I have a Hornet 600 worth about a grand. I got spanked off by some young kid in a Corsa. While I have fully comprehensive cover, my insurer told me not to claim off my insurance and get the money from the kid’s instead.
They put me in touch with a bike hire/repair company who said I wouldn’t have to pay anything. I signed some paperwork and they took my bike away and gave me a hire bike (even though I have another two bikes). All was well, I thought.
However, the kid has denied liability and now the bike hire/repair company say I owe £6,000 for storage and hire charges, and my bike will not be repaired until liability is admitted and I must go to court and sue the kid if I don’t want to pay their bill. Do I really owe £6000?
I hate hearing these stories and your insurer is out of order in my view. You had fully comprehensive insurance and you could have claimed off that. After all, that’s why you pay insurance. While your no-claims bonus may have been affected you would have avoided all this grief.
On the face of it you may well owe £6000 but I would need to see the paperwork first to confirm. However, if you did sign to say you are liable you could have some problems. If liability is in issue you may have no alternative but to issue court proceedings against the kid but you need to be aware that a judge will unlikely accept the kid/his insurer should pay you £6000 for a hire bike and storage etc. when your Hornet was only worth a grand in the first place.
In short, the judge will likely find you ‘failed to mitigate’ your loss especially as you didn’t need a hire bike as you had two other bikes. My advice for all bikers is there is no such thing as a free lunch, so only hire a bike if you need one. The costs are reasonable and you can afford to pay it if the other side is not liable.
Andrew has been riding motorcycles since he was 10 years old and currently rides a GSX1400 as his daily commuter whether it is sunny or snowing. In addition, he is currently restoring an old Honda CB750 K1. Andrew practices across all areas of motorcycle law, with his practice involving both civil claims and motoring defence work.
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