Q&A

Our spe­cial­ist mo­tor­ing solic­i­tor An­drew Pren­der­gast guides read­ers through their le­gal tri­als and trou­bles...

Motorcycle Monthly - - White Dalton -

Q 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?

A 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.

Q I traded in my old bike for a sec­ond-hand BMW R1200RT. Since the start of the spring I have put about 5000 miles on it. All was well un­til I had to yank on the an­chors last week as I thought I saw a deer. Un­for­tu­nately the front end tucked un­der me and I clat­tered off. I was okay but my wife rid­ing as pil­lion broke her arm. I have never fallen off be­fore and have my RoSPA Gold award. I hon­estly do not think there was any­thing I could have done to avoid the sit­u­a­tion and won­der if there was some­thing wrong with the bike i.e. the sus­pen­sion wasn’t set up prop­erly. Is there any­one my wife can claim against for her in­juries i.e. the dealer who sold us the bike?

A Ock­ham’s ra­zor. A Latin phrase that ba­si­cally means the best ex­pla­na­tion is the sim­plest. While it may be a bit­ter pill to swal­low, I would sug­gest the rea­son you fell off is be­cause you sud­denly yanked on “the an­chors” be­cause you thought you saw a deer. Just be­cause you have never fallen off be­fore and have the RoSPA Gold award does not mean the dealer must be blame. We are all hu­man and we all make mis­takes. Don’t let your ego or guilt get in the way of the ob­vi­ous. In an­swer to your ques­tion, your wife can bring a claim against you (and your in­surer will pay out) for her in­juries as she has done noth­ing wrong. I wish her a speedy re­cov­ery.

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