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Big Mac
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last night, on my way home from a ride, I was rear ended. I stopped at a red light and the guy behind me didn't. The good news is that no one was hurt. The bad news is that I have a hitch mounted rack, which is now completely destroyed. My bike suffered quite a bit as well. The rear tire is totally wacked and the chain stay is severely bent. It's dual squishy, so I can't help but think that there is other damage also, like to linkages, shock mounts, etc... My question is what can I expect from the insurance company (his, Progressive) Replacement value of the whole bike is quite high. So, anyone dealt with this? What happened? Time frame? Thanks!:madman:
 

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I was hit by a car a few months back while out road riding (I know, I know). The insurance company paid me full retail for all the damaged items, including a new helmet too!
 

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I'm a personal injury lawyer. The state you live in is important because its specific property damage law would apply. Keep in mind the wreck probably just voided any warranty you had on the frame, so that is an element of damage you have to consider.

Expect Progressive to want to pay you as little as possible. The best thing you can hope for is that the adjuster who shows up rides himself or herself. Otherwise they are probably going to laugh when you tell them the cost of your bike.

Most states follow similar rules on property damage. The person who caused the accident (and therefore their insurer) should be required to pay to fix the damage, plus compensate you for loss of use during the time period it takes to repair it. If it can't be fixed, or is a total loss because the cost to fix it will exceed its value, they typically have to pay you the fair market value (and it isn't necessarily easy to determine the fair market value of a used mountain bike--there isn't a blue book out there like for automobiles). But again--laws vary some from state to state so those general rules might not be the law of your state.

What type of bike? How old was it?

The good thing is you apparently were not hurt. But you might be in for a big hassle.
 

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same thing happened to me years ago. it was a pain in the butt yet the drivers insurance covered everything. make sure you play up the frame damage, take it to a friendly shop and have them write a letter saying its toast and the cost to replace the bike at 2009 prices.
 

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Big Mac
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Gatorback said:
I'm a personal injury lawyer. The state you live in is important because its specific property damage law would apply. Keep in mind the wreck probably just voided any warranty you had on the frame, so that is an element of damage you have to consider.

Expect Progressive to want to pay you as little as possible. The best thing you can hope for is that the adjuster who shows up rides himself or herself. Otherwise they are probably going to laugh when you tell them the cost of your bike.

Most states follow similar rules on property damage. The person who caused the accident (and therefore their insurer) should be required to pay to fix the damage, plus compensate you for loss of use during the time period it takes to repair it. If it can't be fixed, or is a total loss because the cost to fix it will exceed its value, they typically have to pay you the fair market value (and it isn't necessarily easy to determine the fair market value of a used mountain bike--there isn't a blue book out there like for automobiles). But again--laws vary some from state to state so those general rules might not be the law of your state.

What type of bike? How old was it?

The good thing is you apparently were not hurt. But you might be in for a big hassle.
Yep, not hurt, so thats good. The bike is an '05 Motolite. I am in North Carolina. Unfortunately I plan to leave for a mountain bike vacation @ the end of the month. So time is an issue. Really this thing has already been a pain in arse! And I've only just started!
 

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mbmb65 said:
Yep, not hurt, so thats good. The bike is an '05 Motolite. I am in North Carolina. Unfortunately I plan to leave for a mountain bike vacation @ the end of the month. So time is an issue. Really this thing has already been a pain in arse! And I've only just started!
scoutcat gave you some good advice. That is an approach I've used on "diminished value" claims for severely wrecked autos. Getting a written estimate from a bike shop is good because the insurer wants documentation for the file and doesn't want to just rely on your word. Also, go online and check the price of the same bike now. If you've got the cost of it when you bought it, such as maybe a printout you saved from back then, that would be great as well. If you had upgraded components, print out what they are from the manufacturer's website showing the cost.

Insurers are in the business of making money, so they don't want to pay out any more than is necessary. The adjuster has a job to do and wants to make sure that if his/her claim file is ever audited, the information is there to support what he or she paid you on the claim. So get all that documentation for the insurer and you stand a better chance of getting "made whole" from the situation.

I think your first question is whether the bike can even be fixed. That would be the first thing I would try to figure out.

I'd try to help you out, but am a lawyer in Florida. So I don't know the specifics of North Carolina law on the issue. But the claims process is going to be pretty much the same.

(Sometimes Progressive isn't so bad on property damage claims. So maybe you will get lucky on this one and not have much in the way of problems.)
 

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My experience. I got rear ended and had my hitch mounted rack mounted but no bike (thank goodness). The after market hitch and rack were both toast. Based on some cues from the police officer, I felt the other guy lied about what happened (I cut him off, or some other B.S.) and about 2 days later I got a call from his insurance accusing me of reckless driving and a bunch of other inflammatory crap. I immediately called my insurance company and filed the claim through them. It's called subrogation. My insurance company reimbursed me for the rental car, did the adjustment, totaled the car, and cut me a check in about 2-3 weeks. They gave me the money minus my deductible. I gave them receipts for the hitch and bike rack to substantiate the value and got the full retail amount back. Then my insurance company went after the other guy's insurance company to get reimbursed fully. Once they got paid in full, I got a check for my deductible (since it wasn't my fault.) It took 3 months or so before I got the deductible check.

Using subrogation is the only way to go in my personal experience. You want someone else to represent you and be on your side to make sure you get a fair adjustment and get made whole. Also, the other party can drag their feet, offer low settlements, and basically do a whole bunch of other crappy maneuvers. Using subrogation means you don't deal with that because you don't deal with them at all - you deal with your insurance company and let them take the big stick to the liable party.

Sorry to hear about your accident. Good luck and I hope things turn out OK for you.
 

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Big Mac
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey. Thanks for all the replies and advice! Gatorback, I'am in W.N.C and recognize you from that forum. Thanks for your time and advice! Scoutcat, thanks for your advice! Come monday I will find a "friendly" shop and get an inspection done. And steiny, I'am certainly going to talk to my agent about subrogation. Thanks for that. Is it unreasonable to expect a payoff for the frame and rear wheel, at the very least? Man this couldn't have happened at a worse time. However, I have been in the market for a new bike, just not quite this soon. So, maybe this will all be a good thing. Who knows? Thanks again to everyone for the advice and well wishes!
 

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Subrogation can definitely take he headache out of dealing with a claim. I work in commercial property subrogation, but a lot of the principles are the same as in auto sub.

When you file a claim against your own insurance, you will of course pay your deductible. Most insurance carriers will pursue your deductible in addition to the indemnity payment from the adverse carrier. In most states, your carrier is only required to reimburse you a prorata share of your deductible. That means that if they can only recover 50% of the total claim amount, you get half your deductible back. Some states do mandate that the insured is made whole first, so you would get each dollar your carrier collects up to the deductible amount.

One thing that you should know is that an insurance carrier is not required to pursue your deductible when they subrogate against another carrier. The insurance policy contract gives the carrier the legal right to step into your shoes and pursue the money they paid out. The fact that they are willing to pursue your deductible is a customer courtesy. That is what I love about my job is that I get to help out the little guy. So many people have the idea that their insurance company is out to get them. That is not necessarily true.
 

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Going through your own insurer is a great option, but that assumes your own policy will cover your bike. It depends on whether you have the right coverages and the scope of those coverages under the particular policy you bought.

You always have to keep something in mind: Your own insurer is also, well, an insurer. They are in business to make money. They can be easier to deal with sometimes, but others they may be tougher and even more stingy.

You've got the knowledge you need to try to get a good result. Good luck, and I hope you get a new bike before your trip.

(Another tip--With a bent frame the adjuster may just acknowledge the bike is toast, and I doubt they are going to want you to give it to them for salvage. They may pay you the "fair market value" of the bike--meaning not the full retail you paid but something a less since the bike is a few years old, but you get to keep the bike. You then could maybe either replace the frame with a new one with the money or could just get you a brand new bike and sell off the unbroken parts to make up the difference between what they paid you and the cost of a new bike).

I already miss North Carolina and am looking on planning my next trip.
 

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Not related to the mess (others have posted excellent advice) but has anyone else noticed when your bikes are on out back how many more morons seem to tailgate you?

It's not just me noticing more, I always keep an eye on my six bikes or not. But I swear it's almost like they're mesmerized and decide that tailgating is an option.
 

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Legend
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People tailgate because they want to see your bikes. Whenever I am towing something cool (my sportbike, ATVs, bikes on the back, or anything worth looking at ... people ride close.
 
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