I bought an Africa Twin about six months ago. It was the first new bike I have ever had and to say it was my pride and joy is an understatement.
The plan had been to get the bike set up and then set off around the world next year.
I used a comparison website to get the insurance. However, I had to tick the option of it being stored in a brick garage overnight. This was because the website did not have an option of keeping it in a canvas motorbike tent.
Anyway, long story short is my bike got stolen about a month ago (the thieves cut off two locks and took it straight out of my front gate!) and my insurer is refusing to pay out because it wasn’t in a “garage”. I am fuming as I have effectively been robbed twice. Can I take my insurer to court? Also, my trip may have to be cancelled. Can I also claim for that?
Firstly, I am genuinely sickened to hear your motorbike got stolen. However, you will lose if you go to court. This is because a judge will find you did not obtain the policy with “clean hands” i.e. you did not declare properly where the bike was being stored.
If you had done I suspect the premium would have been more as the risk of it being stolen from the tent in your front garden would have been greater than if it was in a brick garage.
I wish I could give you different advice but if you are in breach of a specific term of your policy, then your insurers are right in their refusal to pay out under your policy and there is very little that legal proceedings is likely to achieve apart from lighten your pocket of further money.
Andrew has been riding motorcycles since he was 10 years old and currently rides a ZZR1400 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.
Disclaimer: The legal advice and statements contained within this/these articles is correct at the time of printing. If you are seeking legal advice after a motorbike accident please contact us to speak directly with one of our lawyers.
About Motorcycle Monthly
The MCM legal column is compiled by managing partner Andrew 'Chef' Prendergast and his bike-riding barristers and solicitors at White Dalton Motorcycle Solicitors.
The firm deals with personal injury claims and its sister company, Motor Defence Solicitors, deals with all the motoring offences.
White Dalton lawyers have a vast knowledge of bike law, and they have full bike licences, too. They don’t act for insurance companies or the prosecution.
White Dalton is Britain’s premier specialist motorcycle law practice, and if its professionals don’t know the answer to your question, there probably isn’t one. Don’t rely on the advice from your insurance appointed solicitor, get proper independent advice.