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GPS telematics data used to secure finding of fundamental dishonesty

The use of telematics data within the claims process  is still very much new ground for insurers. There are numerous issues that require careful consideration and preparation in order to yield the benefits that telematics data can bring, without risking the integrity of a telematics scheme.  However, DWF’s specialist telematics team  have been involved in a number of significant cases already.

In an industry first , DWF have acted in a case where GPS telematics data has been subject to the scrutiny of a court and played a key role in securing a finding of fundamental dishonesty in a staged accident claim. It is from acting in cases such as this one that DWF are in a unique position of having developed substantial legal and consultancy expertise, including advising on data protection and disclosure issues and which has led them to now offer a Telematics Insurance Claims Service. DWF Counter Fraud Director, Jamie Taylor highlights the key benefits of the new service and takes us through the latest significant case in which his specialist team acted.  

Fletcher v McHugh

The Claimant, Mr Fletcher alleged that he was involved in a straightforward rear-end collision with Mr McHugh, at a remote location, late one night in March 2013. As a result of the collision, the Claimant brought a claim for personal injury, which was presented to McHugh’s insurer’s, Insure the Box (ITB). The Claimant and McHugh acted as though they had never set eyes on each other before that evening.

At the Trial of the Claimants’ claim before District Judge Rodgers at Doncaster County Court, as part of the defence of the claim, telematics data was adduced, in the form of both documentary evidence and witness statements. The GPS data taken from the telematics device that had been fitted to the McHugh’s vehicle as standard practice with ITB policies, suggested that he had visited the Claimant’s home address, more than 50 times over the life of the insurance policy. Importantly, the telematics evidence was subject to and withstood cross examination from the Claimant’s barrister.

In cross examination, the Claimant accepted that he had been dishonest and the Judge dismissed  the claim, stating that it had been “incredible” that, despite their obvious connection, Fletcher and McHugh could claim to be strangers. Although the Claimant’s claim had benefited from Qualified One Way Costs Shifting, that benefit was lost after the Judge found the claim to be fundamentally dishonest, with the Claimant ordered to pay the insurers costs in the sum of £14,400.

Our telematics expertise

In a challenging and rapidly changing claims environment, data derived from telematics systems can when harnessed correctly, help to deliver substantial savings, from improving the speed and accuracy of liability decisions to streamlining fraud detection. Over a number of years, DWF have developed legal and consultancy expertise, leading to us advising on a broad range of telematics based issues, such as data protection and disclosure, to utilising data within claims and litigation .

Our experience in this area means that we can help you leverage the power of telematics data to improve and drive claims performance, across the whole of your claims processes including:

  • First notification of loss.

  • the MoJ Portal process; and

  • motor claims handling generally.

  • Data Protection issues - including questions around data ownership and responding to telematics data disclosure requests, which are often commercially sensitive.

  • Litigation - including reducing litigation rates, deploying telematics data at trial and ensuring that the evidence is presented in a way that is accessible to the court and dealing with disclosure as part of the litigation process.

To find out more about our service and our expertise please download our information sheet, or contact Jamie Taylor on 0161 604 1606 or jamie.taylor@dwf.co.uk

Jamie Taylor and Telematics Claims Consultant Paul Chandler will be presenting on telematics at an event in December. To find out more or register to attend, please contact events@dwf.co.uk

This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.