PH2: Bikers Friend app

There are rumblings on Biker Banter about Bikers Friend, a free app claimed to provide an effortless way to document a motorcycle road traffic accident from your mobile device. So far, so straightforward.

App wraps up all you'd need in case of a shunt
App wraps up all you'd need in case of a shunt
Created by an 'innovative media company' the app is also effectively a fast track way of putting you in touch with a 'no win, no fee' solicitor. The app gives you the ability to photograph, video, record and also pinpoint your location on a map or call the emergency services. All features that a normal iPhone or Android phone can do - but the app combines all these on one homepage. So, should you have an accident, you can collect all your own evidence.

This isn't a bad thing, and the list of 'what to do' instructions, although fairly obvious, is pretty good as well, up until you reach number seven. This instruction says 'Contact Motorcycle Compensation'. When you fill your accident details in and agree for them to be sent they are fired towards the company Motorcycle Compensation, who will then pass them to a 'no win, no fee' solicitor who will call you back and, according to the app, 'allow the user to view instantly what they could be awarded in damages from the fault party.'

"I've been a marketer of legal services in the UK for over 20 years as well as an avid motorcyclist," says Colin Mahoney, creator of the app. "I was always being asked to look after bikers' injuries so I launched Very quickly we realised that any injuries over £5,000, the insurers automatically deny liability. What I decided to do was provide the insurer with hard evidence as to exactly what happened, so we created the app."

So what's in it for his firm?

Hit OK and expect a call in short order
Hit OK and expect a call in short order
"We don't, under any circumstances, get paid by any of our solicitors for referring business over to them," he says. "We are a marketing company who markets on behalf of a collective of solicitors. We do not make money from the clients, we do not put a client with the solicitor who pays us the highest amount of money and we have no referral fee. We work with 10 solicitors who contribute a marketing contribution to me and in return I give them access to my database of clients who have had incidents."

Why is this? As of April referral fees are no longer allowed to be paid by solicitors to people putting them in touch with accident victims, hence the distinction. But the fact there is a 'compensation calculator' on the app that claims within an hour you can learn how much you could be awarded speaks volumes.

We brought this point up with Mahoney who said, "Well, why would you call us then?" Fair enough, and if you're looking for financial recompense from an accident this is a very quick way of getting in contact with people who can help you do it. Whether this is something to be encouraged is your call.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (56) Join the discussion on the forum

  • WMP 13 Feb 2013

    Two (initial) words - "Ambulance" & "Chasers".

    Following on :-

    a) If a motorcyclist has indeed received significant injuries they are unlikely to immediately get their iphone out and begin taking details.

    b) The sooner the middlemen (claims managers, marketing men etc. etc.) get taken out of the loop the sooner our premiums will reduce.

    c) It would seem that the inventor of this app has already bypassed the ban on referral fees by 'marketing' his services.

    Soon nobody will be able to insure a motorbike/fast car etc. because of the above, I despair.

  • blacksunmanta 13 Feb 2013

    Sounds like a smoke and mirrors way of getting paid for the referral. Got to love an over complicated legal system that allows this sort of ambulance chasing rubbish workaround.

  • Prof Prolapse 13 Feb 2013

    Not sure I agree.

    I don't really see this like "whipcash". Accidents caused by negligent car drivers are a real problem and if it takes a compensation culture to address this then so be it. The scale of the problem is so big that government is currently spending over a million on their "think biker" campaign, to try and educate the public in the use of their observations. This is a massive proportion of their budget.

    Tragically, perhaps it has become necessary to sue (or whatever the term is) car drivers for their negligence. If nothing else to try and bump up their personal premiums as an "education".

    To negate shared increases in premium, perhaps insurers could try passing on the costs directly to the at fault claimant? This would be a lesson learned and would warn other motorists to be vigilant. Hit a biker? Enjoy your 500% rise in premium on renewal and keep your eyes open next time. The effect on the wider insured would be, at the very least, limited.

    Besides, it's still a good app for reminding people what to do in that scenario to avoid messy complications later on from what I hear.

  • y2blade 13 Feb 2013

    My neck hurts.

  • OpulentBob 13 Feb 2013

    Nasty, despicable ambulance-chasing man/firm.

    In no way was the app EVER written to help motorcyclists. It's a convoluted way to screw even more money out of our insurance companies, pushing premiums up further.

    PH, I'm slightly disappointed in you. You had the opportunity to stick the boot in (how many PH threads are there moaning about the state of insurance claims/payouts etc?) and it actually reads a little like an advertisement.

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