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Old 05-30-05, 11:39 AM   #1
jondubus
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Insurance Companies-crashed bike help

I got rearended by an F-250 while my Bianchi SL cross bike (full ultegra triple) was on a hitch rack on my SUV. The state trooper took about 50 photos of my car and bike. Any advice on how NOT to get screwed by the other guy's insurance company? I got two estimates from Bike shops as to the rplacement costs, which were within $10 of each other. Any help with my plight is much appreciated.
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Old 05-30-05, 01:32 PM   #2
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File those estimates with the adjuster for the other guy's insurance. They'll normally do the right thing, given the chance. If they try to weasel, be firm, but polite. They'll settle.
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Old 05-30-05, 02:48 PM   #3
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I'm sure that's good advice. The accident just happened last Thursday and I spent friday getting those estimates. One of the two was from the bike shop where I'd had the bike built from a frameset they had in stock. I'm just nervous that my bike somehow won't get replaced. Thanks much!!!!
P.s. The adjuster called and I told him I could care less about the car, but I'm sick about the bike!!! He sounded like they would settle but had to ask around his office.
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Old 05-30-05, 04:22 PM   #4
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Don't take anything less than the estimates. If the bastards try to screw you fight back. But I am sure they will want to get rid of this matter very quickly. Good Luck
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Old 05-30-05, 06:29 PM   #5
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I'm predicting a battle over the value of the bike. Just my 2 cents but wouldn't be suprised.
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Old 05-30-05, 06:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger
I'm predicting a battle over the value of the bike. Just my 2 cents but wouldn't be suprised.
probably so...maybe the adjuster will be a cycling enthusiast *sp*
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Old 05-30-05, 06:48 PM   #7
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No such luck that the adjuster is an enthusiast but was slightly sympathetic, said"Yeah i can imagine my golf clubs being mounted on the back of my car and having them get rearended. " I am major anticipating them trying to screw me with some obscure fine print corporate creep "policy"that we reimburse at 50%. Freaking bike had less than 200 miles on it. I will b*tch and moan till the cows come home. Thanks for letting me vent.
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Old 05-30-05, 10:29 PM   #8
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Wait a minute... it's the OTHER guy's liability insurance that pays to restore your stuff to pre-accident status. Since you were rear ended, I'm pretty sure at least, that in all 50 states that makes it the other guys fault and his insurance has to pay. The only thing in his policy that will apply to you is the limits of liability.

You are entitled to have your stuff repaired or replaced to pre-accident condition. If they balk at it, you'll need a lawyer. They'd rather just settle up with you without the added expenses lawyers bring in, so if you're not out to gouge them, you'll likely be OK.

Were there any injuries? Anything that could surface down the road? That's where you have to be careful before you sign off on no future claims.
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Old 05-30-05, 11:08 PM   #9
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Make sure that the bike shop totals out your bike and that you get 100% replacement ... trying to FIX a bike is a rediculous proposition, especially if it was someone else's fault.

Stop getting estimates - that is their job, not yours. One is enough - the rest if for their benefit and they can chase the numbers around, NOT you. You will not be compensated for your time and effort. I had a hard-nosed bikeshop owner in my corner - I played the "hey, i just ride them, I don't fix them." My shop owner held the party line "I can't re-sell any of these components - this bike must be totaled out." The adjuster never asked me if I would use the parts again, so I wasn't forced to say "aw heck, I've riden worse!" which I would have if he'd actually asked me.

Sounds like you were hit - go to the doctor. This is not ambulance chasing, this is pragmatism. If you need to rattle a saber you can while still remaining your integrity. Strap on a $10 neck imobilization collar. "Just wanted to let you know I went to the Dr. yesterday - just to be safe. Won't know the full details on the xrays until later this week. BTW, where is my check for my replacement bike?" You'll have it within an hour.

I have had two accidents that obliterated $4500 bikes - the one I played like the scenario above came out perfectly. The one where I offered up reasonable solutions to minimizing costs and taking a reasonable tact with the lady who ran me over was that her insurance company telling me that they really don't see me getting a check - my lawer wants to fight it so stay tuned.
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Old 05-31-05, 06:12 PM   #10
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I sorta disagree with the argument that it is the insurance company's obligation to gather up the estimates. If you're the guy asking for money, it is your obligation to tell them how much you want, and give them written documentation backing up your demand. Otherwise they will just pay you what they want, when they want. Generally insurance companies make an initial determination of whether a piece of property is a "total loss" or "repairable". Using this same theory and assuming your bike is not repairable, then I still suspect that rather than cutting a check for full value of the bike, I bet they try and nickle and dime you to death by deducting for anything salvageable from the bike, e.g. non damaged seat, etc. Also, watch out for "replacement value" versus "fair market value". Insurance companies know that "used" property does not have the same value as it once did when it was sitting new on the show room floor.
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Old 05-31-05, 06:23 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone...All this is quite helpful. I did take my car into the bodyshop today and faxed the bike estimates as requested by the other guy's insurance agent. I also contacted my doctor, who is ordering X-rays of back, which has been sore off and on since the wreck. I don't think it will hurt to contact my attorney tomorrow either.
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Old 06-08-05, 09:44 PM   #12
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I got a check from the insurance company yesterday that covered everything bike related. Company is called Progressive Specialty Insurance. Check was exactly in the amount specified by the bike shop that originally built my bike plus the cost of the hitch rack. Very stand-up company. My fears did not materialize. Thanks everyone... a happy ending.
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