//ABTA makes changes to its arbitration scheme

ABTA makes changes to its arbitration scheme

The restructure and simplification will lead to a reduction in fees, writes Jill Sayles

Abta has announced changes to its arbitration scheme that will benefit members and their customers with restructured and simplified claim bands resulting in some reduced fees.

The changes follow the appointment of dispute resolution specialists Hunt ADR who will handle the association’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) schemes from May 16.

Abta has used arbitration for more than 40 years to settle alleged breaches of contract and/or negligence between consumers and its members and can offer considerable cost savings over using the Small Claims court.

Arbitration allows consumers to resolve disputes without going to court; it is faster, less bureaucratic and costs less than using solicitors. It is based on written documentation together with other evidence, such as videos and photos.

If a claim includes an element of minor illness or personal injury then the arbitrator can also consider this, but there is a limit of £1,500 per person.

In addition to the legally binding arbitration service, Abta’s ADR schemes provide a free of charge, voluntary conciliation scheme. The scheme is for disputes only involving personal injury or sickness claims and has an upper claim limit of £10,000 per booking.

Conciliation provides a forum where both sides in a dispute can come to a mutually satisfactory settlement. It also offers an alternative to Claims Management Companies, which take a substantial amount of any successful award.

Simon Bunce, Abta director of Legal Services said:

“We are always looking at ways to improve our services for both Members and their customers. The new partnership with Hunt ADR will see customers and Member benefit as we continue to offer a high quality service, but in many cases at a reduced fee.”