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Am I covered without an MOT?

I’ve had multi-bike insurance for eight years but when I received my renewal, I noticed a clause stating any vehicle without a valid MOT was not covered. I called my insurer to query this and was informed they would not renew my insurance as my bikes had no MOTs. I work abroad for up to four years at a time, so sometimes my bikes are unused for years, but SORNed and kept in my shed. Three other brokers have told me the same. So even if I wanted to ride them to the MOT station I would not have valid insurance.

Mark Douglas, email

Answered by Christian Evitt, Carole Nash

Most policies will include a condition to keep your bike in a safe and roadworthy condition and protect it from damage, theft etc. This includes having a valid MOT and keeping to all legal regulations relating to your bike and its ownership. Failure to comply with this may result in your policy being cancelled or your insurer refusing to deal with your claim.

Most bikes stolen from garages are not recovered, but I would expect the majority of insurers to pay out, even without an MOT. However, a current MOT is one of the ways an insurer values a bike, so you might be offered a reduced payout. If you are storing a bike, take a photo with that day’s paper as evidence of its condition.

I think the bigger issue in your case, which triggered the refusals, is that you ‘work abroad for up to four years’. If you’re not a permanent resident in the UK (physically) this will usually need referring to an underwriter. If your broker/insurer is not aware of your particular circumstance, I would contact them immediately so you have peace of mind that you and your bikes are fully covered.


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