Insurance – Making a Claim (Non-Personal Injury).

Making A Claim

 

This explains the procedure for claiming damages in non personal injury accidents: where there is usually no need to involve a solicitor. Claims in situations where there is personal injury or expensive vehicle  damage is covered in our legal section.

 General

We have already hinted that not all sellers of insurance are as punctilious with their paperwork as they might be.  Unfortunately this is also the case when it comes to a claim.  As always this “aftersales” efficiency is certainly one factor to take into account when choosing who to buy from.

On Whose Policy should I Making my Claim?

  • Mostly your own for fire damage or theft to your bike
  • Mostly the other side’s if they were largely to blame and you do not have comprehensive insurance
  • If you have comprehensive insurance, it is often quicker to claim on your own policy and let your insurers recover from the other side (or use a “knock for knock” arrangement. Ultimately any no claims bonus should not be compromised.
  • Exceptionally against the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB)

Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB)

Based in Milton Keynes, this is an arrangement made between parliament and the insurance industry for compensating victims of “hit and run” accidents or where the motorist at fault is uninsured. The rules relating to the MIB are complex. If you find yourself in one of these situations, take professional advice immediately. Further information is available regarding the MIB on this website (particularly in our Legal section).

Claiming on your own Policy

As obvious as it may sound, if there is no one to claim off and you don’t have insurance you are basically snookered.

When to Report

Almost as important as the duty of good faith (see Buying Insurance) is the time limit to report any claim or other relevant matter. Under your policy this may be, say, 7 or 14 days. Failure to do so can mean that your insurers refuse to indemnify you if they feel so inclined.

Should I bear the Claim Myself?

A frequently asked question is whether, in relatively minor accidents, it is better to pay up oneself rather than suffer an increased insurance premium or loss of no claims bonus.

Economically this is often not a bad idea. But it has one pitfall if you decide not to report the incident to your insurers.  The other side may suddenly decide (following chats in the pub) that they have developed a serious whiplash injury. Whether or not it is true, if you have not previously reported the accident to your insurer, you may find yourself well out of pocket by paying out for the other sides injuries , wage and other losses not to mention legal costs.

One way to get round this is by “reporting” the accident to your insurers making quite clear that you are not making a claim. This should be sufficient. Unfortunately some insurers interpret even “reporting” as a claim. So it is always better to check with them first as to the consequences of “reporting”. If they will not confirm one way or the other, then you have the choice -don’t report at all (not a step we favour) or report making it quite clear that you do not expect this to adversely affect your premium or no claims bonus. Whichever course you take always make sure everything (including conversations) is confirmed in writing.

Valuations

It has to be admitted that all too often any hint of insurance company backing sends property valuations up several notches. Not a satisfactory situation if you are going to suffer in any way -even as increased premiums in the future. Therefore feel free to argue with everyone, your own insurers included, about the proposed valuations. But do back up your contentions with hard evidence.

First Offers

Like first valuations, first offers are often just that -pitched by the insurers at the lowest  end in the hope that they will be accepted. Stand your ground if you are involved.

Professional Help

Generally in non personal injury situations, it is not usually necessary to obtain solicitor involvement-although exceptionally they may have to.  However, most solicitors are happy to give a bit of guidance for a few minutes.

This material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

Had a very serious or difficult Accident?

Our expert independent solicitors fully covered by professional rules have been helping people in exactly that situation for many years.  This includes MIB claims

Phil Shuker

MD Bikers Advice

Tel: 01706 227419

Email: phil@bikersadvice.com


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