Phil Swift of CMA is not a man to make comments lightly. But this time round the tough-talking former cop has seen enough. And what he’s seen, he most sincerely does not like.

Highways England and their like, Phil reckons, are having a flippin’ laugh.

A case in point: some bloke bashes in a barrier in the course of a perfectly routine RTA. Next thing you know, Highways England have only gone and sent his insurers a bill for £46,000 for ‘damage to crown property’.

Forty-six thousand bleedin’ quid?, you may very well repeat out loud, theatrically aghast with emphatic incredulity. Not since the good old days when pinching the odd deer from the royal estates got you strung up from the nearest gibbet have such draconian punishments befallen damagers of so-called crown property.

Former detective Phil of CMA (which stands for Claims Managers Adjustication or something) is urging private motorists, fleet managers, and all who insurer them to (employ CMA’s services to) query any and every bill they see from Highways England, TFL, some cash-starved local council, contractors working for any of the above, or basically any other bunch of scroungers and con artists.

Watch out for tricks like ‘Imperial Measures Mix-Up’ (where you ‘accidentally’ charge for X yards of damaged barrier instead of the correctly measured X feet – as happened in the case cited above – or even X inches if you’re feeling really ‘ballsy’), “Wild Exaggeration” (where you massively inflate the stated cost of necessary repairs or clean-up) and “Total Fabrication” where you simply chuck extra items onto a repair bill on a speculative basis.

Phil has loads more examples he could quote you. Like the one where an insurer was hit with an outrageous £56,000 claim for resurfacing a stretch of road in South East England following a spillage. A quick Femdom of Information Request was all it took for CMA to establish that a larger clean up following a similar event in Scotland had been taken care of for just £750, suggesting that the bill had been inflated by around 1000%!

Or what about the one where it took a contractor 15 minutes to wash some paint of the road, resulting in a bill for the best part of five grand, a figure CMA subsequently got down to £700.

We all know government is strapped for cash, but this is taking the Michael big style – and then some!

Although… the blame may not be that of agencies and councils alone, with unsupervised contractors (who get to pocket smaller claims) suspected of leading the try-it-on charge.

The ‘takeaway’ message for insurance companies, fleet managers and private motorists alike is simple: if someone sends you a bill for something that you’d rather not pay, then jolly well don’t pay it!

Instead talk to someone who – for a fee you’ll probably be extremely happy to pay – can cut it down to size or make it go away altogether.



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