Your tricky legal questions answered
‘If a claim were to be made, insurers wouldn’t pay out’
QAm I covered if I buy a bike with an illegal exhaust fitted?
Some dealers are offering new and used bikes fitted with ‘performance’ or ‘race’ exhausts that aren’t road-legal, letting you ride out of the shop like that. When I quizzed a salesman about insurance cover he was pretty vague. Now I know you should tell your insurer, but will anyone actually insure you with that set-up on the road? If you do not tell them (and I suspect many don’t) and ride anyway, does this totally void your insurance in all circumstances? Graham Lamb, Manchester
ABuyers should ask the dealer for written assurances if unsure. And insurers should ask clear questions about facts they consider material when offering cover. As the bike is illegal from day one, to get cover agreed the buyer must have failed to tell the insurer a material fact or deliberately misled them when asked specific questions.
If a claim were to be made and the insurer discovered the non-road-legal exhaust they would refuse to pay, as they would never have insured it had they known it was not roadlegal. This is different to a case in which there was a non-material breach (for example, the legal aftermarket parts increased a bike’s market value over the amount insured). There the insurer could pay out, but charge the insured the additional premium it would have, if it had been aware of a legal modification at the outset. Andrew Campbell