Insurers have hit out at police forces that tip off vehicle recovery companies for unnecessarily pushing up premiums.
Police are raking in millions of pounds each year in ‘administration fees’ from call-out companies who pick up the vehicles from the scenes of accidents or break-downs.
The fees can be anything between £5 and £25, according to today’s Metro.
Insurers argue they are picking up the extra costs as they have to collect the car from a recovery depot instead of the roadside, effectively paying twice for the service.
The costs are then passed on to drivers through an increase in premiums.
Swiftcover director Robin Reames said: “By instructing their contractors, it is costing the insurer and, ultimately, the driver in administration costs and higher premiums.”
Last year, West Midlands Police raked in £622,275 from contractors’ tip-off payments, a Freedom of Information request revealed.
The newspaper said the force called its contractors to 24,891 vehicles at a cost of £25 a referral but said that not all recoveries attracted a fee. The Met did not receive any fees.
Swiftcover urged drivers to contact their insurance companies as soon as possible after an accident.
Reames added: “Insurers are normally able to get vehicles recovered just as quickly.
“This avoids the time-consuming process of dealing with third-party recovery firms, which can be a frustrating and costly exercise.”
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