Classic Motorcycle Damage Repair: Navigating Non-Fault Accidents

Classic motorcycle damage repair can be a daunting prospect, especially following a non-fault accident. When the worst happens with a classic motorcycle, insurers often push you to use their accident management companies. These companies typically select repair shops that may lack the expertise required for vintage motorcycle accident repair. Classic bikes need special attention because parts are rare, and the necessary skills differ significantly from those required for modern motorcycles.

Classic Motorcycle Damage Repair
Classic motorcycle damage repair does not need to be recorded in most cases. This machine was never damaged, image is just for reference.

The Challenges of Vintage Motorcycle Accident Repair

Understanding the Complexity: Vintage motorcycle accident repair isn’t like standard motorcycle repair. The unique parts and skills required mean that generic body shops might not handle the restoration adequately. Moreover, motorcycle accident claims management companies often treat classic vehicles differently, focusing on quick fixes and profit from motorcycle hire, which isn’t relevant for vintage bikes. This approach can lead to conflicts between the owner, the repairer, and the insurance company.

Conflict of Interest: Insurers might become unmotivated to settle claims for classic motorcycles properly. Many classic motorcycles end up in a no man’s land, accruing significant storage charges, and leaving owners frustrated and desperate to resolve the issue, often at any cost.

Amelia Island green frame airbrushing the decal
This machine is featured in the June 2024 Patek Philippe magazine.

Classic Motorcycle Coverage: The Law and Your Rights

Insurance Obligations: Classic motorcycle coverage should restore the owner to their pre-accident position, as mandated by Tort Law, which is at the heart of an insurance contract. The insurance company is responsible for paying and instructing the repairer to fix the vintage motorcycle, returning it to its pre-accident condition, to the satisfaction of the insured party (owner). Other than an agreed replacement, anything short of this is a breach of the insurer’s contract and obligations. Issues arise when insurers attempt to cut costs by pushing for substandard repairs. In such cases, the insurer is breaching their obligations and must correct the repair at their own expense if the owner is dissatisfied.

Choosing Your Repairer: You have the right to select who handles your accident claim and who repairs your motorcycle. Beware of insurers who push their own repairers and accident management companies on you, you do not have to accept either of these. You can also change repairer and claims management companies if you are dissatisfied. This choice of repairer is crucial to ensure quality repairs. Opting for specialised repair services familiar with classic bike restoration can prevent substandard repairs and ensure that your vintage motorcycle is restored properly.

Classic Motorcycle Damage Repair: Navigating Non-Fault Accidents
Original paint turned gold from silver with age. The tank in the foreground is the original and the one behind is our replica to preserve the original tank on this machine.

Your Rights in Vintage Motorcycle Accident Repair

Right to Quality Repairs: Insurers often write off vehicles when the damage exceeds 70% of the trade value of the motorcycle. However, you have the right to insist on repairs up to 100% of the motorcycle’s retail value, ensuring it’s restored to its pre-accident condition.

Defining Value: The value of your classic motorcycle can be defined by you, not just the insurance company. You’re entitled to a like-for-like replacement if the bike is beyond repair. Additionally, unless your motorcycle is written off, any damage shouldn’t be recorded with the DVLA.

Classic Motorcycle Damage Repair: Navigating Non-Fault Accidents
Attention to detail takes time, we do all of this work in-house.

Simplifying the Claims Process

Resolving Conflicts: Dealing with classic motorcycle accident repair can seem like a battle, but it can be resolved efficiently with a few well-written letters. Our experience in handling such cases, for London couriers between 1999 and 2004, shows that direct communication, without lawyers, can expedite claims resolution. You have the right to speak to the insurer to resolve a conflict without doing it through your lawyer, as this is mitigating your losses which is incumbent on you. Speaking to the insurer does not diminish any of your rights at all and if in doubt refer back to the lawyer.

Partnering with Experts: We recommend working with claims management companies that understand the intricacies of classic motorcycles. Our partner, McCams, specialises in moving claims forward when others might not, especially when no motorcycle hire is involved. This partnership has helped resolve long-standing claims swiftly.

Classic Motorcycle Damage Repair: Navigating Non-Fault Accidents
Very few classic motorcycles are repaired satisfactorily after an accident. It is your right to have the work done correctly.

Restoration Insurance for Classic Bikes

Choosing the Right Specialist: The best restoration insurance for classic bikes involves choosing The Motorcycle Broker as your repair service post-accident. Our award-winning work, including the restoration of a 1975 MV Agusta 750 Sport (won the Concours d’Elegance at Salon Privé 2021) and a 1974 Ducati 750SS (featured in Patek Philippe magazine in June 2024), speaks to our expertise and commitment to quality.

Comprehensive Services: All our paintwork is done in-house, and we provide top-notch chrome plating, aluminium, and cast iron welding services. Choosing The Motorcycle Broker ensures that your classic motorcycle is restored to the highest standard.

Taking Control: As the insured party, you have the ultimate say in how your classic motorcycle is repaired. If you’ve been involved in a classic motorcycle accident, contact The Motorcycle Broker to guarantee that your prized possession is restored to its former glory.

By understanding your rights and choosing the right partners, you can navigate the complexities of non-fault accident repair for classic motorcycles and ensure that your vintage bike receives the care and attention it deserves.

Paul Jayson

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