Making a claim after a motorcycle accident

Making a claim after a motorcycle accident

If you ever have to make an insurance claim, there are a few basic things to remember when at the scene of the accident, and upon making the claim itself, to ensure everything goes through smoothly. Thankfully, we have helped you out with a handy list…

Make note of the basic details

Firstly, your insurer will need to know the basic information: time, date and place of the incident; details of the other vehicles involved; names and addresses of anybody directly involved and any witnesses to the incident.

Any injuries

If anyone has been hurt in the accident you must call the police, and if necessary an ambulance. Avoid accepting blame for the accident until you know precisely what happened as it could count against you later on. Finally, round up the details of as many independent witnesses as possible, even taking statements from them at the scene using your phones voice recorder. Also make sure you save any recordings from a dash/helmet camera.

Obtain evidence

Take pictures with your phone of as many different angles as possible …

If your incident involves a foreign vehicle ensure you obtain details of both vehicle and driver.

To avoid exaggerated claims from an injury being made against you, it is very helpful to your insurer if you can capture any damage caused to a third party vehicle. If you have scraped a car driver’s door with your bar end and there is barely a mark on the car, it would be very difficult for the driver to submit and justify a claim for a whiplash injury.

Fraudulent multiple claims for whiplash to ‘phantom passengers’ are common, so if possible, photograph the other vehicle identifying how many passengers are in it.

Claim as soon as you can

Following any accident the most important thing to do (after the incident itself has taken place) is to make your insurer aware. If you are claiming off your own insurance you must do so as soon as possible. If the accident wasn’t your fault you can claim off the third party portion of the other person’s insurance policy, again this should be done as soon as possible too.

It’s worth noting however, if you do drive away from a small incident and realise later the damage was worse than you initially thought, you have three years for personal injury and six years for property damage cover.

Your insurers may then send out an assessor to value the damage caused by the prang, but get the garage to prepare a report for you to make sure they don’t miss anything.

It is though always best to get your bike checked over by a qualified mechanic after any kind of an accident.

Don’t accept their first offer

If your bike is written off it is unfortunately the case for some motorcycle insurance companies to make low first offers if you have to make a claim. Insurers will of course want to pay as little as possible and the first offer usually reflects that.

Your insurers have only got to reimburse you the “market value” of your bike in its present condition and age. The market value is somewhere between main dealer prices (which includes mark-up for their overheads, warranty etc) and trade costs. Market value will essentially be small garage/private buyer values so be sure you have done your own research before simply accepting their offer.

Find adverts of similar bikes for sale on the internet, in your area. Try and find the same make, model, age, mileage, colour, spec, service history etc.

Send copies to your insurers showing that you simply can’t buy such a bike for what’s being offered. In fact, try and find bikes that are you could buy for what they are offering and they will usually be older, higher mileage examples of your bike.

This is highly persuasive. Don’t be afraid to go back and argue the value with them. If they send out a cheque and you’re not happy, tell them you are accepting the cheque on account only and not in full and final settlement.

But do it before you bank the cheque. This will allow you to continue negotiating with them.

What if i’m claiming from a third party

To launch a claim against a third party you need to have positive identification of the guilty party, either from you or a witness.

If there was no witness, check with the Police and the Highways department at the Council whether the council had been informed about any particular faults before you crashed. If they failed to come out and clear something up before you hit it for example, then you could try and claim off them.

If neither of those courses of action bears fruit, you can always claim for any personal injury from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB).

The MIB is a body that covers uninsured losses, but only if the guilty part is unidentifiable, the MIB will only compensate for personal injury, not property damage.

Call our experts

MCN Compare have teamed up with Bikelawyer and are now offering a free accident advice line with you if you have taken out a policy through MCN Compare, this advice line is available to customers for the full year their policy is active for. Bikelawyer is a leading firm of specialist motorcycle accident solicitors founded on the principle of providing injured bikers with unparalleled expertise coupled with first rate service. So if you have an insurance policy with us and are unsure following an accident call 01446 794199 and reference your policy number for free accident advice from our experts!

To avoid further accidents from occurring take a look at our next article on avoiding common accidents here>

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Written by Dan Sutherland, motorcycle journalist for MCN.
Reviewed on 2nd April 2019 by Andrew Campbell, MCN Legal Advisor.
Edited by Sian Daly, MCN Compare content editor.