Highways England is investigating an allegation raised in Parliament that its contractors are driving up insurance costs by making inflated claims for damage from road accidents.
In the debate on the Queen’s Speech late last month, the Earl of Lytton said: ‘I welcome the attention being given to the question of spurious personal injury claims in motor accidents, but Highways England’s own contractors are apparently not averse to submitting inflated “green claims”, as they are known, for highway infrastructure damage caused during motor accidents.
‘These increase insurance costs, too, and appear to be outwith [outside] the contractual arrangements with Highways England, and yet nothing seems to be done about them.’
So-called green claims are made to cover the cost of repairs to roads and associated infrastructure and can be made by contractors depending on the level of claim and the type of contract.
A Highways England spokesperson said: ‘When there’s damage to the road network as a result of an accident or breakdown, it makes sense that the costs of repairs are claimed back from insurers so taxpayers don't always end up with the bill.
‘We take the suggestion that our suppliers may have submitted inflated claims for Crown property repairs very seriously and are looking into the allegations.’
In response to Lord Lytton’s allegations, claims management company CMA Ltd stated that ‘over the past years’ it had ‘collated much information to demonstrate’ that contractors were not complying with their obligations and Highways England had ‘failed to uncover the conduct – or failed to address it’.