Motorcycle insurance advice: don't accept their first offer
19 February 2010 16:11
It is unfortunately the case for a motorcycle insurance company to make low first offer if you have to make a claim. Insurers will of course want to pay as little as possible and the first offer usually reflects that.
But first things first. When your renewal comes around, make sure your bike is accurately valued.
There is no point over-valuing your bike as you’ll pay a higher premium. Similarly, whilst under-valuing your bike may result in a lower premium your insurers will only pay out up to the maximum amount you have insured it for - and that’s if you’re lucky!
Your insurers have only got to reimburse you the “market value” of your bike. The market value is somewhere between main dealer prices (which includes mark-up for their overheads, warranty etc) and trade costs. Market value will essentially be small garage/private buyer values.
So find adverts of similar bikes for sale on the internet, in your area. Try and find the same make, model, age, mileage, colour, spec, service history etc.
Send copies to your insurers showing that you simply can’t buy such a bike for what’s being offered. In fact, try and find bikes that are you could buy for what they are offering and they will usually be older, higher mileage examples of your bike.
This is highly persuasive. Don’t be afraid to go back and argue the value with them. If they send out a cheque and you’re not happy, tell them you are accepting the cheque on account only and not in full and final settlement.
But do it before you bank the cheque. This will allow you to continue negotiating with them.
Alternatively, if you wanted to keep the bike and do the repairs yourself or strip it for parts you could agree to keep the bike, but your insurers won’t offer you the full market value.
The “salvage” value, which is the value of the bike in its current condition, will be deducted together with any excess you have to pay under your policy.
Your insurer may be prepared to agree to this as it does away with the hassle and cost to them of collecting and disposing of the bike.