Insurance Recommendations - Vagueness, the earths rotational mass, and cryptic black magic

Discussion in 'Northeast - Greater Flugistan and home of the carp' started by Dub_ADV, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. Dub_ADV

    Dub_ADV Back in the saddle again.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2019
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I should preface by saying that I personally think insurance is the biggest scam going. That said, my state says I need some so I am shopping.

    * WARNING - RANT AHEAD*
    The following is a rant as well as seeking recommendations from other NE region-ers.

    I have NJM for my car. They dont do motorcycles. They recommended me to American Modern. They gave me a decent quote BUT....
    They cannot provide me with a baseline value for my MC. I know this varies based on "things" depreciation, etc, but when I asked them what the current value that they were basing my quote on, they diverted and stated they didnt use KBB or NADA and that my value depended on the current value, depreciation and other "factors". (alignment of the stars*rotational mass of the earth÷square root of the current solstice)

    OK, lets make this simple. What is the value of my bike at the time of the quote. Long pause....it depends. AAARRRGGGHHHH
    So what goes into this "secret sauce"?
    I asked them about the $3K+ worth of farkles on my KLR. They said that they would "be considered" if ever there was a claim made and it would be determined by the adjuster. WTF? So I am at the mercy of the adjuster if ever I need to make a claim with no understanding of how my bike is being valued. I F**king HATE insurance companies. Thanks, send me the quote.

    On to the next...
    I called Markle. They were very helpful. Gave me a baseline $ value of the bike and asked if I wanted to add a value amount in aftermarket parts. I said yes and they gave me a price. Super simple, friendly to deal with and helpful. I would have went with them on the spot BUT...They are twice as much as my other quotes for Liability, Comp and Collision - My choices based on where I am at the moment - dont judge.

    Called Progressive. Super friendly, and good prices but again with the value thing. They do claim to include an additional $3k worth of aftermarket parts in their quote which covers most of my farkles. Thats awesome, however, I asked what the baseline value # is so I can better determine how much additional coverage above the $3K farkle amount I may need to purchase. They respond with "it depends". Ok. How the hell can I make an educated decision if I dont know what they are determining as the baseline value? I cant. Did I mention I despise insurance companies???

    I fully understand the value of the bike goes down on a daily basis and it is hard to predict what the value will be at a future time based on add ons and take offs, etc. (actually, there is a standard formula for depreciation that businesses use for equipment etc which can be applied.) Ironically, it also seems that cost of insuring my depreciated bike goes up, wait how does that work?
    All I want is to know what value you guys are placing on a stock MC and quoting me on.

    So at this point, I have 3 quotes and feel like my 2+ hours on the phone was totally wasted and still not sure where to go. Markle seems to be my best bet based on my "gut feeling" if I ever made a claim and a solid understanding of what the underlying value of what my kit is worth. I think Progressive and American Modern fail to nail down specifics so as if/when a claim does happen, you have no ammo to fight them. (Been there done that with NJM when my wifes van was totaled and they offered a $1K payout on a $5K van which led to 9 months of fighting and numerous calls to the state ins. commish, etc. We won, and got $4.5K but the time and frustration was enormous)

    Then there is the MSF safety course. I am signed up in 3 weeks. I asked all 3 about the "potential" discounts. Markle said no problem, American Modern and Progressive both said, send us a copy when you take it and and we will "evaluate" it at that time. Ok I say, but it is a certified and state recognized course. "Again, we will determine it after you take it and send us the documentation." Do they not realize that is a selling feature. I guess I was expecting, "sure, we recognize MSF and you can expect an XX% discount once you pass the course." But again, to me, we will evaluate it is cryptic and means that they may or may not based on whatever black magic the "evaluator" uses at the time of "evaluation".

    The real value of insurance is only realized when a claim is made. That is when a company does right by you or totally F**ks you. Lets just say my proverbial ass needs a break and I am looking for a company that will stand beside me rather than behind me.

    Any suggestions or insight would be appreciated....other than the following...
    that slimy green lizard (never will I )
    and I am looking to stay clear of Dairyland as rallies, scrambles, enduros are all potentially in my future.
    State Farm - Katrina is all I have to say.

    I am either really missing something, letting my extreme bias against insurance companies cloud my vision, or I am just an incoherent and incompetent fool. This is all maddening. (which I think is their end game - drive everyone mad and no one will question. Stupid sheep, lol)

    Thanks for listening.

    Dub
    #1
    Dan Diego, Jmcqq37 and 9Realms like this.
  2. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,879
    Well, it depends (ducking and running)

    Since baseline valuation seems to matter a great deal to you, go with Markle. They gave you the valuation numbers you wanted. Yea, it costs more, but they do what you really seem to want.
    #2
    sieg likes this.
  3. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,897
    Location:
    Central Mn
    Welcome, Dub. Figured I would get that in as you are a newb.

    Great topic, watch for flying debris :lol3
    At least you didn't ask about tires or oil.
    #3
  4. Dub_ADV

    Dub_ADV Back in the saddle again.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2019
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Thanks for both replies. Appreciated.

    Will save the oil, tires and clutchless shifting threads for later when I am not such a newb here. J/K, I already know those are fruitless tress that don't need shaking. I was secretly hoping insurance was simpler, while knowing it isnt.

    I will probably end up with Markle, but I have a few weeks to get a better education so I was reaching out here in the forum. Was just frustrated that you cant get a straight answer that clearly defines coverage and values and how it relates to a claim other than what the adjuster decides. Am I wrong on the value thing? Does everyone who has Progressive or others just pay and hope for the best if a claim is ever needed? What about farkles and such? Or...did anyone submit an appraisal. I was even told that the appraisal is relative to when it was done and falls into the "it depends" category. (which I can understand as add ons change)

    Other insurance threads on here seem outdated so I was just curious what were the selling points where when you chose your modern policies and if you were worried you would not get a fair value back if/when a claim is made.

    Thanks
    Dub
    #4
  5. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,897
    Location:
    Central Mn
    Well stated.
    I don't have the answer, but you have a firm grasp of the question, indeed. Curious which one you go with, it's something I have intended to address too.
    #5
  6. ridethere

    ridethere Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    314
  7. Dub_ADV

    Dub_ADV Back in the saddle again.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2019
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Thanks for the link, will give Rider a call tomorrow.
    #7
    ridethere and drumdog like this.
  8. BMgreenmt

    BMgreenmt Long timer

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,483
    Location:
    Vermont
    Geico.
    #8
    Dan Diego likes this.
  9. GirlRyder

    GirlRyder Queen of Flugistan

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,886
    Location:
    Hudson Valley
    I bid thee welcome, Dub.
    I'm with Progressive, least of all evils.
    My beef with them is, they would not insure my KTM for full replacement value, even though it is a 2019, because even though it is street legal out of the box (EXC-F 250), the "Vin # classifies it as a dirt bike". I argued all the way up to corporate, that it is a dual sport bike, same as my Yamaha XT 250 and BMW F700GS... no result.

    Best scenario, don't crash, and don't have your bike stolen.
    I ride carefully, heavily secure my garage, and am armed.
    :chace:queenie
    #9
    Dan Diego likes this.
  10. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,103
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    You’re right...insurance is one of the biggest scams going. And even more so in Florida due to the massive fraud...the main reason our rates are so high.

    I have my 3 cars with Progressive and 4 bikes with Geico. I’ve been happy, but have never filed a claim, so there’s that.

    Funny thing: Just added my better half’s little XT225; It only cost an additional $20 for the entire year (liability only on that one).

    Lastly, you know that $3k worth of farkles on your KLR pretty much doubles its value, right? LOL, I have a Gen 1, as well...
    #10
    Vacillator likes this.
  11. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,879
    I think what you're after is "agreed upon value". It's offered in the classic car insurance world. You and the insurance company agree that your chariot is worth X dollars, and if it gets wrecked, you get X dollars.

    And that doesn't basically exist in the "normal" world of insurance. For some actually reasonable reasons. A 2002 Toyota Camry varies in value, depending on a number of variables. Geography, condition and mileage being some biggies. As such, there's a semi-range of value, hence the likes of KBB valuations.

    An agent talking to you about their wonderful insurance and price can't tell you what an adjuster would declare your 2002 Toyota Camry to be worth after a crash because they just don't know.

    So yeah, you are at the mercy of the insurance appraiser. And that can get remarkably nasty. Nasty on the one hand with an appraiser is a tight wad. Nasty on the other hand because we all tend to over value our own treasures.

    Since Markle seemed to be offering an agreed upon value for you, that might be the sweet spot for you. Especially if the policy does in fact cover you when you're run into by someone else (they wreck your bike, not you). That can be important, for you. That's a big reason people with their precious antique cars get them insured by Hagerty and the like. Because the insurance for the kid or whatever that ran the red light into you just sees an old jelopy worth a few hundred dollars. Hagerty agreed with you that it was worth a lot more, and pays out that agreed upon value, to you, regardless of what that kids insurance company claims it to be worth.
    #11
  12. Dub_ADV

    Dub_ADV Back in the saddle again.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2019
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    New Jersey
    BMgreemt: Thanks for not taking the time to actually read where it said Geico was not an option along with a failure to contribute WHY you chose them or any additional info.

    GirlRyder: That is how Prog. and American Modern left me feeling. That they wouldnt fully cover me for the value and there was a lot of "grey" area.

    Dan: Thanks for the input, and yes, 3K worth of farkles doubles the base value. Thats the core problem of this whole issue. I also think you mention the key aspect - You have never had a claim. Sadly, that is when you will find where you stand with your provider. Until then, they are all equally comparable and they are all happy to take your money.

    Fox: I think we are on the same page. My understanding is that the purpose of insurance is to make you "whole" after a loss. As Dan mentioned, if my bike was a total loss, it would cost over 6K to bring it back to "whole" because of the add ons. Progressive says they offer an additional $3K of "accessory aka farkle" coverage in addition to the base value. I was just asking them to name the base value they were quoting me on so I can determine where we are starting from (cash value position) and how much that $3k farkle coverage actually covers and increase my coverage accordingly. (which is why I think insurance is a scam that leaves the consumer with little to no control or information to properly protect themselves not only from a loss but from the corporate giant that pretends to be your friend before they eat YOU "whole".

    I don't "care" about the bike as if it were a classic, I just got a great deal on a bike with all the known add ons and if I had to replace it, would want the cost of those add ons accounted for so I could build out another KLR just like this one currently is without coming out of pocket. I am also looking for a good price. It really is that simple. Sadly, this seems to be an unknown until you need to deal with an adjuster and then the games begin.

    My reason for all this diligence is due to the A**hole adjuster we dealt with when my wifes van got hit and the nasty fight that ensued. We got what we were looking for in the end, but it was a long battle that ultimately got the state insurance commission involved. It was a worthwhile experience that provided a lot of insight, but I have been there, the scenery sucks, and I do not want to venture down that road again anytime soon.

    All that said, I am going to call rider today as Ridethere suggested and see what they have to say about all this. I like their website and it it looks like they get it. Will let you know how it goes.

    Thanks again for all the input.

    Dub.
    #12
  13. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,879
    FWIW, in my experience with Progressive and a bike claim, their coverage on accessories was not real. We've all got our own experiences with insurance companies. My experiences with Progressive means I have no intention of ever doing business with them again. But, that's just me and my experiences. Others will have had wonderful experiences with them.
    #13
  14. BMgreenmt

    BMgreenmt Long timer

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,483
    Location:
    Vermont
    Well,....Mr. Noob Dub, while u mentioned the “slimy green lizard”, you failed to mention your aversion to them. My experience has been good, rates excellent, and fellow riders that have had the unfortunate experience of submitting a claim have had favorable results. Good luck insuring your classic KLR.
    #14
    Dan Diego likes this.
  15. Dub_ADV

    Dub_ADV Back in the saddle again.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2019
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    New Jersey
    BM, Thanks.
    I specified I was looking for other alternatives. My callout with your original post was that it offered zero value to the conversation. A hit and run if you will. I am ok if you want to promote Geico, as Dan did, but tell me why rather than just putting their name out there and leaving. That said, thanks for your updated post. That is far more helpful and gives me something to consider.
    #15
    braindead0 likes this.
  16. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,103
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Here’s food for thought: When a bike is totaled, the insurance company almost always allows you to buy it back for a very reasonable figure.

    So if your bike is “totaled,” you’ll be paid what it’s worth (what you/they agree upon) and then you get all of your farkles back, as well. And as long as they’re not destroyed, it’s a win-win.
    #16
  17. STcorndog

    STcorndog No destination

    Joined:
    May 10, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,233
    Location:
    Elk Creek, KY
    The opening paragraph of the OP tells me I likely am wasting my time. But what the heck.

    I use Progressive and have for the last 12 years. Two deer collision claims, the first totaled my Super Tenere. Great service, fair settlement. I am sure other companies are good and some bad. I do not consider insurance a scam, I consider it simply a contract I buy to protect my assets. If you have no assets, buy cheap. The contract you receive tells you in real legal terms what you are purchasing, it should be read. It is not vague and it is not a scam.

    Most companies are going to use published sources to value your bike. They by law can not pull numbers from the air. With Progressive, I have $3,000 in accessories that comes standard with my policy. This applies to all my protective gear and my farkles. I upped this to $5,000 since I wear around $1,500 in gear and have $3,500 in farkles.

    I have medical coverage at work, but this only covers actual costs and would not give me pain and suffering should somebody really take me out. With a bike you better be more concerned about your medical costs, because many fools are running around with no insurance or woefully under insured. The real scam is our government not enforcing insurance laws and not requiring everybody to carry real coverage.

    My advice assumes you have something worth protection, like a family or assets.

    With a car - have great liability and decent UM/UIM coverage.
    With a bike - have good liability and the best UM/UIM you can afford.

    Most insurance companies, as well as I, am not very impressed that you took an MSF course. They are going to be much more impressed with your driving record.

    Ride safe, drive safe, and cover your 6.
    #17
    Dualsport Chic likes this.
  18. kbroderick

    kbroderick Long timer

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,428
    Location:
    Bethel, Maine
    I'd second that opinion and not just because I happen to live next-door to a state that doesn't exactly require insurance. State minimums in many places haven't remotely kept up with medical costs, and even those that aren't stupid-low still are barely going to make a dent in a serious injury. Vermont requires $25k per person/$50k per accident in bodily injury coverage; Maine requires $50k per person/$100k per accident in bodily injury and $25k in property damage. That Vermont coverage should just about cover your ambulance ride and rolling into the ER; if you need serious care, you better hope the person causing the injury has better coverage. For comparison, I broke my leg (tibia) skiing and needed surgical fixation. The pre-insurance tab was in the neighborhood of $60k, and that was a relatively simple surgery (as such things go). Oh, and that's before you even consider the cost of missing work.

    I'll also go out on a limb and suggest that you "self-insure" your KLR for collision and comprehensive. Insurance rates are going to be based on the repair/replacement cost to bring it back to "as it was" condition if you have an incident. Rather than paying insurance that's going to take a cut and still have enough put aside to cover the repairs, put the $50/mo or whatever the collision and comprehensive would cost you into an online savings account that gets a tiny bit of interest. If you're lucky (and/or good), you won't need to dip into that and you can use it to fund your next bike purchase. If you have an incident that requires actual repairs, you can dip into it, but only repair as much as you need to (it's a KLR, scratches just add character).

    Also, if you're a new rider, collision and comprehensive are going to be f***ing expensive, for good reason.

    As far as the "purpose" of insurance, it's a bet against yourself—you're betting that you will have a high-cost, [relatively] low-probability incident that results in a payout. The insurance company is betting that you won't (or at least that their premiums will be high enough to still make money event after you make the claim, based on their actuarial tables determining exactly what the probability of such a claim is and how much they expect it to cost). I'll bet against myself for my relatively-high-dollar truck that I could easily damage badly enough that I can't afford to fix it out of pocket (alumnium bodywork is f***ing expensive), but on a $3k bike, even one with another $3k of farkles, I'd be betting that I can beat the odds by skipping the collision and comprehensive coverage. As an added benefit, I then greatly reduce the worry about what my insurance company thinks my bike is worth.
    #18
    STcorndog likes this.
  19. Dub_ADV

    Dub_ADV Back in the saddle again.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2019
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Dan, Good points on the buy back. Didnt even think about that.

    Corndog, Definitely NOT wasting your time. All good points. I do appreciate the input and is exactly what I was hoping for....experience with a claim as I believe all insurance companies are the same until you file a claim and that is what differentiates them. I still believe that insurance is designed to be more beneficial to the supplier rather than the consumer and do agree that everyone needs to read the fine print of the contract. I also believe that all print should be in at least a 10 pt font and not 4 pt impossible to read but I digress.

    KB, Also good info worth considering. Appreciate it.

    Thanks
    Dub
    #19
    STcorndog likes this.