Age is catching up with the old fella. After spending hours on the phone to his insurers to get his drains fixed, he turns his attention to bike insurance. Who’d have thought it?
Last year in a moment of madness I opted to buy some insurance that would cover me, should I suffer the unimaginable inconvenience of a blocked drain. The policy said, if I had a problem, inside or out, a quick phone call would see men arrive within a few hours, some plunging and rodding would take place, and my pipe work would be back to normal. Mid way through this summer’s downpours a drain near my back door decided it was full up so I made the call. “Sorry,” the voice at Homeserve said, “that sounds like a drain not connected to your house so you’re not covered.” End of conversation.
A month later I had to cancel three flights and car hire due to being in hospital to have my appendix removed. I wasn’t worried as I knew my annual travel insurance would cover the cost. On contacting them I found, to make a claim, I needed a form filled in by my GP, one from the surgeon (£60 charge each) and information from airlines and car hire companies that was a nightmare to obtain as I had booked everything via the internet. Added to that was the £150 excess, so I decided the best thing to do was give up. Over the years I’ve had similar negative experiences with buildings, contents and car insurance claims so I’ve now decided that unless there is a legal requirement, from now on I’ll take my chances and save the thousands I spend annually on premiums.
Which brings me to motorbike insurance, one area where fortunately to date I have never had to make a claim, so can’t comment on whether the same frustration applies. Of course I know, like cars, unless you are under the age of 80 cover is expensive, but I wondered if the claims procedure was just as frustrating. My friend Chris had his GSX-R600 stolen recently and for him, the claims procedure was quite straight forward. Without any negotiation a cheque arrived on his doorstep quite quickly. The only problem was, it was for way less than the market value of his bike. Being a loss adjuster he decided to write back to say he had banked the cheque but wasn’t accepting this payment as the final offer. Four months on he has heard nothing and knowing the business isn’t holding out too much hope.
Another friend who was young and naïve when his KMX 125 got nicked, reckoned his insurance company were bigger crooks than the thieves when they haggled him down to a third of his bike’s true worth. Other cases I researched have had more satisfactory outcomes but only when the claimants were mega persistent.
I’ve heard a few good stories about eBike, including one friend that got an extra three family members added to their policy at no extra cost. There’s loads of bike insurers out there now and I suppose we must be grateful, as many of these companies have ploughed a considerable amount of your money back into the bike industry and associated sports.
Along with their other sponsored events, the Carole Nash stand is always a major attraction at the NEC and Bennetts have proved to be a very welcome sponsor for British Superbikes giving the championship unprecedented exposure over the last three years. So in conclusion, apart from the difficulties youngsters have getting on the road I’m not too unhappy with our bike insurance companies. And the day blocked drain cover is included they will be just perfect!
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