ORR reviews rail compensation claims companies

20 November 2018

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has today launched a market review into the role played by Delay Repay claims companies in helping passengers claim compensation when journeys are delayed, and, in helping train operators deal with claims more efficiently.

In 2016-17, passengers lost more than 3.6 million hours from 7 million journeys that were delayed by 30 minutes or more.

Recent research shows that around 35% of eligible passengers claimed compensation, totalling around £81m.

We are keen to better understand the role that claims companies play in Delay Repay compensation claims, and the extent to which their increased participation in the market could impact passengers and train operators.

Our market review will consider:

  • Whether these companies face barriers to entering and expanding in the market.
  • The impact on train operating companies and how Delay Repay claims companies can and should interact with them.
  • How they operate and earn money, and whether consumers and businesses would benefit from greater transparency over pricing.
  • The extent to which the presence of Delay Repay claims companies can facilitate innovation and the introduction of new technology that benefits passengers and businesses.

Tom Cole, ORR Head of Competition, said:

"We are absolutely committed to protecting the interests of passengers and promoting competition on the railways. This includes exploring and understanding ways in which innovative third party businesses can introduce new technology to improve the passenger experience.

"This review will assess whether or not Delay Repay claims companies are working well for passengers and businesses, and, the likely impact of increasing their role."

Notes to editors

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  1. The Office of Rail and Road is the UK’s rail regulator and strategic roads monitor for England. Follow us @railandroad.
  2. Data sources: Transport Focus, Department for Transport, and Which?.
  3. In addition to being the designated UK rail regulatory body, ORR is also a competition authority with powers held concurrently with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to apply competition enforcement and markets powers in matters relating to the supply of services relating to railways.
  4. Market reviews can lead to a variety of outcomes including:
    • Clean bill of health
    • Opening a more in-depth market study
    • Taking consumer or competition law enforcement action
    • Making recommendations to the government to change regulations or public policy
    • Actions which improve the quality and accessibility of information to consumers
    • Encouraging businesses in the market to self-regulate
  5. Third party Delay Repay claims companies may also be referred to as ‘Third Party Intermediaries’ (TPIs).