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Old 10-08-2014, 09:25 AM   #1
NMEXPAT OP
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Hit a Deer - Motorcycle Insruance Questions

A few weeks ago I hit a small deer on my motorcycle. I didn't go down. I was able to keep the bike upright. I saw the deer on the side of the road and hit the brakes and was able to slow down before the impact. I don't think I hit the deer going very fast, certainly not faster than 30mph. I was able to ride the bike home, a few hundred miles, after the incident.

I'll take this type of deer collision anyday. It could have been much worse for me and the bike.

Anyways, I have comprehensive coverage which covers this type of incident. The bike is at the shop getting an estimate for repairs.

I've never dealt with vehicle insurance before, hence the questions below.

The way the agent explained the process to me is that they will cut me a check for the repairs after they approve the estimate. The estimate will include the cost for replacing like for like factory parts.

Is it illegal or unethical for me to upgrade the parts after I receive the money?

For example, they are paying for a plastic fairing piece say $500 each, but could I apply the money for carbon fiber pieces, say $750 each, with me picking up the difference in price $250?

Hopefully this makes sense.
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Old 10-08-2014, 09:33 AM   #2
Eddy Alvarez
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I don't see why not, but be careful. Don't do anything shady, this is a public site.
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Old 10-08-2014, 09:40 AM   #3
foxtrapper
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When they cut you the check, it's up to you what you do with the money. You are under no legal obligation to get the repairs performed.

Alternatively, the payment is made directly to the repair facility. This is pretty common in the auto industry, and tends to include a warranty on the repairs. This is probably an option you do not wish to pursue.
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Old 10-08-2014, 10:19 AM   #4
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Any registered repair shop can supply the estimate. The insurance company will pay on that.
Do they want more than one estimate? They will choose the lower...
Does the work have to be completed before the company will pay?
And do you pay the repair shop and get reimbursed or does the shop get reimbursed directly?

You got lucky once....
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danedg screwed with this post 10-08-2014 at 12:57 PM
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Old 10-08-2014, 10:34 AM   #5
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Typically your call

As the poster above said, it's your money. Insurance contract requires them to indemnify you for the loss. If you see fit to put the money towards upgrades, that is not their business.
Glad the run in with the deer was not worse.
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Old 10-08-2014, 10:46 AM   #6
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Not to hijack a thread or anything, but how do these things work for old, rare bikes, where parts aren't available anywhere anymore?
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:27 AM   #7
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I've hit a few, one instance requiring comprehensive insurance... there was clear evidence of the deer strike in my damage (deer hair in my fairing) that made all the difference between the accident being declared "an act of God," versus rider error, and did not affect my rates.

Agree with the others though, that you are free to do whatever you want with the claim money.
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:50 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by E-Bum View Post
Not to hijack a thread or anything, but how do these things work for old, rare bikes, where parts aren't available anywhere anymore?
I was hit on my 77 Vespa P200
Same as any bike, but I had prove the value, then they cut me a check to fix it.

Hard part was finding a panel beater that would fix it, single layer leg shield means no bondo to fill dents... a dent on one side is a bump on the other!
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Old 10-09-2014, 09:34 AM   #9
Toddv
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Originally Posted by danedg View Post
Any registered repair shop can supply the estimate. The insurance company will pay on that.
Do they want more than one estimate? They will choose the lower...
Does the work have to be completed before the company will pay?
And do you pay the repair shop and get reimbursed or does the shop get reimbursed directly?

You got lucky once....
It used to be done that way but not anymore, now generally the ins company has their own adjusters who Write the estimate and determine the initial payout, then if the bodyshop finds additional damage they can ask for an adjustment. Ins companies have come to not trust body shops to write the estimates.
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Old 10-09-2014, 09:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toddv View Post
It used to be done that way but not anymore, now generally the ins company has their own adjusters who Write the estimate and determine the initial payout, then if the bodyshop finds additional damage they can ask for an adjustment. Ins companies have come to not trust body shops to write the estimates.
You can upgrade easily if the shop will work with you and most will. I got rear ended while driving my truck. Insurance paid to replace the stock bumper, but I told the repair shop to use a different type which cost more. I added the difference to the check I wrote for the deductible.
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Old 10-09-2014, 11:06 AM   #11
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As mentioned, the INS company owes you the value of what you lost. What you do with the $ is entirely up to you. You can sell the broke bike and use the money to take a vacation. Fix it yourself, upgrade etc. Nothing unethical about it.

INS fraud would be if you lie about the value or use a deliberately inflated estimate to get more $ out of the INS company than is actually owed or staged the whole accident etc.
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Old 10-09-2014, 11:13 AM   #12
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INS fraud would be if you lie about the value or use a deliberately inflated estimate to get more $ out of the INS company than is actually owed or staged the whole accident etc.
Or if they paid you for damage due to a crash, and you decided to pocket the money and leave the damage. Then you got in another crash later, and the estimate for the second accident included fixing some or all of the damage from the first accident.

In cases where I've taken the money myself the insurance company had me sign a waiver effectively stating that I was releasing them from liability to pay for additional damage to the already damaged portions of the vehicle unless I had the vehicle evaluated to determine that the repairs had in fact been made.
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Old 10-09-2014, 11:19 AM   #13
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+1 on the "It's your money, do with it as you please" responses. The insurance company does not care what you do with the money. They insured your bike against damage, and it was damaged. What you opt to do with that money is up to you.

I had a claim last year and took the check and scrounged online for the best prices for replacement plastics and put them on the shelf to use for a later date. Just put them on recently in fact. The check they cut me was more than I spent but it was my time to find the parts and my time to install them.

One crosses the line into unethical and illegal if one makes a claim for prior damage (double dipping), or file a false claim like buying a damaged bike, getting full coverage, then claim to have had an accident on it in order to get it fixed on your insurance companies dime. As long as you are not being fraudulent in your interactions you're in the clear. If you have any concerns speak with your agent.
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Old 10-09-2014, 11:22 AM   #14
Ernest T
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Originally Posted by dwizum View Post
Or if they paid you for damage due to a crash, and you decided to pocket the money and leave the damage. Then you got in another crash later, and the estimate for the second accident included fixing some or all of the damage from the first accident.

In cases where I've taken the money myself the insurance company had me sign a waiver effectively stating that I was releasing them from liability to pay for additional damage to the already damaged portions of the vehicle unless I had the vehicle evaluated to determine that the repairs had in fact been made.
You can actually do that. The insurance company is going to want to know if you fixed the car if they give you the check instead of the repair facility. Sometimes they want a picture of the vehicle after repairs.
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Old 10-09-2014, 11:25 AM   #15
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You can actually do that. The insurance company is going to want to know if you fixed the car if they give you the check instead of the repair facility. Sometimes they want a picture of the vehicle after repairs.
Maybe I was unclear? I'm not sure what you thought I was implying you can't do.

What I meant was this: you can't take the money, NOT fix the bike, get in another crash, and try to claim the damage from the first crash (since you've already been paid for that) as part of the second claim.
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