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Home Ren's Biking Blog

Accidents, Claims Or Convictions

Blog Date - 02 July 2017

"Have you had any accidents, claims or convictions in the last 5 years?"

Erm yes. 

Accidents - 
I burnt my hand on my camping stove earlier this month. I spilt some tea on the way from the kitchen to the living room while rushing to watch Endeavour. I broke a bowl by dropping it in the sink. Oh...motorcycling accidents! Well there was that time I lost a tiny little washer down the gaps between my flags in the back yard, does that count? Oh and I scratched my exhaust a bit as I reversed into my yard. 

A minor little scratch and dent in Ren's exhaust
It is but a minor scratch!

Claims - 
I claim the right to remain silent and to a lawyer. I often claim that I can program but that's often contested. Oh...motorcycling claims! Oh well if you read my blog you'll see I claim lots and lots and lots of things about motorcycling, you ought to read it, it's very good you know. See - I claim my blog is very good and it's a blog about motorcycling so that's a motorcycling claim.

Convictions - 
I'm convinced the world is in fact round and evolution is almost certain. I have been convinced that having insurance to ride my motorcycle is the law and that's why I'm answering your questions as honestly as I can. Oh...motorcycling convictions! I'm convinced that top boxes are essential despite what other people say. I'm fairly convinced that these answers will be selectively ignored or emphasised to increase my insurance premium.

A typical motorcycle top box fitted to Ren's bike
Well where else can you put your sandwiches?

Insurance companies are as dodgy as a 6 pound note and as reliable as a politician's promises. 

If I had a minor accident, maybe I drop my 125 and bend the handlebars. Considering at least a £100 excess it is far cheaper and easier to buy a second set of 'bars and fit them myself. Job done, problem solved, no worries. Then let's say 2 years later I make a proper mess of my 500 and put in a claim. Is it not "reasonable" for the insurance company to deny paying out because I never declared my minor accident 2 years ago? 

The given wisdom is they only take into account accidents where a claim was made. Perhaps. Not being a lawyer and never having had the willpower to actually read ALL the small-print on a policy then I don't know this as a fact and I ask you - dear reader - do YOU actually know the facts? I mean facts, not internet advice, not what happened to your mate or what you saw on youtube but actual facts.

My other gripe is modifications. "Is your motorcycle modified?" Well...? It's not got the original tyres on it any more but they're the same size and specification. I've changed the oil for a different brand. Oh and there's Bolton air in the tyres now not the originally fitted air from Thailand. 

A bottle of Halfords brake fluid perched on a motorcycle wheel
Non standard brake fluid fitted - do I tell them?

Some insurance brokers aren't interested in top boxes and engine bars, by modification they mean tuning, turbos and gas flowing. Other's want to know if the value of the bike has gone up - for example my Givi kit might add £100 to the value of the bike. Others seem to put the price up if you've so much as changed the brake lever...bolt.

All this seems to be dodging, ducking and diving by the insurers. By asking lots of ambiguous questions and by ensuring the small print is so convoluted and complex that no-one in their right mind would read it they keep the exit door open. 

"Dear Mr Smith. Regarding your claim - using social media we have discovered that 3 years ago while at your friend's house you accidentally stood on an indicator lens for a 1998 GSX600 and broke it. You paid your friend £12.56 so he could replace it and 'get some tinnies in'. In our opinion this constitutes a motorcycling accident that was paid out and yet undeclared on your policy. As such we are rejecting your claim for £9,600 to replace your stolen GSXR 600." 

If you feel the need to vent your motorcycle related frustration in an article like this one drop Ren a line and we'll share it.

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Reader's Comments

Peter Brodie said :-
My insurance company state that my bike is not insured if I leave it on my drive or on the road at the end of my drive just for a few minutes to nip back into the house, it must be locked in a secure brick building. So each time I leave my bike on the end of my drive I'm not actually insured and in theory could get a ticket....How stupid is that. I hate insurance companies with a passion.

Honda VFR 800
21/07/2017 10:26:09 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Peter Brodie - I'd like to think that if the bike is not in the garage while close to your home it may not be insured against theft but the third party aspect remains intact. I'd like to think that - but I wouldn't bet good money on it. I can see you up before the beak pleading your case while a loss adjuster quotes chapter and verse of the small print at you.

They're slippery buggers and I'm sure many people will have an insurance horror story, I know I've heard enough myself.
21/07/2017 13:22:54 UTC
said :-
If they ask if I have additional security I always say no because having it makes no difference to the extortionate premium, and if you forget to use it one day and the bike goes walkies, you're stuffed!!

It's a one-way street!
21/07/2017 15:16:28 UTC
Sharon said :-
Saying your bike is garaged can reduce the premiums quite significantly. However you have to be cautious.

Firstly be careful to find out what your particular insurance company class a garage to be. Some will only class a brick structure as a garage while other will accept a metal shed etc.

Secondly be careful not to get into the trap where they state your bike must be garaged at all times while on your property or within a certain distance of your property. This leaves you in a very vulnerable position. My friend hadn't such a policy and his bike was stolen from his garden while he nipped back into the house while cleaning it. Because it was not garaged he got zero for his stolen bike.

However the discounts offered for garaged bikes can be worth it if you are careful about which policy you take out. First as I said earlier make sure they class your bike home as a garage and secondly go for a policy that says your bike only needs to be garaged at certain times and NOT 24/7. My policy says my bike has to be garaged between the hours of 10pm and 6am. Outside of the those hours if my bike was stolen from my garden etc, unlike my friend, I would be covered.

Try to be savvy and be aware that insurance companies will try their best to not pay out on a claim if they can avoid it. Our task is to make sure we don't give them that chance. However their small print and confusing legal jargon is always a minefield to try and navigate.

21/07/2017 17:01:12 UTC
Chris Molden said :-
when I bought my new Tracer 700 in March I thought it might be a bit of a tight fit to put it in my stone built shed, so I looked into getting secure storage. I found a site 2 miles away that had 24/7 security CCTV, alarms the lot I thought this really good so i paid my first month rent, then I contacted my Insurance company. i could not believe what they said. my payment would go from £290 to more than £700 simply because of it not being kept at the same address as the policy owner, they cant cope with having two post codes on one policy, the guy on the phone actually said" we would rather you keep it under a sheet in your back yard than at another address, irrespective of how secure it is" There is just no reasoning with these companies. Needless to say my Tracer is in my shed.
21/07/2017 18:24:59 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
A lot of insurance is "box ticking". If you fit in the correct pigeon holes then you'll be fine, if you dare to do ANYTHING out of the ordinary then you're screwed. Try being a hobbit and having to alter the bike to fit you (wonder if the disability act covers this?)

How very dare you try to make your motorcycle secure and reduce the risk of the insurance company having a loss. You ought to be ashamed of yourself Chris. Still - at least the Tracer is close to hand.

If you feel up to it Chris I'd love for you to write up your thoughts on the tracer for the site. It's a bike that's piqued my interest quite a bit and I for one would like to know your thoughts.
22/07/2017 12:42:04 UTC

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