Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Insurance

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.

Me: Perfect

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.


Blogger John Witts said...

One of of my regulars at The Hole Making Shop is a motorcycle afficianado: he races combinations at the age of sixty-mumble...

He may have something interesting out the back of the barn....it's got to be worth an ask.......

John Pippin.

PS Claudius made it. No Doubt.

10:43 PM  
Blogger Nev Wells said...


Don't overlook the Honda Deauville. I had the 700 version ad enjoyed its all round all year riding appeal.

Good luck with the search, if you have pound notes ebay may be the deal maker.

Nev NB Waterlily

7:43 AM  
Blogger Brian and Diana on NB Harnser http://nbharnser.blogspot.com said...

you don't have to accept the offer the insurance company makes to you, you can haggle and I think they are probbaly coming to expect that.
If the other car is taxed then your insurance company can find them and contact their insurance company.

5:51 PM  
Blogger MortimerBones said...

I like the idea of the Deauville! Thanks Nev.

John - if you hear of anything do let me know. I am in Cambridge a lot this month and may be able to find some time to look at something local.

Harnser - OOh I know - I will keep haggling until I get the price. EVEN if they give me the money for the bike to get the same again isn;t looking likely because nothing else I lost was covered and it is all extra pounds that I just don't have. I still don't know the state of the other car identification process (it is still parked in the car park burnt out). The insurance company told me I would only get my excess and no claims bonus back IF they can claim off the other car. I worked my way up to this bike and I am not in the same position I was this time last year when I purchased it. There are ways around it but they all take time and I am feeling the pinch - August is my busiest month this year and the bike would have been fantastic as it is so easy to nip between institutions etc. I am just being grumpy, it isn't the end of the world but the inconvenience is just more than I have time or the energy for at the moment. I expect it will all work out in the end.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Brian and Diana on NB Harnser http://nbharnser.blogspot.com said...

I realy hate to say this, but you may need the help of a solicitor. I don't know if anyone on CWF could help, there are some wise ones on there

8:20 PM  
Blogger MortimerBones said...

Do you think so (the former not the latter!)? I could start a thread. I will have a think about it. I haven't, yet, had the final offer - in a fleating moment of optomism I thought they might offer me more than the insured price....!

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Malcolm said...

Hi Bones

You don't have to accept the insurers' first offer.

They are obliged by the terms of your policy to indemnify you, which means that they must put you back in the same position you were immediately before the loss.

They are not responsible for any uninsured losses ie. your excess, (you can try to recover it from the other car's insurers). Have you got uninsured loss/legal expenses cover?

The top box should be included in the settlement, as it was part of the overall sum insured for the bike.

If you're unable to find a bike of similar age/condition to yours for the amount offered, remind them they're contracted to indemnify you, and suggest they replace the bike rather that send you a cheque.

Gather as many adverts as you can for similar bikes so you demonstrate the current market value of yours.

If you haven't lost the will to live reading this, I hope it's helpful.

Let me know if you need any help.



11:31 PM  

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