The Competition Commission is set to undergo an investigation of the private motor insurance industry after the Office for Fair Trading (OFT) raised small concerns following its initial study. The OFT concluded there was evidence the industry operated in a 'dysfunctional way that could push up premiums for drivers by £225m a yearî. The inquiry by the Competition Commission could benefit fleets as they are currently vulnerable to vastly inflated claims costs, particularly if drivers have collisions with privately-owned vehicles. The primary focus of the inquiry is to ascertain how insurers handle third-party repair and replacement car costs. For a number of years fleet insurers have warned fleets to make sure any incidents are reported immediately at the time of action, giving insurers the best opportunity to take control of repairs and courtesy vehicles and minimise the financial impact on fleet insurance premiums. Larry Smith, managing director of Towergate Insurance, said: 'It is inevitable that any positive change brought about by the Competition Commission review of the private motor insurance sector will be looked at by the other motor sectors including fleet. 'The fleet sector shares many of the same issues as private motor with personal injury and credit hire costs inflating third-party claims, which in turn are having a negative effect on premiums. Any action to help reduce these costs will be very welcome.î Experts suggest fleets should look to avoid liaising with third parties and secure their own contract with an insurer to handle repairs and replacement vehicle hire. Andrew Moody, managing director of Retail Motor Law, said: 'The whole industry needs to be looked at as this will affect fleet customers as well as private motorists. 'Fleets must put something into practice to minimise third-party claims.î The insurance industry itself insists personal injury claims are the primary reason for rising premiums despite the fact road accidents fell by 23 per cent between 2005 and 2010 _ due to the fact personal injury claims had risen by 70 per cent in the past 12 months alone, costing insurers more than £2 billion. For fleet vehicles involved in damaging road accidents at IT Fleet Automotive we can provide high quality, cost effective vehicle repair and refurbishment to a very high professional standard. Why not call our friendly team today and see what we can do for you? You can reach us on 01473 313057 or you can drop us a line using our online enquiry form.