essential, but I think most people are waiting for the Competition Commission to conclude its investigation,’ he commented. ‘To me, though, any company wishing to distance itself from the cowboys and the sharp practices needs to do so now. We simply can’t afford to wait until the autumn of 2014 to see what conclusions are drawn, and what recommendations are made.

‘We hope that our guarantee of ring-fenced monies will give body-shops and fleet managers the certainty they need to operate,’ he added.