Insurance claim on lowsided bike?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Project84, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Project84

    Project84 I can haz adventure?

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    I've never made an insurance claim other than for the roof of my house which had clear and present wind damage. I'm nervous to even consider what may come of a bike insurance claim.

    I lowsided a few weeks ago and a general bits and pieces could be sourced online for nearly my deductible. Except, there is a nick on the swingarm and a dent in one of the main exhaust tubes. Neither of those issues bother ME, but I'm curious what an adjuster might say. (Would he total it?)

    Also, I have the policy setup to cover gear and accessories, so adding that up the grand total might be $1,300-1,500 considering my KLIM jacket is trash, my engine case savers and axle savers are trash, my boots could probably qualify as a write off as well.

    These are prices I've seen on eBay. Going straight through Triumph the parts might jump to a $2,000-2,500 expense.

    Would you make the claim?

    (Also, no police report since some locals with a pickup and a rope pulled my bike up out of the ditch and I was able to ride it home.)
    #1
  2. usgser

    usgser Long timer

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    You've been paying insurance premiums and then you crash, now you're questioning calling them??? You may not like what the ins co tells you, but you don't have to accept the settlement.
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  3. Project84

    Project84 I can haz adventure?

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    Guess since I'm ill-experienced, I'm nervous they may raise my rate and/or tell me since I have no police report that it's on me to fix in which case I'd have been better served to start buying parts rather than alert them to my inability to control my motorcycle.
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  4. lostonwheels

    lostonwheels Adventurer

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    I'd say call them. I turned down a claim offer in a similar situation once because after the deductible and raise in rate it wasn't worth the claim. But it's worth a call because you can always say no.
    #4
  5. handirifle

    handirifle Been here awhile

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    Depending on your age, experience, etc, they can and probably will raise your rate. I had Gieco for my vehicles and had not made a claim or had a ticket in 17 years, and backed into another truck, with lumber in mine. $1200 damage to the other truck, and none to mine. No injuries. Premiums went up.

    Here in CA where had such devastating fires, one friend of my wifes made a claim where wind blew a limb down on their house. Insurance company paid the claim, then cancelled their policy.

    Good luck. Do what you do, as I will not give out that kind of advice.
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  6. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen

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    Myself, given what you describe I'd bite the bullet and replace my gear and parts on my own. Any claim, especially one that does not involve someone else at fault, means the claim will impact your premiums going forward. What's your deductible? $200? $500? You'll pay at least that and whatever percentage the insurance won't cover on your gear (wear, age, etc) unless your policy covers 100% replacement.

    Also, an insurance inspection may write off the "nick" on the swingarm as significant damage. I bought a salvage bike years ago with a "salvage" title because it had a dime size dent on a frame tube that supported the rear foot pegs and exhaust mount.
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  7. filmfan

    filmfan Long timer

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    Once you start a claim, you're "in for a penny, in for a pound", at least that's been my experience. A few years ago, I started the claims process for damage on the car from an unknown hit of road debris that damaged the very expensive Cat. They would only pay for the cheapest possible aftermarket, and I canceled the claim, but the treatment I got had me shopping for new insurance. A few months later we changed companies and one of the first questions the new company had was "what about this claim from two months ago?". While they were ok with the explanation, they already knew there was no payout, i.e. even an aborted claim follows you. So my advice is to make a claim or not, but don't figure on testing the waters.
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  8. brgsprint

    brgsprint Been here awhile

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    In a similar situation, I filed the claim. I have insurance and I'm not afraid to use it.

    Since I also limped home so there was no report of the accident, the insurance company required that I file a report with the state before they would pay. I think I got about $1,500.
    #8
  9. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Scottsdale Supporter

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    I am not a fan of insurance companies. They never want to honor their obligations and when they are forced to they jack up your rates to collect it back. I generally have $1000 deductible on all my policies. My motorcycles are liability only, though. A few years ago I had some water damage in my condo. The repair was $1500, so I paid my $1000 deductible and made the claim and thought nothing of it. That was stupid because my homeowners insurance went up $500/year! I had something similar happen a few months ago. This time the repair was $1900. I didn't submit the claim because I have several properties now all insured by USAA. I feared all the policies would go up so for $900 I wasn't going to make the claim. Meanwhile I had a roof damage from snow load in our Truckee cabin. The repair was $12k so we submitted.

    I doubt the adjuster would total the bike based on the OP's post. And if you get a new $800 jacket out of it and your deductible is the typical $250 or $500, I'd probably submit a claim to get a check, then do the repairs myself. It's a tough decision on small claims. But for the big ones we are happy we have the coverage!
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  10. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    OP- Do you have an agent that you trust and who you buy your insurance from (rather than online from the insurance carrier itself)? If you do, you should talk to them about filing a claim and how it might go. Without doing this you likely will have no way of knowing how it will go if you were to file a claim. BTW, insurance is written and regulated differently in each state, so one person's reported experience may not be at all the same as another's from a different state, with a different ins. company etc..
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  11. ShineySideUp

    ShineySideUp Long timer

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    Several years ago I had a tip over on my bike that caused @$2k in damage, mostly cosmetic stuff and plastic replacement. I made the claim and they paid for everything the dealer thought should be replaced. My premium went up for the following 3 years. I would have been better off (financially) just paying out of pocket.
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  12. pjgoeman

    pjgoeman Adventurer

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    Here's an important piece of advice - never talk to your insurance company, talk only to your local agent. 15 or so years ago I lived in Seattle during an earthquake and I had some resulting damage. I called my local agent and because it was outside their office hours my call automatically transferred to State Farm's customer service (I did not realize this). I asked a question about coverage for my damage and was told my policy did not have coverage, so end of conversation. Just the fact of having damage and asking a question, not even filing a claim, put a black mark on my insurance record and into a data base that is shared by all major companies. As a result I paid increased rates with State Farm and another company for three or four years until that black mark aged out. Afterwards my agent told me to talk only to him, never to the company. Wish he had told me beforehand so that's why I'm passing it on to you.

    Insurance companies have their own interests in mind. That said I am still a long time customer with State Farm and last summer they gave me a check for hail damage on my truck that you can barely see, over $4,000. Meh, it's a truck and that four grand when straight into the bank and no increase in rates because it's a comprehensive claim.
    #12
  13. davidji

    davidji bike curious

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    It might be worth asking your insurance agent how much you can claim in an incident against your collision coverage without increasing your rates.

    When I had such a discussion with my agent several years ago the amount was $1000. I Ignored some irrelevant cosmetic stuff, and the number remained under $1000. I got an insurance check and my rates didn't increase. Different state from you and different rules of course. Might not hurt to ask though.
    #13
  14. Vertical C

    Vertical C Long timer

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    Insurance is there to make money if it didn't cost more than paying it for yourself they would go broke
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  15. mitchapalooza

    mitchapalooza Rider is Air-cooled Supporter

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    Do comprehensive claims not have deductibles? Also, why no hike? I know nothing of insurance other than I have to have it.
    #15
  16. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    I wouldn't use it for repairs I could afford out of pocket, that were my own fault.
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  17. ddavidv

    ddavidv Dark web dangerous

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    Depends on your policy. Deductibles are not set in stone; you choose how high you want based on what premium you want to pay. A deductible is the amount of risk you are willing to accept before insurance kicks in. I rarely deal with bikes but on cars I encourage customers to not have a comp deductible of more than $100. Collision is another story; that is the one that has the biggest effect on your premiums. Most folks today carry $500.

    As to the to the original question insurance varies so much from state to state you really can't get a universal answer. In my state there is a threshold a loss has to pass ($1100 last time I checked) before a company MAY choose to adjust your premium. Other states there is no limit. I do agree the best solution is to consult with an agent. If you bought your insurance from an online only source (like GEICO) then you don't have that option. Do know that an agent does have an interest in you NOT making a claim. Fewer claims from policies they generate = more profit for them but I rarely have heard of agents being that biased.

    Motorcycles are pretty easy to total out. Unlike cars there isn't much you can 'repair' on a bike. Most parts simply get replaced, manufacturers know this and price easily damaged parts accordingly. Damaged plastics alone killed a Ducati I wrote many years ago. Best to get a shop estimate and then decide. Any damage to a frame usually means the bike gets scrapped as liability and the cost of a full frame replacement conspire against repair.

    There is no requirement for a police report on a single vehicle accident in my state. You'll simply be found at fault for the accident.
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  18. Project84

    Project84 I can haz adventure?

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    Lots to decide upon.

    Thanks everyone for your input.
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  19. kohburn

    kohburn Long timer

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    glad you are alright. good luck with the bike and gear
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  20. mtech1950

    mtech1950 Been here awhile

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    don't you hate paying for something you are reluctant to use.....
    #20
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