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Insureance Question(12 posts)

Insureance QuestionMarketing Dept
May 16, 2003 6:22 AM
Sorry to hear MBO's post below, but that did make me think about the amount of $$ some folks have invested in their bikes.

Do any of you have insureance on the bikes themselves or just rely on the HO insureance policy?

If so, what is the price and is it worth it??

My case, I have a 94 Honda Accord, maybe worth 2g, and I pay lots for ins. However, I have a couple of OCLV's and a litespeed (and a few others, not too worried about).

What would a policy on a bike cost?
Would it cover theft only?
What about collision?
re: Insureance QuestionVal_Garou
May 16, 2003 6:34 AM
It's covered under your homeowners/renters insurance. Some policies cap sporting goods at a certain dollar amount--you should call your agent and ask the specifics of your policy. You can almost always raise the coverage specific to your sporting goods (rather than the entire policy) for an almost negligable sum.

Another advantage of declaring their value when buying this extra coverage is that it saves you the hassle of begging your LBS to write up an estimate for replacing your bike(s) and/or digging up reciepts while in the heartbroken fog that follows a good robbin' by the local hoods.

Which reminds me: while you're talking to your agent, ask them if your policy insures for value or replacement cost. And, if it's not already, make sure it gets changed to replacement value. Bikes (and most of your other stuff) depreciate pretty quickly. You'd hate to loose a Litespeed and get a check that only allows you to buy a new Fuji.
(nothing inherently wrong with Fujis, folks)

Collision would be covered by the insurance of whoever hit you. If the other party is uninsured, it'd probably go to your homeowners. (I'm not sure about that, but it sounds right) If you just run into something for the thrill of it, you're SOL. (That I'm sure of.)

Better to think about this stuff now!!
re: Insureance QuestionTNSquared
May 16, 2003 6:35 AM
I actually asked my agent about this, and they advised me to rely on my Homeowners policy, assuming that I stored the bike at home and was not a professional rider (yeah, I laughed too.)

I have a "personal articles" policy that covers some other investments in my hobbies, like a drumset and some cameras (not professional in those fields either) so I thought it made sense for the bike, but my agent said no need.

FWIW
Get the additional rider on your policy...merckx56
May 16, 2003 6:48 AM
When we bought our house, the insurance agent said it would be in my "best interest" to get additional rider on the policy because of the value of all of my bike sheott. A straight HO policy may cover a couple of bikes, but if you're like me, and have several high $ rigs, plus a bench, tools etc., get the rider. You have to think about all of the accessories too. God forbid your house burns, but you'd lose everything! Clothes, shoes, helmets...the list is long! I got an additional $30k for about $15 a month!
Piece of mind is cheap, bikes stuff isn't!
re: Insureance Questionridingthegyro
May 16, 2003 7:59 AM
There were stories in the news recently about people whose homeowners insurance rates were increased sustantially by just calling the company about a claim but not actually submitting one. People have been cancelled for submitting a couple of claims within a few years period. I think anything over one claim every 7 years or so is considered excessive. I would think hard before using homeowners insurance for bikes, especially if you've already submitted a claim within the last several years.
re: Insureance QuestionLD
May 16, 2003 8:40 AM
I worked briefly in the insurance industry last summer and I can tell you that Ins. companies are taking a bath right now on homeowners' policies. Most big companies (State Farm, Allstate) are actively limiting the number of policies they will write in a given region/state, and many others require another policy with them (auto, boat, something) before they will take on a new property risk.

Tips:

Put your deductible as high as possible ($1-2K) to prevent small claims.

Self-insure for as much of your crap as possible. Think of your HO policy as calamity insurance (house fire/theft of everything/giant meteor crushes house).

Ins. companies are looking hard it individuals' loss ratios now. If you create a pattern of making claims, you're in trouble. If your bike is stolen and you claim it, your rates will go up. If you have a true emergency later on in the next couple years (major water damage, etc.), your policy will be cancelled, and you'll have to go to an excess carrier. You don't want to know what that will cost.
don't rely on HO insurance ...sacheson
May 16, 2003 8:36 AM
... for a replacement on bike theft. They'll take your money as long as you have the policy, and if you make a claim there's a good chance you're company will drop you. If this happens, you'll be in a world of hurt trying to find new coverage. Your agent will deny this, your insurance company will deny this, but there's a better chance than not that it will happen.

My wife an I had our garage broken into a year and 1/2 ago. We called our agent. He reported it to our Insurance Company. The Ins. Co. sent out a representative that said flat out we'd be dropped if me made the claim, and the company would use as many means to get out of paying the claim as they could. After consulting an attorney and determining the costs of retaining counsel to pursue it, and the resulting claim amount (and future charges after being dropped by an insurance company), we opted out of it. We had to write a letter to the company explicitly saying we waived our ability to pursue the claim with them - *NOTE* we NEVER made a claim, we just reported a loss! They responded with a letter giving us 90 days to reconsider. On the 91st day they dropped us citing "tangeble losses", even though they didn't pay the claim that was never even submitted.

Another thing they won't tell you is a database acronymed CLUE. It's an insurance respository for claims and payouts. In our situation, we've experienced an incredible resistance to obtaining affordable HO insurance since this date because the insurance company entered FALSE (they said they paid in full the claims that were never submitted, AND they cite the original purchase price of the materials stolen, not the depreciated value that we would have received) information into the database and won't remove it. Since it's an informal tool used by the industry, it's not regulated, therefore we can't do anything forcing them to remove it.

Insurance companies and agents are NOT in the business to help you (contrary to their ad campaigns) with your catastrophic events, they are in the business to make money. Anything you do to impact that will be dealt with swiftly, efficiently, and forcefully.

On a of side note, we'd had insurance with this company for 12 years and had two previous claims, both under auto insurance (i.e. shouldn't impact anything with HO Insurance): a windshield replacement, and damage sustained when someone hit our car and drove off. We weren't bad clients.
Read fine print too.....shamelessgearwhore
May 16, 2003 9:02 AM
I had a buddy with renter's insurance who had their car broken into which was filled with bicycling and climbing equipment.
First they ask for a detailed list of each and every item and what was paid for it. Then they depreciate everything over time. Rather than cut him a check for the depreciated value of everything stolen minus the deductible, they required him to go out and purchase the items again and then send in the receipts!
What if you want to buy different stuff? I know I wouldn't replace everything I have with the same goods if this happened to me. Make sure to find out the details.
Personally I won't ever use my HO for anything other than catastrophe knowing what I know now, but does anyone know a simple posessions only policy that you could use for your cameras, bikes, etc?
Read fine print too.....TNSquared
May 16, 2003 10:46 AM
As I noted above, I have separate replacement cost coverage for some specific personal articles - primarily a drumset, and at the advice of my agent, a couple of cameras and jewelry that exceeds the HO coverage limits.

I pay a separate premium of $75 for this coverage and receive separate correspondence, billing etc. from my HO. I've always understood that this is an entirely separate policy from my HO, but I suppose that in reality it may simply be an endorsement to my HO for additional coverage.

Based on this thread, I also don't understand why my agent was so nonchalant about advising me to rely on my HO for the bike.

Guess I need to ask some more questions, but for what my bike is worth sounds like I'd never want to make a claim anyway.
How is this not fraud?purplepaul
May 16, 2003 9:32 AM
You sign a contract stipulating various terms, you pay the sum agreed upon and then when it comes time for the IC to fulfill its side of the contract, they don't. I really don't see how that's legal.

In what other business can you be penalized (cancelled) for holding the other side to their agreement (for which you paid and they profited)? Where's the law when you need it?
It's called "bad faith," not fraud,Drone 5200
May 16, 2003 11:42 AM
and insurance companies have been doing it for more than a hundred years. There is a whole body of law dealing with this. When an ins. co. gets caught it has to cough up big $$ in punitive damages. The trick is finding a lawyer who can make this charge stick. good luck.
Denying claims and dropping you are two different issuesvindicator
May 16, 2003 12:07 PM
If you have a covered loss while your policy is in force and they refuse to pay for an improper reason, that's bad faith. Such claims can be won against insurance companies, and are all the time, if they're valid.

BUT, your contract with them only requires them to pay for covered losses during the policy period. For HO, this is usually one year. The contract does NOT require them to renew you, which is the bigger risk. If you have a nice bike, you can "schedule" it so you get full replacement value and have no deductible. And if it gets stolen a couple of times and you report the losses, more than likely the ins. co. will pay (if they won't, you're with the wrong company). BUT, if you develop a sufficiently bad history during a tight market (which we have now - it goes in cycles), they may decline to renew you when your year is up. Then you're stuck looking for a new company and when they ask you for your claims history and/or verify it through a database, you're in a high risk group and either won't be able to find coverage or will but only at huge rates. That isn't fraud, it's just an unfortunate reality.

Best advice is to have a big deductible, take the $$ you save on premium from raising the deductible, and save it to create your own "insurance fund" to take care of "relatively" small stuff like bikes.