It’s all about the bike, baby! Seriously, it’s understandable that you’re worried about your motorcycle. It was an investment and an escape and a mode of transportation. If you’re the victim of an accident, someone needs to fix it!
This chapter covers the following:
Let’s say you’ve been in an accident and your bike is in a shop or a tow yard. You’re trying to recover from the injuries you suffered in the accident so you have little time to deal with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Therefore, if you have collision insurance, use it!
Here’s why: Typically, victims get push-back from the at-fault driver’s insurance company when they ask about motorcycle repairs. Yes, it’s ultimately their responsibility to take care of your bike, but – as with all elements of the accident – they will take their time in resolving the details. In the meantime, because you already purchased collision insurance, someone could be working on your bike.
Your own insurance company has the duty to resolve your claim as quickly as possible and it is their duty to deal fairly with you. In the end, they will probably get their money back from the at-fault driver’s insurance, anyway. Bottom line: Don’t feel bad about using your own collision insurance because the process is generally quicker.
If you don’t have collision insurance, you do have to deal with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You will have to acquire the police report, tell the company where the bike is, get the bike released to a repair shop, get an estimate of damages, and more. (Some personal injury attorneys handle this for free if they are already handling your case. Be sure to ask.)
Sometimes, victims want to keep their totaled motorcycle. You can do this if you are willing to take a reduction in the payment the insurance company offers. For example, if the insurance company says that your motorcycle is worth $11,000, but you want to keep it, they can agree to pay you $11,000 minus the salvage value of the bike.
Your riding gear is an investment in itself. Some gear can be worth $1,000 or more. If you’re the victim in an accident, the other driver’s insurance is responsible for damage to your gear.
In order to receive reimbursement for your gear, you will have to prove its value. You will also have to surrender the damaged pieces, such as your jacket, saddle bags, glasses and helmet. (And again, some personal injury attorneys will handle this for free if they are already handling your case.)
If you have collision insurance, it may or may not cover your gear; check your policy. This is yet another reason to purchase as much insurance as you can afford.