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Slightly OT: Insurance recommendations for bike coverage in CA?

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Slightly OT: Insurance recommendations for bike coverage in CA?

Old 12-05-13, 03:41 PM
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Slightly OT: Insurance recommendations for bike coverage in CA?

I know this is slightly off topic, but since many C&Vers have sizable and valuable bike collections, I figure this is a good place to ask. I currently have home & auto insurance through Mercury Insurance. I had assumed that my bikes would be covered under the home insurance policy should our house be burglarized. However, I've learned that Mercury's policy with respect to bikes is to cover only up to $500 per bike, and only up to three bikes. Considering the cost of some modern high-end race bikes and the total value of some large vintage bike collections, this would only be a drop in the bucket. My insurance coverage was done through AIS (insurance broker) and the only other carrier they work with who would cover bike theft is Safeco. I'm awaiting a quote from Safeco, but it may mean that I'd loose my multiple policy discounts since we also have auto & earthqauke insurance through Mercury. Surely others, particularly those in CA, have looked into insurance coverage for your bike collections. Please let me know if you have any specific recommendations, advice, etc. Thanks!
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Old 12-05-13, 05:00 PM
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One option might be to check with your current company to see if you can get a rider to cover the bike collection. This is common to cover a piece or two of jewelry whose value exceeds the coverage of the policy. I don't know if they would have something to cover a collection though. However, there are a lot of people who collect things so I imagine this has come up before.
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Old 12-05-13, 05:40 PM
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Thanks for your comment. It's a good suggestion. Unfortunately, I did ask about a rider, and it's not an option with my current carrier.
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Old 12-05-13, 06:00 PM
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I think the key is to have a reputable insurance carrier. I asked specifically when we bought our home. A rider wasn't an option and wasn't necessary. My agent didn't even want a list of the bikes and components and value, etc. He assured me they'd be covered if stolen or damaged and I took him at his word. I think he's a trustworthy guy and I was given further evidence when my home was burglarized in 2011. The thief didn't bother my bikes, but I had no trouble getting my claim for an iPad, MacBook Pro, relatively inexpensive jewelry and a new $6,000 front door paid promptly. I've been with the same company and agent since I took out my first renter's policy 12 years ago. I have my autos with them as well and they have always been very good to me. FWIW, my provider is Kentucky Farm Bureau.
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Old 12-05-13, 06:35 PM
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I previously inquired through a specialty carrier as well as Hagerty......unless your stables worth upwards of $50,000 its not worth it.

Keep your high dollar bikes (I suppose that's relative) locked indoors and keep the rest locked in the garage.
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Old 12-05-13, 07:47 PM
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I recently moved my collection to my home after giving up my warehouse. I have not checked into insurance coverage but we do have an alarm system, monitored 24/7 and we have excellent law enforcement response time. I also keep my collection completely chained together. I still need to take pics of each bike and collect serial numbers and store said data off site.

And lest I forget my buddies Smith and Wesson reside with me.
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Old 12-05-13, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd
I think the key is to have a reputable insurance carrier. ...
That's why I have homeowner, automobile, and umbrella liability all with Auto Club of So. Cal.

My own philosophy on insurance is not to file a claim except in case of disaster -- I favor high deductibles, and I am willing to eat smaller losses. Nothing I own is particularly valuable, so that helps, as well.
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Old 12-06-13, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by John E
That's why I have homeowner, automobile, and umbrella liability all with Auto Club of So. Cal.

My own philosophy on insurance is not to file a claim except in case of disaster -- I favor high deductibles, and I am willing to eat smaller losses. Nothing I own is particularly valuable, so that helps, as well.
I think you are one of the very few who really understand how insurance works.
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Old 12-06-13, 06:28 AM
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The only comment I would have regarding the Colonel's positive experience with his company is that everything he mentioned that was lost, was easily replaceable. The value of which can be found with a few keystrokes on the computer.

Not to wish it on anyone of course but, the real test of how good your insurance company is when you lose that rare 1970's racing bike. Or any other vintage or antique item, for that matter. That's when you had better have some good documentation.
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Old 12-06-13, 08:47 AM
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Detailed pictures or video kept in a safe place is a good start. Says the guy who has not done this yet.
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Old 12-06-13, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy
The only comment I would have regarding the Colonel's positive experience with his company is that everything he mentioned that was lost, was easily replaceable. The value of which can be found with a few keystrokes on the computer.

Not to wish it on anyone of course but, the real test of how good your insurance company is when you lose that rare 1970's racing bike. Or any other vintage or antique item, for that matter. That's when you had better have some good documentation.
I dunno. I don't think an insurance company really cares if it's a $4,000 Cinelli Mod. B or a $4,000 Cervelo. It may be harder to value that Cinelli, but it can be done relatively easily. My LBS would be happy to sign a valuation form.
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Old 12-06-13, 10:48 AM
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...thanks for the thread, OP. I, too have Mercury Insurance, which is big in the home
insurance business here. I actually have a special rider for a couple of handmade rugs,
which it seems they are more comfortable with doing.

I get the impression bicycles scare insurers off for the obvious reasons of epidemic theft levels.

Like miamijim, I sorta called around a little and soon figured out that it just wasn't gonna happen.
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Old 12-06-13, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd
I dunno. I don't think an insurance company really cares if it's a $4,000 Cinelli Mod. B or a $4,000 Cervelo. It may be harder to value that Cinelli, but it can be done relatively easily. My LBS would be happy to sign a valuation form.
...generally speaking, the insurance business model is to minimize payouts while still
collecting premiums, and I don't know how it is there where you live, but high end
bikes wander off pretty regularly here in NorCal.
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Old 12-06-13, 11:31 AM
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Something else to consider-if Mercury is heavily invested in homeowners insurance in California, can they survive paying out the claims in the event of a big earthquake? I'm too lazy to look them up but I've never heard of them, I'm in Tennessee. If they haven't spread out their exposure, they may not be able to pay you when you need it most. A large national company will reduce that risk.
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Old 12-06-13, 11:39 AM
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My agent confirmed that bikes are covered in the home owner's policy. A single bike stolen probably wouldn't make me want to go through the hassle, but if the serious crooks come in and clean us out I'm sure I could do a pretty good documentation on the bikes that would certainly be part of their haul. And agents are quite used to the prices on high-end bikes these days... some of them even ride!

Originally Posted by busdriver1959
Something else to consider-if Mercury is heavily invested in homeowners insurance in California, can they survive paying out the claims in the event of a big earthquake?
Homeowner's insurance doesn't cover earthquakes out here - you have to get the state insurance if you want it but that wouldn't be able to pay out everything if the big one hits either.
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Old 12-06-13, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott
My agent confirmed that bikes are covered in the home owner's policy. A single bike stolen probably wouldn't make me want to go through the hassle, but if the serious crooks come in and clean us out I'm sure I could do a pretty good documentation on the bikes that would certainly be part of their haul. And agents are quite used to the prices on high-end bikes these days... some of them even ride.
But what happens if you file a claim? Will your coverage get dropped?

For what coverage costs your better off buying a bad ass lock...
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Old 12-06-13, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by miamijim
But what happens if you file a claim? Will your coverage get dropped?

For what coverage costs your better off buying a bad ass lock...
The coverage is the regular coverage - I'm not talking about any special rider for bikes. I did file a stolen bike claim on my renter's insurance once when I had a $250 deductible and they bought me a new $650 bike for $400... back in 1991 when you could get a pretty good bike for $650.... they didn't drop me and didn't raise my rates. Now I have $1k deductible so if the bad guys got all six bikes in my garage it'd clearly be worth it to file... if my commute bike got stolen from work it clearly wouldn't be worth it.

The way insurance risk is figured now though, your rates will go up if your neighbor gets burgled.

BTW - I used to have faceless internet insurance but switched to State Farm last year: local agent, went to Cal Poly and dated a cyclist.

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Old 12-06-13, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by gaucho777
Thanks for your comment. It's a good suggestion. Unfortunately, I did ask about a rider, and it's not an option with my current carrier.
Time for a different carrier.

My situation is a bit unique, but I have a decent amount of business with a carrier that mostly handles commercial insurance, if I did not have that policy they would not write the other coverage. I would work with an independent insurance agent and have them do the leg work.

Mercury is aggressive at limiting their losses. Long ago my then wife to be had a auto claim where she was found at fault but was suspicious that it was a set up. 18 months later she got her deductible back and premium increases as a result of that loss, it was a set up and Mercury found the problem and went after it with a vengeance, resulting is jail time for the syndicate members.
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Old 12-06-13, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by busdriver1959
Something else to consider-if Mercury is heavily invested in homeowners insurance in California, can they survive paying out the claims in the event of a big earthquake? I'm too lazy to look them up but I've never heard of them, I'm in Tennessee. If they haven't spread out their exposure, they may not be able to pay you when you need it most. A large national company will reduce that risk.
Earthquake insurance is an entirely separate animal in California. Excluded from homeowners policies, period. It is not cheap, and the deductible is high, I did not bother as the first 50k of loss would be on me.
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Old 12-06-13, 07:45 PM
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It's probably better that way. If I remember correctly, the year that Florida got hammered with hurricanes, some of the smaller companies that had a majority of their business in Florida went belly up.
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