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Watch out for those diesel patches!

So you're riding your bike to work one morning and hit a patch of diesel. Next thing you know, you're sitting on the pavement looking at your motorbike in pieces all around you. What do you do next ....?

Getting home that day, the first thing to do is dig out all your motorbike insurance paperwork, and call your insurance company. Chances are you've arranged your insurance through a broker such as Insureyourbike.com, and they've placed you with a larger company such as Norwich Union or Highway.

Rather than your paperwork being passed back and forth across the country, you'll be given a telephone number for both a solicitor, if you opted for legal assistance when taking out your policy, and a direct telephone number for your insurance company to deal with. In an effort to speed up the claims process all insurers' deals directly with the client to settle the claim at the earliest possibly date.

Motorcycle claims can take anything from a month to several years to be settled depending on the circumstances.

Now, in the event that a nice car driver decides to pull out in front of you, bouncing you across his bonnet. You'll need to pursue a claim against him, the two ways of doing this are:

You can pursue the claim yourself providing evidence of the damage to the third parties insurance company. This evidence may include repair estimates for work that needs to be done to your bike, any damages to your helmet, leathers, or clothing. It could also include evidence of the use of a hire vehicle whilst your own vehicle is off the road. This process can be lengthy, and without experience dealing with this, you can find it difficult.

When taking out your motorbike insurance, you may have been asked whether you would like legal assistance, or it may have been included in your policy. If this was the case, after a non-fault accident you are provided with a team of solicitors, with years of experience, to deal with your claim. The solicitors can arrange the inspection of your bike for repairs, a hire vehicle to be delivered, or doctors' appointments for any personal injury. With a team of experienced solicitors working for you, this can help the claim be settled much faster, and for every cost to be recovered, including their own, meaning you don't have to pay any extra for this service.

The effect on your insurance can vary depending on the circumstances of the claim; a non-fault accident shouldn't make any difference, providing the claim is settled before taking out a new policy or renewing an existing one. Fire, theft, or fault accidents all have much greater effects on your motorbike insurance, not only will the claim count against you, but you may also lose your no claims discount if it was not protected. There is no set figure per accident that your insurance will increase by; each accident needs to be looked at individually, depending on the age of the claim, the amount paid for any damages and who was to blame.

In the event that you are hit by an uninsured driver, do not expect not to be paid out, the Motor Insurance Bureau will pay compensation for your damage or injuries, provided the uninsured vehicle can be identified. This is the reason on average you pay an extra £30 for your insurance policy, the Insurance Premium Tax making up 5% of your premium goes towards paying for uninsured drivers, increasing the cost of your motorbike insurance. (Information provided by www.direct.gov.uk)

Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime, and have all kinds of effects on your insurance. To make your life easier collect as much information as possible from all parties involved. And as your insurance company will say, never admit liability.

Posted on 11th September, 2008