No one likes to think about being involved in a motorbike accident, but it's important to prepare for the unexpected. This guide explains what to do if you have a collision, and how to make a claim on your Hastings Direct insurance policy.
As a motorcyclist, you're one of the most exposed types of road users. This can make you especially vulnerable. The amount of people seriously injured while riding a motorbike is falling in the UK, but there are a number of things you can do to stay safe.
The Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme (SHARP) have tested over 360 helmets — do your research to make sure you're buying the safest helmet you can afford.
Protective suits, gloves and boots need to be waterproof and made from a high performance textile. You don't have airbags so these are all that's going to protect you in the event of an accident. Almost 70% of crashes involving a motorbike are caused, at least partially, by the other road user not seeing the bike. Make sure you're riding defensively, and can be seen.
In the UK there are more accidents reported on rural roads than any other, for both cars and bikes. Leaving a sensible distance of at least two seconds is essential for all motorcyclists, no matter how well you know the road. The stopping times below are from the moment you realise you need to break to the moment you come to a complete stop:
These are for dry weather conditions; they'll be longer when it's wet or icy.
First things first: are you injured? You're bound to feel shaken up from the incident, but if you feel dizzy, sick, or are unable to move parts of your body without feeling pain, then call an ambulance as soon as possible. The same goes for anyone else injured in the incident.
Head injuries are one of the most common injuries sustained from motorcycling accidents, so it's important to wear quality protective gear. Take a look at our helmet and leathers insurance page for some tips on buying a helmet.
If no one is seriously injured, try to make the scene of the accident as safe as possible. Switch your hazards on to warn others, and make sure road users are aware of the incident. If the accident's blocking the road, call the police.
If you suspect that the accident was unlawful (i.e., if you think the other person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs), or if the accident was a result of theft or vandalism, call the police immediately. They'll give you a crime reference number, which you'll be asked for when you make a claim.
The more information you gather from the scene of the accident and the other person involved, the easier it will be for us to process your claim. The essential details include:
If you're involved in a minor collision and there are no serious injuries, you still need to report it to the police within 24 hours, calling the non-emergency 101 number.
If you want to make a claim on your Hastings Direct insurance policy, call our helpline on 0333 321 9800 (from Europe call +44 1424 738 585) as soon as possible, making sure you have the above details to hand. After discussing the incident, we'll send out a claim form and you'll be asked to disclose details of the incident, plus any evidence to support your claim.
If your bike's badly damaged, we'll have it assessed by a professional, who'll estimate repair costs and recommend a garage. If you send your bike to a garage before it's been seen, your claim could be denied.
If there's minimal damage to your bike, you should consider whether it's worth making a claim or not. You'll lose any no claims discount you've built up if it isn't protected, plus you'll have to pay your total level of excess towards repairs. A claim could also make next year's premium more expensive.
Some motorcyclists choose not to make a claim and instead pay for the repairs themselves, especially if they think it'll be cheaper. But if you decide not to claim, you should still make us aware of the incident.