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Hit riding to work without commuter insurance

If you’ve been involved in a collision during commuting hours when there is a high volume of traffic on the road, you might find yourself feeling confused about the impact this will have on the insurance claims process.

Bikelawyer specialises in handling motorcycle accident claims. In addition to delivering legal services, we offer expert guidance and information to the motorcycle community through our featured column in Motor Cycle News (MCN).

In this blog, our motorcycle experts answer a question we were recently asked by one of our MCN column readers:

Question: In October last year I was riding to work when I had an accident with a car on a roundabout. I agreed with my solicitor that I would be happy to take 50% of the blame but a problem has come up as my insurer is refusing to pay the other driver for his whiplash and damage to the car. This is because it has transpired that my insurance policy was third-party and social only – i.e. it did not cover commuting.

My insurer is saying I have to pay the other driver’s compensation as I misled them. Is this right?

To answer this question, it’s useful to consider what commuter insurance covers, as well as what happens if you do not fully disclose your circumstances when you take out an insurance policy:

What does it mean to have insurance for a commuter bike?

If you use your motorbike for commuting to work, it is important to obtain a policy that specifically acknowledges this usage.

Instead of having a designated ‘commuter motorbike insurance’ policy, you will have an insurance plan that recognises and accommodates your bike’s use for commuting.

The insurer will consider the frequency of your bike rides, and this will be reflected in the pricing of the policy you select.

The purpose of commuter insurance for a motorbike is to cover you in situations that are more likely to occur due to how often you use your bike and the high volume of traffic on the road.

This could include damage to your motorbike, an accident while commuting or motorcycle theft.

If you are involved in a collision with a fellow road user during peak times, commuter insurance will cover the damage to your or the other person’s vehicle, depending on who accepts liability.

What is the penalty for riding to work without commuting insurance?

Motor insurance policies are policies of good faith meaning both parties in the contract have to disclose the correct required information needed to create a policy.

If it is the case that you were commuting on a non-commuting policy, then your insurer is likely to deal with your opponent’s claim rather than cancelling your policy. However, cancelling your policy may be the outcome in very serious cases-for example, non-disclosure of a drink driving offence which, had it been disclosed, would have meant declining to offer the policy.

In your particular case, the outcome would likely have been a higher insurance premium had you disclosed that you intended to commute, as opposed to the insurer not offering a policy.

Your insurer should compensate the other driver, but your insurer is within its rights to make you repay them for your share (50%) of the losses of your opponent.

Contact our motorcycle accident claims solicitors

At Bikelawyer, we specialise in motorcycle accident claims, supporting those who’ve been involved in accidents, including many who’ve been involved in accidents while commuting.

If you require our services and would like to discuss your circumstances, please get in touch with our motorcycle accident lawyers at Bikelawyer. You can call us on 01446794199.

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