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Old 04-09-2013, 09:47 AM   #1
Mazaev OP
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Pissed Bike purgatory

So I'm wondering if anyone's been in a similar situation regarding trashed bikes and insurance claims. I had an unfortunate meeting with a left turner last week. I walked away just fine (panic braking practice paid off big time) but my bike didn't. Far as I can tell, most (3/5) major fairings are cracked or broken (fender, upper cowl, side fairing), the crankcase cover is cracked, the headlight is cracked, not to mention things like mirrors and levers. It also seems that one of the forks are damaged or bent. Lots of people are also suggesting the frame be checked out due to the front impact.

So here I am, waiting for the insurance adjuster (who's already past his deadline to come). Meanwhile, there's a damn good deal on a bike that's exactly what I've been thinking of replacing mine with and it's slipping away while I wait for this guy to show up.

At this point, I'm hesitant to make deposit to cement the deal until I know whether my bike is totaled or not. I'm not expecting much of a payout (it's a 14 year old VFR), but I can't take the loss if something goes wrong.

So I'm wondering, has anyone else had a similar situation? What did ya do? And what are the criteria for a bike to be totaled by insurance?
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:03 AM   #2
2000RSV
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Be patient. There are always more bikes available.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:14 AM   #3
Mazaev OP
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Hehe, yeah, should probably heed that advice. Never been too good at this patience thing. Still, it's not every day you see a ride farkled exactly as I need for a very decent price.

Nonetheless, could someone shed some light on how this usually works with I insurance and bikes? Guessing it's not like with a generic car where they just send you to their dealer nearby to be fixed.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:58 AM   #4
wiseblood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazaev View Post
Hehe, yeah, should probably heed that advice. Never been too good at this patience thing. Still, it's not every day you see a ride farkled exactly as I need for a very decent price.

Nonetheless, could someone shed some light on how this usually works with I insurance and bikes? Guessing it's not like with a generic car where they just send you to their dealer nearby to be fixed.

Works the same, except because bikes cost so much less than cars ('cept you beemer pilots ), and because they are so easily seriously damaged, you end up with a total quite frequently.

In my experience... which includes a handful of motorcycle claims, at least one of which was a "total loss" -- The adjuster will determine if the cost to REPAIR your bike is more than 75% of the book value of your bike. IF SO, they will declare it a "total loss" and you will get a check for the BOOK VALUE, minus your deductible.

Don't be surprised if the "book value" they offer is less than what you would have to pay to buy your bike on the used market. Also, know that no matter how sentimentally attached to your bike you are, that doesn't raise their offer one bit.

ACCESSORIES, however, may. I have accessory coverage (Progressive insurance), and there is no deductible. After market bits (levers, cases, etc) and GEAR (jacket, gloves, pants, helmet) all get covered from the first dollar.

If you want to maximize your situation, do the adjuster's job BEFORE he shows up. Go over the bike with a fine-toothed comb, and make a spreadsheet of every part which is so much as scratched. List the OEM prices. Or, better yet, get the bike towed to a dealer, and ask them to go over it.

If your forks are tweaked, chances are you are totaled.


One other thing: From your message, it's clear that you WANT to be totaled. Sometimes, you don't. Doing the math before the adjuster shows up makes all the difference, in my experience. KNOW the book value of your bike. If you have a $6000 bike, know that $4500 is the maximum repair cost before they total it.

HTH!
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiseblood View Post
In my experience... which includes a handful of motorcycle claims, at least one of which was a "total loss" -- The adjuster will determine if the cost to REPAIR your bike is more than 75% of the book value of your bike. IF SO, they will declare it a "total loss" and you will get a check for the BOOK VALUE, minus your deductible.

Don't be surprised if the "book value" they offer is less than what you would have to pay to buy your bike on the used market. Also, know that no matter how sentimentally attached to your bike you are, that doesn't raise their offer one bit.
Depends on the insurance, but I concur -- 75% of the book value. Anything higher and it's a total loss.
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:20 PM   #6
manfromthestix
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If your forks are tweaked, chances are you are totaled.


This is GOSPEL, and it's not always easy to tell if they are tweaked or not, especially if you can't ride it. About the only real way to tell is to take them apart and have them checked. I had a tweaked fork tube on a BMW R1100RT from the PO striking a curb pretty hard, IIRC the mechanic took it apart and rolled it on a flat shop table and you could see the slight bend. The slider and seals were all fine. That was a lot of $$$$ to fix. Forks are designed to absorb shock from bumps on the road, not the bending stress of ramming into a fixed object or idiot cager who turned in front of you.

Good luck with your claim! I feel your pain about this patience thing, too...

Doug
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by manfromthestix View Post
If your forks are tweaked, chances are you are totaled.


This is GOSPEL

I would have thought that, 'cept I recently had an 'off and the insurance company wrote my forks. That plus the other damage (which included a scraped tank) didn't come close to totaling the bike. It all depends on the value of the bike! In my case, the forks could be replaced for about $1145, and the bike was worth about $7k.

One thing which I think would be a definite total: Any frame damage. Strip down the bike and look for any marks, dents, etc.
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:16 PM   #8
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I'm assuming it's the cagers insurance you are waiting on. Is so, call md leave a message complaining of pains down your back and a need for chiropractic services. Do NOT sign a release (medical) until you are sure (100%) you are ok.
Normally they will do a buy out- say $1500 to $2000 to release them from medical issues, here's the leverage . Do not sign the med release till you get a check for a comparable bike, be ready to bring with you comparables. Fight for 100%. Otherwise ....state tht your neck hurts.
Btw don't forget to add anything else that was damaged (jeans, jacket, helmet, backpack etc).
I've been hit 3 times, all totaling my bikes. I know the drill. Before I get flamed for asking 100% from the insurance realize that the issue here is to recup frm these companies what is fair, not let them roll over us little guys.
Good luck and hope you roll again.
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:06 PM   #9
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worst case, you can just resell the new bike. I don't think you have too much much exposure (registration fees, etc) if the bike is well sorted and priced right..

best of luck
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manfromthestix View Post
If your forks are tweaked, chances are you are totaled.

Doug
When I crashed my 950, the forks were fine, but State Farm was going to total the bike.
I think it may have had something to do with the steering head being snapped right off of the frame.

After much "discussion" with my State Farm person, I got another estimate from the dealer so the bike WOULDN'T be totaled.

"Tweaked" forks could be as simple as "twisted in the triples".
Or............just a new set of fork tubes.
It's bodywork & the frame that usually total a bike.

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Old 04-10-2013, 01:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiseblood View Post
One thing which I think would be a definite total: Any frame damage. Strip down the bike and look for any marks, dents, etc.
Progressive wrote off my ex's bike for a bent helmet lock tab (among other damage like plastics and blinkers, but well under 50% of value). Their rationale? That tab is part of the frame (TU250, so it's a one-piece frame), and any frame damage is an automatic write-off. She bought it back and fixed it; the helmet lock tab was fixed by bending it back.
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:47 AM   #12
motorhead748
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I concur with what has been said above.
This happened to me a couple of months ago on my ural. Lady turns in front of me, I swerve but end up hitting her front bumper with the left rear shock area of the bike. Bike flips a time or 2 and lands upside down. The repair estimate (made at the dealer) was for excess of the value so it was totalled. But actually the bike wasnt that bad. I bought it back from the insurance and fixed it my self for substantiallly less than the estimate. And I have still not settled on the injury claim.
A buddy of mine who owns a body shop and deals with insurance claims everyday told me that the worst insurance companys to settle with are the ones that advertise on tv, ie: progressive, geico and allstate. The lady who hit me had allstate and I just received the check for the bike this week and the accident was 2 months ago.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:17 AM   #13
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There is always another bike. I find one in the flea market at least once a week I can't live without. I get over it though.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:25 AM   #14
ApexJeff
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Adjusters

I totaled my 2008 1200GS Adventure on Union Pass in Wyoming a couple years ago, flipped it and went over the bars. Hauled back home to Pinedale, no adjusters there, so trailed it to SLC, where they immediately Totaled it, after saying this was the best one all year!! Took all the pictures, was compliant with the insurance company but had to switch adjusters to finally get want I wanted, $21,000, with a new helmet and riding pants. Safco Insurance has all my policies so I had some negotiation power. THey sent a check and immediately and I found a 2009 GS 1200 Adventure in Las Vegas, with 1500 miles on corbin seat, extra knobbies, GS tank bag, all the same acessories that were on the wrecked bike, plus I salvaged some parts, and took over his note for 17k, which I then paid off. It had the first service on and I plated it in AZ saving sales tax. It now has 35k miles on, I only had bruises from my ankle to my shoulder on the crash with a bowling ball clot on my ass. Good gear, good bike!!!
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:50 PM   #15
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Some states have regulations that specify the amount of damage that requires totaling---80% of market value or whatever. Other states don't specify and leave it up to the insurers.

Good advice above about spotting all the damage and pointing it out, as well as finding comparable bikes for sale to determine the actual market value. The blue book and other guides are often low.
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