John Mcguin­ness col­umn

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Contents -

I was rid­ing along a ru­ral road when I was con­fronted by de­bris be­ing spewed over a hedge from a field to my left. I came off and ended up in the hedge on the other side of the road. To cut a long story short, we have got to a po­si­tion where the farmer’s in­surer say they can­not iden­tify whether the hedge cut­ting/mulching ma­chin­ery be­longed to the farm or a third party con­trac­tor so have di­rected me to claim against the Mo­tor In­sur­ers Bu­reau. But my so­lic­i­tors say they can­not do that as the ac­ci­dent was con­trib­uted to by a ve­hi­cle on pri­vate land. Robin, email

AThis is an in­trigu­ing one with many pos­si­ble out­comes! The Mo­tor In­sur­ers’ Bu­reau (MIB) used not to have to com­pen­sate if an ac­ci­dent hap­pened on pri­vate land which they could try and ar­gue in your case be­cause although you were on the road, the farm ve­hi­cle was not.

How­ever, they now have to com­pen­sate for pri­vate land ac­ci­dents due to a UK court rul­ing in line with Euro­pean Court de­ci­sions. The MIB has per­mis­sion to ap­peal the re­cent de­ci­sion, so for the time be­ing I would press the farmer to pro­vide de­tails of con­trac­tors that day to iden­tify the ve­hi­cle and its in­surer. Fail­ing which, the farmer’s pub­lic li­a­bil­ity in­surer could be in the frame. It is of­ten the case that farm­ers use the same in­surer so that may make it eas­ier. Your fall-back po­si­tion should be the MIB as­sum­ing the re­cent de­ci­sion stands.

‘The farm’s pub­lic li­a­bil­ity could be in the frame’

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