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Can I cancel an insurance claim?

Earlier this year I came off my motorbike at a low speed causing some minor damage to my bike. Nobody else was involved. I called the insurer who determined over the phone to class the bike as a write-off without seeing the damage. They then arranged for my bike to be recovered to my home until such a time it could be collected and taken to a salvage company. I had a friend who has restored many motorbikes take a look and he confirmed that the damage was fairly superficial and the bike could be easily repaired for a few hundred pounds.

At that point I called the insurance and asked them to cancel the claim, which they did. However, they are still saying I need to report it as a claim as they had to pay for recovery. When I offered to pay the recovery costs so that I did not need to declare a claim, they informed me that I cannot do that. Are they right, or can I pay the recovery costs to the insurer and have them remove the claim from my record?

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You can indeed "buy" the claim from the insurer, pay the recovery cost and have the claim removed. Raise a complaint with them, then take it to the Financial Ombudsman Service. You may have a battle on your hands though, as insurers can be a pain in this situation.
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