The coronavirus is having a massive impact on our day to day lives, find out more about how the pandemic has changed the way you ride, and what you can do while in lockdown.
Information about how COVID-19 affects you
Here at Lexham, we understand that the coronavirus crisis has left us all questioning the effects of the pandemic on riding our bikes, when we can and can’t, bike repairs and services. So, we’ve taken a look at the most frequently asked questions...
Can I still go out on my bike?
The government guidance on when and where we can travel is:
To get food or medical supplies
To go to work (only where you cannot work from home)
If you’re a key worker
So, you are still able to go to the supermarket on your bike, whether it’s for you or for a person who needs shielding. Or, if you are unable to work from home, you can still use your motorbike or scooter to get to work. But, that’s it. There are no exceptions to these restrictions.
Unfortunately, you will be unable to use your bike for any non-essential travel. This means you won’t be able to use your bike for leisurely pursuits or to go to bike meets. In addition to this, although you are allowed to go outside once a day for exercise this must be locally, so you cannot use your motorbike or scooter to travel to national parks or outdoor spaces.
What happens if I ignore these restrictions?
On the 25th March 2020 the Coronavirus Act 2020 was brought into effect. This grants the government emergency powers to handle the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, including giving police the power to do the following if you ignore the restrictions:
- Instruct you to go home, leave an area or disperse
- Instruct you to take steps to stop your children breaking these rules if they have already done so
- Take you home – or arrest you – if you do not follow their instructions or where they deem it necessary
- Issue a fine (fixed penalty notice) of £60, which will be lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days.
- Issue a fine (fixed penalty notice) of £120 for second time offenders, doubling on each further repeat offence
If you do not pay these fines you could be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose unlimited fines.
How does COVID-19 affect my insurance?
With so much uncertainty, we understand that you will have questions about how your insurance with Lexham is affected by this situation.
Should I update the usage or mileage on my existing policy?
If you already have an insurance policy, there is no need to update this due to coronavirus. We understand that your riding habits and annual mileage will be affected at this time, but there is no need to make any changes to your policy.
Do I need to change my mileage etc when looking to renew?
If you’re looking for a new policy or you are renewing your existing policy, there’s no need to change your details, these can be entered as you normally would.
At this time, we do not know when the restrictions will be lifted, and recommend that you take out your policies as you normally would so that you’ll be prepared for when things get back on track.
I’m volunteering during the pandemic - is my insurance still valid?
For most Lexham Insurance customers yes volunteer use would still be covered, but it depends on the exact insurer - it is best to call in to confirm. Whether you’ve signed up to be an NHS Volunteer Responder or you are helping out a friend or family member in need, by bringing them food or medical supplies, your insurance will not be affected if your insurer allows volunteer use. If you need to make a claim while using your bike for volunteer use, your claim will not be rejected because you’re using your bike differently (commercial use excluded).
If I have to self-isolate, can I put my motorbike insurance on hold?
Unfortunately not. We are unable to put insurance policies on hold.
Our recommendation would be to keep your insurance policy as it is currently, as we do not know when the restrictions will be lifted and you may require your motorbike to assist others.
However, if you do not need your bike during this time, you can cancel your insurance and make a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN) if necessary. Please be aware, if you do decide to SORN your vehicle you will not be able to ride it and it will need to be parked off the road. Before you do decide to cancel your policy, it’s always best to get in touch and discuss the best options, contact our team for more information.
If I have to self-isolate, can someone else ride my bike to get me supplies?
Unless the person is already a named rider on your policy, or they are covered to ride your bike on their own insurance policy, they won’t be able to ride your bike to assist you.
If the rider has their own insurance policy, but you’re unsure whether they can ride your bike on their policy, you can check this in their policy documents. Please be aware, this cover is likely to be third party only.
You can add a friend or family member as a named driver on your insurance policy, please contact us for further details.
Can I still make a claim on my policy?
Yes. We are currently operating our normal working hours, and should you need to make a claim you can get in touch with our call centre. We are, however, receiving an increased call volume, so it may take a little longer to get through to us. Please bear with us, our teams are working as hard as they can in these circumstances.
How is my MOT affected?
If you do still need your bike to get to work or for food and medicine, but your MOT is going to expire, you can still use your bike. All vehicle owners have been granted a 6-month exemption from MOT testing by the government. Your MOT date will be updated automatically, on the day your MOT is due to expire. You can check your MOT history on the government website.
However, please be aware that you can still be prosecuted for driving an unsafe vehicle at this time, so ensuring your bike is in a roadworthy condition is still very important.
Can I get my bike repaired?
Some garages may still open for now, those few that are maybe operating different opening times. If you require urgent repairs or essential maintenance on your vehicle to carry out essential travel, you will still be able to go to a garage. It is always best to check their opening times by calling the garage direct.
If you are not using your bike for essential travel, then do not go to the garage for repairs during this time.
Can I get my bike serviced?
If your motorbike or moped is due to be serviced, you are still able to have this work carried out currently. However, if you do not need to use your bike for essential travel, we would recommend contacting your dealer or garage and asking whether this can be postponed.
How can I keep my bike secure?
Having your bike off the road can be a worry at any time, but ensuring your bike is safe while you’re not riding it can be daunting. To ensure your bike stays safe from thieves during the coronavirus outbreak, we recommend the following:
Keep it out of sight: if possible, keep your bike in a garage or back garden rather than on your drive.
Ensure it’s locked up: use multiple locks where possible to deter thieves.
Use a cover: covering up your bike is a great deterrent - not only is this another barrier to your bike, they also won’t know what bike is under the cover.
Fit an alarm or tracker: if someone tries to steal your bike while you’re working from home, an alarm or tracker will be a handy investment.
Discover more tips about how to keep your bike safe from thieves.
How do I SORN my vehicle? And will I still be covered?
Anyone can SORN their vehicle at any time. You can register your vehicle as off the road on the government website. To do this, you will simply need the 11-digit number on your vehicle log book (V5C).
If you do decide to SORN your vehicle, and you do not cancel your insurance policy, you will still be covered for theft, vandalism or fire damage. However, if you decide not to renew or to cancel your policy, you will not be covered. To ensure you’re covered, you can take out Laid up Motorcycle Insurance instead.
Can I refuel my bike?
Yes, if you need to use your bike for essential travel during the pandemic it’s absolutely fine for you to go and refuel it at a petrol pump. Many supermarket petrol stations allow you to pay at the pump, so you will be able to do this easily while social distancing. Additionally, petrol stations are making use of the hatch to keep their staff safe, should you need to pay at the kiosk.
Can I buy or sell a motorcycle or moped?
Although all dealers are currently shut for normal sales for an unknown period of time, there may be exceptions to this for key workers, please contact your dealer directly for more information. It is still possible to view and purchase motorcycles and mopeds online, and have these delivered to your door. You can even part exchange your old vehicle and have this taken away when they deliver your new bike.
Can riding my bike be my daily exercise?
Although riding your bike can be seen as a form of exercise, as you can burn around 600 calories an hour while riding, unfortunately you are not allowed to take your bike out as your daily exercise during the lockdown.
We will be trying our utmost to update this article as and when any changes are made to make sure you travel safe. If you have any other questions about how you or your insurance are affected during the coronavirus pandemic, please get in touch.
Please note: always check with official guidelines as details can quickly change or could be misinterpreted.