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Insurance Appraisals??

Old 06-25-21, 06:08 PM
  #1  
stuartmoc
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Insurance Appraisals??

Now that my trusty steed has become an actual antique (1971-2021, I'm the original owner), my thoughts have turned to preserving its value in the event of something untoward. Anyone hear of any resource for documented appraisals? NOT looking to sell. Pic NOT included because I haven't posted enough. It's a Royal Asport which was produced by Gitane for a very brief stint in the early 70's. Originally simplex w/ Stronglight, Mafac, and Normandy. I've made lots of upgrades and the paint is not original (but re-painted circa 1973-74).
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Almost original 1971-72. At the time I was embarrassed by the foil labels so stripped everything off to hide my shame
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Current iteration
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Old 06-26-21, 08:56 AM
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Some shops used to do this way back.

I am not aware of insurance company recognized appraisers.

from your description of the bike though, most likely more sentimental value than intrinsic insurance value.

document it well and if something bad happens work from the photos. Be sure to image a serial number.

I have some art that is worth a decent sum, but not worth $250-500 for a formal appraisal even when the works are in the $6,000-20,000 range. Trouble is even there, not all insurance companies accept all appraiser estimates and they are subject to market revision. Prices are not stable over time.
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Old 06-27-21, 08:54 AM
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USAA told me I basically need a rider for each bike I wanted to value and list on my renters policy.

just like cars insurance companies are going to give you as little as possible. They don’t care if you had a Colnago made from angel bones encrusted with jewels made from unicrown horn that was blessed by the Pope or a huffy you got on sale at Walmart. It is just a bike to them
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Old 06-28-21, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
USAA told me I basically need a rider for each bike I wanted to value and list on my renters policy.

just like cars insurance companies are going to give you as little as possible. They donít care if you had a Colnago made from angel bones encrusted with jewels made from unicrown horn that was blessed by the Pope or a huffy you got on sale at Walmart. It is just a bike to them

just like cars insurance companies are going to give you as little as possible. They donít care if you had a Colnago made from angel bones encrusted with jewels made from unicrown horn that was blessed by the Pope or a huffy you got on sale at Walmart. It is just a bike to them[/QUOTE]

So very true!

End of March my 1977 custom Lippy was totaled when a lady pulled out in front of me. She was insured by Allstate, with whom my wife and I had also been paying premiums to for 30 years. Their attitude was a 40 year old bike is basically worthless and I should consider their offer generous. Per their attorney, " If your claim were litigated, as the plaintiff it would be your burden, not Allstateís, to produce evidence of the bikeís fair market value. Respectfully, you had an old bike of no particular distinction, and you have no evidence that anyone would pay you more than the generous amount that Allstate has offered..." My response to him was that I try to choose to do business with people and companies whose baseline of operations is not to do the least they can get away with in a court of law. I cancelled all our policies with Allstate (the "if you don't like it, sue me" people, would be my observation). The premiums we paid Allstate each year exceeded the amount I would have thought a fair settlement for my bike. For the sake of saving a few bucks on what was essentially a trivial claim, Allstate chose to drive off a long term customer. A friend of mine got more, without any struggle, than Allstate offered me (after considerable struggle) for cosmetic damage to his custom Lippy so I do have some reason to believe there might be insurance companies out there with whom we will be in better hands.

Other gems from the attorney:
"Who would buy an old bike, and how much would they pay? Not much."
"I am sure Allstate is not happy to lose your business. But remember, you were not a customer in this claim, you were making a claim against a customer." A claims adjuster made the same observation. Maybe it is just me but I find this attitude bizarre.

That all said and more on point, my feeling is that insurance is what one is either required by law or contract to purchase or protection against catastrophic loss. It is rather difficult for me to imagine the loss of any bicycle could be of catastrophic financial consequence therefore, purchasing special insurance for a bike is most likely a poor financial decision.
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Old 06-28-21, 09:53 AM
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I see the evidence of a bad faith lawsuit.
Hopefully your, pain, suffering and inconvenience was worth more.
Plus the cost of a same or similar helmet.
(in any crash, child car seats are "totaled" no matter the impact)

Actually, only the agent losing the commission is sad regarding the loss of business
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Old 06-28-21, 08:52 PM
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A family friend is an attorney who deals everyday with insurance claims. Allstate is one of a half dozen companies he told all of us to NEVER do business with. If there's a claim, he said to expect to get 1/10th of what ever they promised and a small fraction of what ever its worth, or as little they feel they can get away with.

Years ago my dad had bought a brand new Ford Crown Victoria, it was parked in the lot of a local grocery store, it had been mine for just four days and had less than 100 miles on it. A loaded triaxle dump truck at a nearby intersection jumped the curb, crashed through the landscaping and a half dozen other parked cars and landed atop of my dad's new car. It took the insurance company a week to show up to look at the car, which was no doubt a total loss. It was no more than 2ft high and mangled beyond any recognition. Since the car was bought cash, and there was no chance of repair, it was towed home where it sat in the driveway under a tarp to avoid accruing any storage charges at the local tow yard. The insurance adjuster came out, and right away had a bad attitude. He walked around the car and started asking questions as to how it happened, why it happened and why was it parked there. (It was parked in a parking space middle of the row in a public parking lot while he was shopping).
The company adjuster then got out his clip board and made a phone call, he turned to my dad and said they were going to pay him $11,800 for a car he had paid $25k cash for just three days before it got hit. They came up with all sorts of excuses as to why it was only worth that amount and the adjuster, who acted as if the money was coming right out of his own pocket, said that 'Cars depreciate 80% the minute you drive them off the lot', he said he didn't care if it was a day old or ten years old, its a used car and that this is their offer, take it or leave it'. It took 8 months and two lawsuits to get them to pay that claim. It turned out that the company who owned the runaway truck was also insured by the same company, and that the driver was not licensed and apparently not authorized to be driving that truck. 17 other vehicles were damaged in the same incident, including one belonging to a guy down the street, which was a 10 year old pickup truck with high miles, which was insured by a different company, he got paid nearly instantly by his company, and got more than double what my dad was offered for his new car.
In the end, with my dads' car, the insurance company sued the grocery store, they sued the driver of the truck, they even sued the city, they won all three cases and recovered a substantial amount of money but claimed that their costs to do so exceeded their gain. It took a court order to get them to pay.
He had been with that company for years, when it was all done he switched companies. A year had passed after the final settlement and my dad got a bill in the mail from his former insurance company saying he owed them $14,080. (The wrecked car was still sitting in the yard there covered with a tarp waiting for them to come get it). They were claiming that they never recovered the wrecked car and that it had been 'lost'. The letter stated that since they had not been able to sell the remains of the car for salvage my dad was responsible for their 'loss'. They were the one's who inspected the wrecked car in the yard there, yet never bothered to come get it. They had claimed the car was worth only $11k, yet more than a year later they were valuing it at $14k when they realized they had not sold it for salvage. He called his lawyer, who sent them a bill for storage of the wrecked car at $28/day for 512 days. They settled on paying $8k for the storage and never did take the car. I ended up taking it apart and selling it off in pieces 4 years later. The storage money was split between my dad and his attorney.

When it comes to insurance, I see it as a legal requirement, anything more than that is a waste of money. They are in the business to make money not pay out money. Most will pay only what is required by law, and then come up with all sorts of charges, expenses and fees to reduce even that amount.

I could fully see an insurance company deeming a $4k vintage road bike in the same category as a Walmart Huffy, then subtracting for depreciation.
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Old 06-29-21, 06:06 PM
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Ebay provides a handy benchmark for asking and sold price of a lot of comparable items , bicycles included.

Im a claims adjuster - i do not want an Errors & Omissions lawsuit over under valuing or lowballing someone's property. However, i dont want to pay vintage Colnago prices for a damaged 30 year old Trek either
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Old 06-30-21, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Actually, only the agent losing the commission is sad regarding the loss of business
Yes, I think this is indeed the case. My agent told me that Allstate eliminated claimant advocates (I can't remember the actual title mentioned) that they used to have access to. Said they are essentially powerless now.
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Old 06-30-21, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by oldspokes View Post
A year had passed after the final settlement and my dad got a bill in the mail from his former insurance company saying he owed them $14,080.
Haha, my brother, an attorney, said something like "I thought we had determined that you owed them money" after my update of the situation on a family zoom call. Maybe he wasn't joking.
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Old 06-30-21, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
USAA told me I basically need a rider for each bike I wanted to value and list on my renters policy.

just like cars insurance companies are going to give you as little as possible. They donít care if you had a Colnago made from angel bones encrusted with jewels made from unicrown horn that was blessed by the Pope or a huffy you got on sale at Walmart. It is just a bike to them
You need a different insurance company.

all are not the same, in general from my observation, the more spent on advertising, the less % of revenue on claims.
So far, I have been fortunate. Save the first claim, 3 weeks after I bought a new car in 1979, Parked on the street, sideswiped.
probably on purpose but no witnesses, just an aside.
The Insurance company? Allstate.
I took the cash, and made out OK, bought a new door and fender, dealer parts dept gave me a discount.
So, no bondo, just paint. Did tick me off that there was a 20% depreciation factor in shorting the claim.
Was happy that Japanese parts were so uniform.
When I brought up the discounted reimbursment, they were straightforward, you going to sue us for $100?
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Old 07-29-21, 12:33 PM
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I just got done switching insurance companies for both my vehicles. I had gotten about 20 quotes, many from the same company but with different agents and the differences were astonishing.
Some dealers were near double the price of others for the same coverage, same brand insurance.
I ended up having a conversation with someone from one of the major companies as to the value of keeping full coverage on an older truck with super low miles and got a surprisingly honest answer from one company.
They basically said that my 11,500 mile 20 year old truck was worthless and that they do not use of go by eBay, or any other source for prices, only their own evaluation and pricing for that vehicle.
I was told that at best my truck is worth 1/3 of the NADA value if it were to get totaled, and then they would subtract mileage and depreciation on top of that.
This all came from a guy who was trying to SELL me a policy. I finally went with a company who would write an agreed value policy, and that turned out to be no more expensive than the one who told me the truck was worthless and that they pay what ever they feel its worth.
In my conversations with a few agents I asked about old bicycles and other collectibles and most said the only way they cover that sort of thing is if you increase your homeowners policy to cover the total value of everything, none would itemize things like bicycles. Four told me flat out that they won't insure a home with firearms of any sort in it, one told me that they won't insure an older car or motorcycle unless its kept in a garage under lock and key,. two told me that they won't write a homeowner's policy if you have metal plumbing in the house, (they only accept PEX as being insurable). Five told me they won't insure a home heated by oil. and that same company also said they won't insure a home with a boat or RV on the property. Another wouldn't insure my F350 pickup because they classified it as a 'Commercial vehicle'.

After five days of going back and forth I did finally get new coverage but my vehicle insurance and home owners ended up with different companies. It surprised me that I wasn't able to find one single company that would write a policy on both without some sort of strange concession or requirement.
While I don't have any bicycles that I deemed worth insuring here, I did ask a few 'What if?" questions and was told by nearly every company that other than adding more 'value' to the total contents value insured they really didn't offer a particular policy for bicycles unless I wanted to insure it for an agreed value as a rider on the main policy or under its own policy. I was told that in the event of a 'total loss', as if the whole place was destroyed, the bikes would simply fall under the 'contents' clause and its total stated value in the policy, assuming I could show proof as to how many or which items were destroyed.
Another company made the comment that the average value of a bicycle is $75 and he's never seen any more than that paid out for an individual loss of theft of a bike.

After dealing with a few adjusters over the years, especially independent adjusters, I got the impression they get paid on how much they save the company. The general attitude was simply "This is what we're going to pay you for your loss, take it or leave it". Regardless if it covered the repair or replacement or not. On the automotive end that meant cheap imported parts, used parts, cut labor rates, cut corners, and lots of arguing to get them to cover things that they flat our refused to pay for.
Over and over again I watched them get over on customers, refusing to let the shop do a proper repair and only allowing 1/5 of the actual labor rate. The insurance companies rarely were interested in making the vehicle right again, only to get it back in the customer's hands as cheaply as possible no matter who loses out in the end.
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Old 07-29-21, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by L134 View Post
just like cars insurance companies are going to give you as little as possible. They don’t care if you had a Colnago made from angel bones encrusted with jewels made from unicrown horn that was blessed by the Pope or a huffy you got on sale at Walmart. It is just a bike to them

So very true!

End of March my 1977 custom Lippy was totaled when a lady pulled out in front of me. She was insured by Allstate, with whom my wife and I had also been paying premiums to for 30 years. Their attitude was a 40 year old bike is basically worthless and I should consider their offer generous. Per their attorney, " If your claim were litigated, as the plaintiff it would be your burden, not Allstate’s, to produce evidence of the bike’s fair market value. Respectfully, you had an old bike of no particular distinction, and you have no evidence that anyone would pay you more than the generous amount that Allstate has offered..." My response to him was that I try to choose to do business with people and companies whose baseline of operations is not to do the least they can get away with in a court of law. I cancelled all our policies with Allstate (the "if you don't like it, sue me" people, would be my observation). The premiums we paid Allstate each year exceeded the amount I would have thought a fair settlement for my bike. For the sake of saving a few bucks on what was essentially a trivial claim, Allstate chose to drive off a long term customer. A friend of mine got more, without any struggle, than Allstate offered me (after considerable struggle) for cosmetic damage to his custom Lippy so I do have some reason to believe there might be insurance companies out there with whom we will be in better hands.

Other gems from the attorney:
"Who would buy an old bike, and how much would they pay? Not much."
"I am sure Allstate is not happy to lose your business. But remember, you were not a customer in this claim, you were making a claim against a customer." A claims adjuster made the same observation. Maybe it is just me but I find this attitude bizarre.

That all said and more on point, my feeling is that insurance is what one is either required by law or contract to purchase or protection against catastrophic loss. It is rather difficult for me to imagine the loss of any bicycle could be of catastrophic financial consequence therefore, purchasing special insurance for a bike is most likely a poor financial decision.
Wow, and I thought USAA was the worst after a driver they insured hit me. Their adjuster just lied to me and said that they wouldn't reimburse me for any bills until my treatment was done (and, even then only if they felt that they needed to) in order to get me to cut short the treatment of the back injury that resulted from the collision (treatment is still ongoing and my back isn't getting much better). Oh and he sic'd a collections agency on me to get my "motorcycle" when I don't own a motorcycle, was riding a bicycle when I was hit, and still have not signed any agreement giving them rights to my property. It's all in lawyers now, but at least they did offer me something (even though it was insultingly low and the valuation was incompetently done - still called it a motorcycle, dates were incorrect, didn't account for wheels or modern parts other than brakes, didn't have an understanding of power meters) for the value of my resto-modded 30 year old bike. The value they offered me was half to one third what the 2 different bike shops I took it to for estimates listed as replacement value.
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