I had an old Africa Twin that I was flogging. A mate was interested and came round for a test ride. I foolishly thought he had a licence and insurance to ride it.
He didn’t. About 30 minutes after leaving my house he calls me to say he’s had an accident. I hopped straight in the car to go see him. When I arrived it was like a scene off Casualty.
He had basically overcooked a corner and fallen off. The bike then slid across the road, up the pavement and took two pedestrians out. Thankfully they were not killed, but they were severely injured.
He got done for Dangerous Driving amongst some other offences and I got done for letting him drive without insurance. That was two years ago and I thought my insurer was dealing with everything.
However, I have just received a letter from my insurer saying that because I let my mate ride with no insurance, they had to pay out, but and I was now liable to repay them. They want £187,000. I thought they were trying it on and ignored it. However, they have written again. What do you think?
Ideally you do not want a scenario where they come after you through the courts and get an order that your house be sold, etc. Get all the papers together, including your insurance policy, and get some legal advice.
However, if your policy says you are not covered if you let someone ride the bike who is not named on the policy (or words to that affect) I suspect you have serious issues. If I were a betting man, your insurer had to pay out for two severely injured people in light of the Road Traffic Act and because you let your mate ride, they can come after you for the money for beaching the policy terms.
If that is correct, you may well have to pay the £187,000, but you may be able to come to an agreement about a repayment plan. Also, you should consider suing your mate for any money you have to pay out because of his accident.
Andrew ‘Chef’ Prendergast
Motorcycle Monthly – August 2019