Golly! Now here’s something I hadn’t considered. If you sell a vehicle, or have it stolen, make sure you cancel the insurance on it immediately.
Adrian Higgs pointed me at this post by a solicitor specialising in motorbike-related personal injury claims. Mmm. I imagine they’re busy. Anyway, the story is of someone whose bike was involved in an accident after he had sold it. The new owner wasn’t insured, so the claimants came after him…
Under European law innocent road users are entitled to be compensated for their injuries and the idea is a “cascade” of insurers and indemnifiers. So if the buyer had proper insurance, his insurers would pay up. (Insurers can “void” a policy if the proposer answers a question dishonestly or recklessly. A classic is “forgetting” to declare points or a claim. The insurers can simply say that the policy never existed. They have to go through a process for this and this may well already have happened.) The next stop on the cascade is an insurer who has taken a premium for the vehicle and the policy was not lapsed at the time of the collision, and that is unfortunately where you have become unstuck.
If this is really the case, it’s something to take seriously.