This is long winded and boring – but then so are insurance claims!
I have found the process for claiming after the motorcycle fire quite ‘interesting’. Interesting in a patiently infuriating fashion. Firstly everything seems to be contracted out. After I had given endless details (they only seemed interested in my name and address at first) I discovered that several different companies would be contacting me to do different bits. I was on the telephone for 2hours on the morning after registering the fire.
Firstly the wreckage needed to be cleared.
I was telephoned and told it would be ‘tomorrow’ after I had convinced them where the vehicle was (they were sure it was somewhere I simply didn’t recognise!) the conversation went like this:
Me:Can you tell me what time they will come?
Them: No, but there is no need for you to be there, just leave the vehicle unlocked and the keys in the glove box
Me: It is a motorcycle.
Them: OK it wasn’t made clear.
Me: If you arrive before 8am and after 6pm you will need to let me know so I can unlock the gate to give access.
Them: We will give you an hours notice.
So, “tomorrow” came and I was telephoned by the owner of the vehicle coming to pick up the bike.
Them: Could you just give me a bit more detail about where to find the vehicle.
Me: Up the lane over the bridge, round the back of the tea rooms and there it is
Them: er… that sounds a bit small
Me: Yes…oh and there is a bridge… how heavy are you
Them: over 20tonnes. I am the size of a double decker bus
Me: OOOPS. The lift bridge limit is 7tonnes
Them: OK we had better re-think.
An apologetic telephone conversation followed which was one of those apologies that really says it was my fault. Apparently there weren’t any details about access…I pointed out that this was mostly because they didn’t ask. It never occurred to me that they would be sending a huge vehicle down a country road when a dustpan and brush would have done the job…
The following day arrived and a new person came – in a 7.5tonne lorry (the lift bridge limit is 7tonnes)– but they told me it was alright because there were two of them so they could wheel the bike over the bridge. I telephoned Maffi as I thought he would be interested in seeing a pile of ash being wheeled around. As it happens the lorry was 3tonnes and could carry up to 7.5tonnes, so that was alright then. They picked up most of the bike.
The insurance company wanted to telephone me to ask me about the incident and we booked an appointment for 2pm. Unfortunately it was raining in Thrupp and for once there was no signal on my phone. By the time I had found signal and telephoned them I had missed the opportunity for an interview. More irritation. My bad. I re-booked for the next available appointment which was 5 days later. Today. I am now waiting for a recorded delivery letter which should arrive in the next couple of days with the insurance companies offer. Either way my helmet, top box and lock are not covered. If I can claim off the other car (which is still parked there and we don’t know whether the owner has been found) I will get my excess (300pounds) and my no claims bonus back. Otherwise I don’t. The premium will go up regardless.
The whole thing is a tremendous irritation. Anyone who knows me knows how much having the bike means to my general day to day life. I did have a look in the local bike shop to see what was available but it seems that sporty bikes are in at the moment and I won’t be able to buy another bike like I had as I have to fork out the excess, a new helmet, top box and lock which adds pounds to the cost. I was very pleased to have had the VStrom, but it was clearly only to be an 11month wonder. A great 11 months.
This is an irritation, not the end of the world… and hopefully not the end of Claudius’ world. I am told by WB Pippin that spiders are heat sensitive and Claudius will have felt the heat, packed a bad and spun off into the distance before turning to a crisp. I fear Claudius may have been a loyal and faithful sailor (you should have seen the clinging going on when we were travelling along the road!) and may have gone down with the ship. I will never know.. but I like to think that were I to get another bike Claudius would come home.