How do Insurance Payouts work on a Totaled Bike?

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by cbolling, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. cbolling

    cbolling Here...Hold my Beer.

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    On Wednesday morning I got hit by a lady in a Subaru that turned left into me. The bike and I went down and luckily I am ok, just a little sore.

    I am waiting on the adjuster to come look at the bike. I figure that it is probably totalled. If it is, how does that work?

    Where do they get the value from and do I have to take it?

    Any advice on how the handle the situation when he gets here?
    #1
  2. cbolling

    cbolling Here...Hold my Beer.

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    The bike is a 2012 Suzuki Burgman 400 with 6000 miles.
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  3. cbolling

    cbolling Here...Hold my Beer.

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    I also have some damaged gear.
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  4. SloSolo2

    SloSolo2 Been here awhile

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    First glad you're ok. Sorry we won't be seeing the scooter grabbing tags.

    The last car I had totaled the repair and value were very close and they let me choose. I chose total because their value was higher than mine. I filled out a title transfer and sent the forms and title FedEx to the insurance Co. They sent a flat bed to haul the car away. A few days later I got the check.

    Where the values come from I don't know. The details of the accident might have impacted the insurance companies extra helpful and professional demeanor. An employee of a very large multinational company shoved a car into my teenage daughter while driving a company vehicle. Ymmv.
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  5. SloSolo2

    SloSolo2 Been here awhile

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    One thing that caught me out was when I sent the forms in I called the adjuster and he warned me not to take anything off the car. If you have anything bolted on the scooter you will want to keep take it off now or tell the adjuster you want it. I wasn't in town for the adjuster visit so the radio we gave our son for his birthday had to go. Oh well.
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  6. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Been here awhile

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    My experience has been
    Step 1) Someone backs over your bike in a parking lot.
    Step 2) You drag the wreckage to some place the adjuster can look it over. As SloSolo2 noted, you have to be careful about pulling stuff off for salvage.
    Step 3) If they decide to total it, you sign over the title and the insurance company writes you a check for what they consider fair market value. You don't get much say in the matter.
    Step 4) If you're like me, and were riding some ancient relic that you picked up for next to nothing, you end up with a slight profit on the deal.

    I'd have to say Step 4 was my favorite :) But I'm not sure how well it will work for a newer bike.
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  7. Bluesmudge

    Bluesmudge Been here awhile

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    In my experience they gave me three options:

    1.) Let them total the bike and get a check for what they say the bike was worth before the accident.
    2.) Let them total the bike, get a check for what they say the bike was worth before the accident and then buy it back from them at the new post-accident value, then fix it your self. In this case the bike will now have a mark on the title noting that it was totaled at one point.
    3.) Come up with a total estimate of parts damages and labor that is slightly less than what the insurance would pay you for the totaled bike. Get a check for this amount and then fix the bike yourself. No changes to the title.

    In my case with a 2006 Suzuki GS500f, they would have given me $2200 for the bike. I could have bought it back for like $800 with a branded title and then fixed it but I was able to make option 3 work out better. I took pictures and itemized a list of all the parts that were damaged and then accounted for labor to hit the $2000 target I was told they could pay before totaling the bike. I purchased all the parts and fixed the bike up better than it was before the accident for $600 and pocketed the remaining $1400. The bike still has a normal clean title.
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  8. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

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    Well, I hauled the bike to my nearest OEM dealer. I requested a deailed coat estimate. In theory, this may cost you 1 to 2 hrs at the shop rate, say $150 to $200. In reality, if you are confident the bike will be totalled, the insurance will end up paying the bill as title will transfer to them. They will also arrange for a wrecker and pay any accrued storage fees. I also found the dealership, as the insurance adjuster must have needed to see the bike 3 or 4 times. The dealership took care of all of that for me, as they are open during normal business hours and I didn't need to take time off work.

    You have likely already informed you ins co that you have been in accident. You should now let them know the bike the bike is at the dealer. Then ins co should coordinate directly with the shop for their inspection. You should make a note of areas you notice are damaged (even scuffed), such as forks, swingarms and body panels as those tend to add up pretty quickly.

    If you have a lot of after market accessorys, I would send a list to your adjuster. The list should include what it is, manufacturer, part number, cost, web link.

    Each state has a defined timeline they must make you an offer, usually 30 days. I had Progressive. They offered NADA average value, which was generous for that specific bike.

    Progressive also has an "accessory" coverage, which is paid separtely. The accessory coverage is established when you policy goes into effect, for a stated value. This covers all riding gear and any not on the OEM build. The interesting thing is that Progressive pays this out at 100% the new value (not depreciated value). In my case, this portion of policy paid nearly my limit.

    Progressive did require photos of the riding gear, and brand/model of the gear. I received that check, within a few days of accident. Once the repair bill was 75% of the NADA value, it was a total loss. This is a rule of thumb, and not hard and fast. I drove the title to their nearest location, and received the check for the bike and the accessories. The whole thing was slightly under 30 days.

    If you feel as if the insurance company is not acting in "good faith", recommend that you contact your State's Insurance Compliance division. They will advise you on your specific issues, and even send a 3rd party inspector to evaluate the vehicle if desired. For a Government agency, I found Maryland's to be remarkably informative and useful.

    As an aside, Progressive did send me a notification a week after settlement indicating that bike was no longer eligible for comprehensive coverage. This made no sense, as they now owned the bike legally, but maybe it was a standard form for any bike that would be assigned a salvage title?
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  9. ErikMotoMan

    ErikMotoMan Clearwater Lights and HELITE airbags Save Lives!

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    Ever get your beer back?
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  10. ErikMotoMan

    ErikMotoMan Clearwater Lights and HELITE airbags Save Lives!

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    But seriously, you could find yourself in a nice little money making situation as described above. Especially if you know how to fix stuff on bikes. Buy it back if it's fixable. I have a buddy who bought back a 2014 GS for $ 1500, netting about $ 15 k in the process. He used that money to pay off the loan on his 2016 GS, fixed up the 2014 for about $ 6 k in parts and sold it for $ 12 k. Not bad.
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  11. Rider2

    Rider2 Adventurer

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    My wife totaled her car and I considered the initial offer low. I provided some documentation on what I thought was a fair value, and they agreed. One trick to watch for is if they offer the wholesale or trade value, of course you can't actually buy a vehicle for that much. You should get retail value, then (at least theoretically) you can pick up a bike nearly identical to the totaled one.

    I got rear-ended on my RT (hit and run, never caught the guy). Progressive was great to work with, no issues with the valuation or paying me for the bike. If I didn't have clear title (like a loan) it would have been more complicated especially if I'd been underwater but every company has dealt with that before too.
    #11
  12. STcorndog

    STcorndog No destination

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    You have received some good advice already. Let me add some more. Go see a doctor and complain that you are sore from the wreck. Photograph any scrapes and bruises. You are sore I assume. When you settle the bike value, then ask for a medical settlement. Even if you are fine and just got banged up, most insurance companies will write you a check to get a medical release. Do not construe this as I am telling you to lie. Do not sign any release for medical without seeing a doctor first.

    I had a lady take me out on my Harley in 2006. I landed in grass and slid a ways and ended up with some light road rash and a sore shoulder. I did not go to the doctor till a couple days later. Except for x-rays I did not receive any treatment. The insurance company wrote me a check for my portion of the doctors visit and $1,500 to sign a medical release. The bike value and all my gear were settled separately. Gear that is just scuffed up is typically replaced.

    You should wait on the medical claim at least a month if you had any visible injury to be sure your alright. No need to hurry this. Once you release them from liability for medical you can not make another claim.
    #12
  13. Boricua

    Boricua Been here awhile

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  14. cbolling

    cbolling Here...Hold my Beer.

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    The adjuster just came to look at the bike. He thinks that it will be totalled but he has to look at the parts prices 1st.
    #14
  15. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    My bike was recently totaled by Progressive. They did right by me on their offer and frankly, I think it was more than the bike was worth.
    So much so, I was concerned they would change their mind. The accident still cost me plenty, but they were more than fair with the bike value.

    Looks like local CL here shows asking about $6k or so for one.
    I used ebay sold listings to see what people are actually paying vs what people are asking.
    ebay sells that service to lots of places for valuation as well.
    #15
  16. YesRush

    YesRush Been here awhile

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    Look at an OEM parts finch for part pricing.Add them up your self that way you know before he comes back.Add every thing that's scratch ,dent and bent.You"lol freak how parts add up.
    #16
  17. Another Casual

    Another Casual Adventurer

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    I work as an adjuster in auto insurance. With us, at least, valuations are done by an outside company that will compare the vehicle to others for sale in the area and then adjuster for options/mileage. Figure to the insured is then: valuation - unrelated prior damage (anything on the car not from the accident) + sales tax - deductible = settlement. If they want to keep the car we just subtract the salvage/scrap value from the final figure.

    That being said, everything is negotiable. If they take off for prior damage you can negotiate it down, if you think the valuation is too low (and sometimes it is) you can negotiate a bit with that as well by asking them to run the valuation with another company and compare the two. The second company we use is often higher by a little, sometimes by a lot. Everything is a negotiation if you can prove your case. The people who just ask if they can get more money won't, but if you can prove to the adjuster that their value is low (finding comparable units for sale in the area that are priced higher, proving recent work or maintenance would increase the value, etc) will often be happily surprised. Every company is different, but with the one I work for they see claims as a chance to earn repeat customers and justify whatever you have been paying in premiums. Also, it sounds like you're (obviously) not at fault in your accident, your insurance company should be able to subrogate against the at fault party and (eventually) get your deductible back, so keep that in mind when settling the figures.

    I'm sure there are differences company to company and in auto vs motorcycles, hope this helps.
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  18. dhart67

    dhart67 Landfill

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    CBoils, sorry to hear about the wreck. Glad you're safe. Get back on the road soon.
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  19. squr3l

    squr3l Adventurer

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    I got sideswiped by a drunk driver last June on my F650GS thumper. I kept the bike up but it sent me into the curb and the damage to the left side and wheels totaled the bike.

    AAA was pretty good to deal with. I had my bike towed to my mechanic, the adjuster worked them him to see the bike. Their initial appraisal described my bike as in "below average condition mechanically and aesthetically". I explained that was inconsistent with the condition of the bike pre-accident and they offered another $450. They used blue book valuations and Craigslist ads of similar bikes in my area to help establish a value estimate. I was also compensated for most of my gear at full retail cost, no receipts necessary only photos. My aftermarket accessories barely influenced their offer for the bike, so in hindsight I would have been better off removing anything that wasn't stock to sell on here.

    I had to retain a lawyer on my own to go after her for medical expenses since her cheap insurance never got back to me to authorize my medical care. That took a while to get sorted out, but ultimately I didn't have to pay any medical costs out of pocket. In my experience the settlement basically gets split 3 ways between you, doctor, and lawyer.

    Since she was DUI, I also got subpoenaed and had to go to court for her restitution hearing. I was awarded a small sum for the lost wages that I documented but she has 6 months to pay me.
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  20. Karlfitt

    Karlfitt Long timer

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    My bike was recently totaled.

    Don't take their first offer if you don't think it is fair.

    Start looking for a bike Exactly like yours for sale. Anywhere. They came back with prices from far and wide. I did too. Got the price they were paying me up over 1000 from their first offer. The should add tax a license fees to the price too.

    I got descriptions and prices of the lost gear from the internet and they paid full retail for replacement.
    #20