I then called one of the big recovery people (whose service formed part of my bike insurance bundle) who told me that they would not pick up my bike as it was non-rideable due to a crash.

I said the crash was due to a mechanical problem but the girl on the phone was obviously on day release from a home for the hard of thinking and I told her so. In the end a mate came and picked me up In his van and we got my damaged bike home.

I then tried to claim for the crash damage to my bike and was told that because it arose from a mechanical fault, my fully comp cover did not cover it. When I pointed out the bike wasn’t picked up because it was a “collision damage incident” there was a lot of “take it up in writing”.

I have fired a few choice words into the Insurers and they now hang up whenever I get forthright. What do I need to do to get my claim sorted out?


Your insurers have made one mistake, and the recovery people have also made one mistake. I have to say I am surprised that the recovery people did not come out as your bike was unrideable. You did not help yourself, though.

Your emails are very angry and the insurance people have your file noted as an “abusive caller” – you did admit to me that you did use bad language to two male call handlers, because you were frustrated and annoyed. That is rarely a good plan. Swearing down the phone means people don’t have to listen to you. Most places have a strict policy that once a caller gets abusive they must end the call, as part of employee protection.

The law is simple enough. Your recovery contract picks you and your bike up In the event of a mechanical breakdown. So they got that wrong. However, again, apparently you got very worked up In that conversation on a blowy M4 on a mobile and that might have been the start of your problem.

Since I fleetingly became involved, your Insurers have confirmed they will meet the costs of the cosmetic damage to your bike, which isn’t cheap. They have said that due to the mistakes with the recovery and denying the claim originally, they will not ask for your £300 policy excess and will not affect your no-claims, so a good result there.

They are right not to repair your gearbox as that is a mechanical failure. I suspect it has simply worn out over time. Despite getting off to a bad start, it has all finished up well.

Andrew Dalton

RiDE July 2014