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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My policy document contains the following exclusion:
"The insured motorcycle being used on any form of race track, de-restricted
toll road (including the Nurburgring) or off-road activity"
I have been tempted to take my AT along some fire-roads in Kielder forest and I sort of already thought that if I dropped the bike I'd have to pick up the cost. But when you think about it, this exclusion is a bit more worrying because it means the insurer isn't covering me for 3rd party stuff.
So if I was riding that fire road with a mate and I knocked him off and killed him, his family could come after me for every penny I own.
Or another scenario. You are riding on a campsite to your chosen spot and your front wheel slides away and you bash into someone's £50k classic car - is that off road?
Mike
 

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Good question. I think it varies from country to country. Liability insurance in Canada is present anywhere - on or offroad.

We have collision insurance for accidents of our own - not sure if offroad is included in that part of my policy. Given that the bike is $15,000 plus accessories and farkles, I'm not in a position to pound the living daylights out of my bike. I would also feel comfortable paying out of pocket for any damages that I've done to my own bike.

I think personal liability would come into play for other situations, i.e. you would be personally liable for damages. I guess we should all check with our insurance companies for the details and avoid surprises or litigation.
 

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Not a simple answer...

Much will depend on the exact wording of your policy. Is what you posted a direct lift from your policy?

For example, a policy will usually state what you are covered for, a section for liability to others, the exceptions to that specific section, probably general exceptions and then policy definitions. By cross-referencing all of these you may get your answer.

To illustrate the point a sample policy defines a track day - Track day – when your vehicle is driven on a racing track, on an airfield or at an off-road event. This particular policy does not appear to exclude riding off-road that is not part of an event.
Most exclude the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

The other matter is the definition of a road which includes highway and I suspect the fire-road that you detailed will be included in the definition of a road.
One overarching issue to consider is a policy of insurance is a contract of “utmost good faith” – uberrimae fidei.

S192 RTA 1988 sets down that a 'road' means 'any highway and any other road to which the public have access and includes bridges over which a road passes'. There are a number of elements within this definition.
Road
A road has been held in the case of Worth v Brooks [1959] Crim LR 885 include pavements and boundary grass verges.
Highway
The case of Suffolk County Council v Mason [1979] AC 705 has set down that a highway is anywhere that members of the public are afforded a right of way on foot, riding, accompanied by a beast of burden or with vehicles or cattle. Bridleways, footpaths and carriageways which are open to the public are 'highways'.
If any part of a vehicle is on a road, even where it is partly or mostly on some other private land, the vehicle is to be treated as being on a road - Randall v Motor Insurers' Bureau [1969]1 All ER 21
A highway, unlike a road, is covered by the RTA 1988 even where it is temporarily closed off - McCrone v J & L Rigby (Wigan) Ltd [1950] 50 LGR 115
Access to the Public
To fall within S192[1] RTA (Road traffic act) 1988 the road must be one to which the public have access. Whether or not the public have access to a road is a question of fact. If a member of the public has to over come some form of physical barrier or act in defiance of a prohibition then that will not be considered a road to which the public have access - Cox v White [1976] RTR 248
A sign on a private road which stated that 'Trespassers will be prosecuted' was held to be a sufficient prohibition to members of the public to exclude the location from S192 1988 - R v Beaumont [1964] Crim LR 665
A car park is not a road - Clarke v Kato [1998] 1 WLR 1647. However, it is a public place within S192 and so otherwise included.
Public Place
A location is a public place if people gain access to it in their capacity as members of the public rather than as a person with some form of permission to enter.
Multi storey car parks, hospital car parks and pub car parks during licensing hours have been held to be public places. A pub car park may only be a public place after licensing hours if the public, in fact, do use the car park at that time.


Therefore a lot of places are considered to be a road (for insurance purposes ) that you might think as being off-road ... To be certain you should always seek advice from your insurer
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow. Thanks Snowbubble that's comprehensive. And yes the quote is a direct lift from the general exclusions section of my policy
I suspect that my broker and any administrator in the underwriter would tell me I wasn't covered whilst riding the bike off road because they would read that exclusion the same way I am
Mike
 

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That's pretty weird, In Switzerland I'm sure it's also limited to only road use, but the way it works is if you crash and don't damage state property, or a car or hurt someone, you don't need to call the police and report it, you just go to the garage and the insurance company will contact you asking for details.


So then unless you have a tree or rock encrusted in the bike, you can say whatever you want about crashing on the road and they will pay for the damages, how are they supposed to know in what situation you crashed !? A track crash would be much more difficult to hide, because of the speeds and damages involved, but really off-road wouldn't be so difficult I think !
Is it so much different overall in Europe !?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's pretty weird, In Switzerland I'm sure it's also limited to only road use, but the way it works is if you crash and don't damage state property, or a car or hurt someone, you don't need to call the police and report it, you just go to the garage and the insurance company will contact you asking for details.


So then unless you have a tree or rock encrusted in the bike, you can say whatever you want about crashing on the road and they will pay for the damages, how are they supposed to know in what situation you crashed !? A track crash would be much more difficult to hide, because of the speeds and damages involved, but really off-road wouldn't be so difficult I think !
Is it so much different overall in Europe !?
What you say is very true, but it introduces the idea of making fraudulent claims which might come back to haunt the rider. And of course it doesn't answer the question I posed about if you kill or injure someone whilst riding off-road.
The TRF in the UK must have frequently come across this problem. I was thinking of joining anyway, so I will go along and ask them.
Mike
 

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What you say is very true, but it introduces the idea of making fraudulent claims which might come back to haunt the rider. And of course it doesn't answer the question I posed about if you kill or injure someone whilst riding off-road.
The TRF in the UK must have frequently come across this problem. I was thinking of joining anyway, so I will go along and ask them.
Mike


Well living in Switzerland I can tell you how crazy expensive insurances are, even my insurer would tell me to do this, the guy is a biker but really, I'm not wanting to scam my insurance it's just ridiculous that if you're honest than they won't pay, sometimes even telling you on the phone, you shouldn't have said that you know...


I don't intend to brake my AT every other wednesday, but wouldn this happen I wouldn't really hesitate.
 
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