Insurer doesn’t look beyond trade guide prices to value a classic motorbike

Motor Insurance

Theresa came to us after her motorbike had been stolen as she felt her insurer weren't offering enough.

What happened

After Theresa found that her motorbike had been stolen, she put in a claim with her insurer. But when the insurer told her how much she would get back, she didn't think that was right and made a complaint.

The insurer said in its final response that they had paid market value for the bike and wouldn’t offer any extra payment. Theresa still wasn’t happy with this and came to us to investigate. 

What we said

We looked at the various trade guides and only one valued the bike, as it was a classic and over 25 years old. The insurer’s valuation was in line with that guide. 

We asked Theresa why she thought the settlement was too low. She gave us adverts for similar bikes, including some with higher mileages. These were all a lot higher than her insurer's valuation. 

She also gave us a valuation from an online motorcycle site, and recent sale prices of similar bikes needing repairs from an online auction site. These online sales were only slightly lower than the insurer's valuation. 

We sent this information to her insurer and asked what extra research it had done to confirm the one guide price. They said they hadn't done anything more than look at that one guide. 

We contacted that trade guide and they said they didn't normally value bikes that old, as the values were inaccurate. 

We explained to the insurer that while they had used the one available trade guide, the evidence from Theresa showed that the valuation was too low. 

We told the insurer that the online valuation Theresa had was fairer than the one they had given. We told them to base their settlement on this. We also said they should pay interest on the difference. 

Theresa had another vehicle and only used the bike occasionally so we didn’t award compensation for loss of use. But we did make a small award for the upset caused.