Most of my clients handle their property damage and losses after an accident without my assistance. As a courtesy to our clients we never charge a fee for helping our clients with settling their property damage claims. The insurance companies in nearly every case try to take advantage and pay less than what they owe or what is fair. This information below will help guide you through this process and hopefully minimize your frustration.
Your bike is “totaled”. This happens in two circumstances. The first is when the cost to repair is close to or greater than the fair market value of the bike or when your bike can’t be safely repaired because the frame is bent.
How is fair market value determined?
You are either entitled to the cost of getting your bike fixed or fair market value. You are not entitled to replacement value. This might seem unfair but that is the law in Colorado and most states. This is a negotiation that you can easily be prepared for. When properly prepared, you can prevent the insurance company from taking advantage of you. Fair market value is determined by the value of your bike before the accident. The insurance company may try to tell you your bike is worth less than one in similar condition for sale on ebay or craigslist. If they play that game tell them to go purchase the bike, just like yours and have it delivered to you. They won’t do it. Colorado is blessed with a lot of excellent bike shops. Most bike dealers will be very helpful and write up an estimate for you on the market value or replacement cost of a bike like yours. Go to more than one shop if necessary. Show your appreciation to the shop by buying a new bike there.
Your starting point for negotiations is the full retail value of a new bike equipped like yours. If it is an older bike have the shop write you up an estimate for replacement based on a bike of current similar quality. Don’t let the insurance company “steal” your bike by paying you pennies on the dollar for it. You have the added advantage in that insurers usually deal with providing compensation for totaled cars not bikes. When prepared you will likely know more than the adjuster. Again, use your local bike shop as a resource. Ask the owner or manager if he or she would be willing to help you. Most will be sympathetic and very helpful. If you would like the name of top flight bike stores with excellent customer service where they would be willing to help you call 303-300-5060 or email me.