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Help with determining bike's value

1885 Views 23 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  John V Strom, Jr.
My Wee has been declared a total loss by my insurance company and they made their first offer last night. I've never done this before, but I feel it's on the low side.

The bike has 38,xxx miles, was in generally good shape before the accident (not pristine, but clean) and the farkles include:

SW Motech Centerstand
Givi PL532 Side racks
Madstad Bracket
Stebel Horn and mount
Eastern Beaver Single horn relay
Superbrace Fork Brace
Bestem 929 Top Case
Hotgrips heated grips
Radiator Guard
Seahorse SE-720 side cases
Cortech gas cap mount ring for tank bag
OEM handguards

They offered me just under $3,000 with a buy back option of $1100. They go by the NADA guide which has a low retail of $3,841 with a couple of the above farkles added. High retail for the base bike (with normal mileage) is $4,475.

So basically, they are offering me $3,000. I don't think I could replace this bike for that. I am thinking $4,000. Is this too high? Any opinions on what the fair market value of my bike would be? I'd appreciate any input as they'll likely be calling me back this evening.

Thanks,
John
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Given the mileage, i'd say they are fairly close. Try to get them up $500-1000. You don't have to accept their offer. However, your bike is probably sitting in a salvage yard right now, so you're most likely stuck in negotiating. NADA and KBB only go so far in negotiating. The bottom line is this. How much would you have to pay in your local area for a bike comparable to yours. That's the number you should be shooting for. If a similarly equipped bike goes for $4500.00 in your area, then take that to the claims dept, and tell them that is what you need to replace your bike.

Also, $1100.00 buy back seems like a hell of a steal. How messed up is the bike?

Lucas
 

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Do they know about all the farkles? Sometimes the insurance rep just doesn't know or misses them. If they are covered you should get credit. I totaled a car that I had done a good deal of work to including the engine internals. The guy who did the quote didn't catch any of it. After I got my first (low) offer I told them everything I had done and had receipts. They came back with a pretty fair quote. And I don't know what your case is, but I wish I would have done the buyback on that car.

If they aren't giving you credit for all the farkles, go grab anything that's in okay shape off of it so you can either reuse or sell it.
 

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This is one of those biggest farces that the insurance companies have pulled over the public's eyes. I don't know why everyone puts up with it.

Just tell them the bike is yours, not theirs, and have them cut you a check for the damage estimate. You'll decide what to do with it from there. If they get to jacking you around, then just pay an attorney $100 to write something up on their letterhead and sent it to the adjuster/insurance company. This will generally get things going the proper direction.

Adjusters get bonuses for screwing the insured person. The more they save the company the bigger the bonus. Nobody is looking out for your best interest but yourself.

If you have a good relationship with your agent then talk to him. If he values your business he will help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Do they know about all the farkles? Sometimes the insurance rep just doesn't know or misses them.
I received the estimate a week ago, then on Tuesday the adjuster said she was going to the shop to look at it. That's when I told her about the farkles and that I could compile a list with prices. She said "great," but then one evening later, someone else is calling me saying the bike is totaled and here's what we'll give you. He had no knowledge of the list I faxed yesterday morning, but he said he'll look for it and re-assess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Also, $1100.00 buy back seems like a hell of a steal. How messed up is the bike?
The damage is all cosmetic, but the shop put in for replacement parts on every little thing, plus labor, plus taxes, so they totaled it. I think the estimate came in at a little over $3,000 with $525 of that being labor.

Maybe I could tell the insurance I am going to fix it myself so with the labor deducted, it's not a total loss and I just get to keep my bike. Woudl that work?
 

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Do you think it is fair that they let you keep the bike and give you $1900 to fix it? Same result with different path. Do you think you can fix it for that amount of money, if so, then it is a fair price. Can you avoid having a salvage title on it?

Seems like the buyback price is almost worth it to get all the farkles back (assuming they aren't all shot). Anyway, stop letting them tell you what they are going to do, you tell them. For example, tell them you are keeping the bike and you want $2500 to fix it. Maybe this way you won't get a salvage title.

If there is no way to avoid the salvage title, I recommend you only buy it back if you want to part it out. Been through that nightmare before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Do you think it is fair that they let you keep the bike and give you $1900 to fix it? Same result with different path....For example, tell them you are keeping the bike and you want $2500 to fix it. /QUOTE]

I thought about this after one of my posts. With the $500 deductible, it comes out to about the same amount of money. The $19xx they are offering me is in my pocket plus the bike. So $2500 minus the deductible is about the same. I am going to just ask for a higher settlement on the totaled bike and see where that goes. I am pretty sure I can keep a clear title even if I buy it back.
 

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I would make it a point to them that you don't want the salvage title. By law, they may have their hands tied and will have to put a salvage tag on it, happens anytime something is totaled unless it is of a certain age which you bike isn't. I hope I'm wrong.
 

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My experience is that you got your best advice in the post by ec90t. However, I've never personally salvaged/rebuilt a motorcycle that had been totalled by an insurance company, but only automobiles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I did some research on the value of 06 Wees using for sale ads and NADA. I then drafted a letter and faxed the information last Thursday explaining that I would not accept their initial offer based on the research indicating I could not replace (or repair) my bike on what they are offering. I said I would settle for $4,400 since the farkles add up to $1,050 (new); or they pay the full damage estimate (minus deductible) and I keep the bike. That is the option I'd prefer. The avg. retail for bone-stock bike is $4,475, so I think it's a fair settlement. Many of the ones I found for sale were close to $5,000, albeit with lower mileage.

As for it being totaled, if they agree the bike is worth more than they initially appraised it for, maybe they can "untotal it" as the percentage of damage to value will change. Not sure though how this process works. I might call my agent for advice before tonight as I expect I will be hearing from them soon.
 

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Please let us know the outcome. I went down on my '04 Vee about a year ago due to a car making a left hand turn in front of me. His insurance company (Access General) sent out their claims person and he declared the bike to be totaled. In my mind it appeared to be all cosmetic. I wish that I had taken the time to do a little research as you are doing now, but instead, I accepted their offer of around $3000.00. I had 48K miles on mine and I just assumed that was a good deal. Looking back on it, I wish I'd held onto it and just had it repaired. The $3000.00 was not enough to get me back on another Vee. As of now, I just put on my helmet and log onto Stromtrooper.

Again, let us know how it turns out.
 

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Please let us know the outcome. I went down on my '04 Vee about a year ago due to a car making a left hand turn in front of me. His insurance company (Access General) sent out their claims person and he declared the bike to be totaled. In my mind it appeared to be all cosmetic. I wish that I had taken the time to do a little research as you are doing now, but instead, I accepted their offer of around $3000.00. I had 48K miles on mine and I just assumed that was a good deal. Looking back on it, I wish I'd held onto it and just had it repaired. The $3000.00 was not enough to get me back on another Vee. As of now, I just put on my helmet and log onto Stromtrooper.

Again, let us know how it turns out.
That sucks. I know some people don't like state farm, but one thing about them is I don't have to deal with the other insurance company. Any time I've had to make a claim during an accident State Farm writes me a check and then they go after the other guy.

Hope you come out of this all right, John V.
 

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I'll buy all the $3k '06 Wees I can find. Who wants to sell? You did right by demanding more. And the stealership does list new replacement parts for every scratched & dented piece at full price. A few scratches and dents don't hurt anything--they are signs of an experienced motorcycle. Who says that the side panels must be the same color as the tank...mix & match.

Everyone should check their insurance policy about accessories (a.k.a. farkles). Safeco tells me that they'll cover up to $3000 worth over the value of the bike IF I schedule them...make a separate listing of each item and value. In addition, this insurance company covers protective apparel up to $1000, max $500 for the helmet, depreciated 10% per year. Other insurance companies do it differently, so check yours. If an agent tells you anything that sounds way different from what others tell you, ask for it in writing (like farkles are covered under the homeowners policy--I seriously doubt that).
 

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... one thing about them is I don't have to deal with the other insurance company. Any time I've had to make a claim during an accident State Farm writes me a check and then they go after the other guy.

This is also true of Progressive. The kid that sent me flying off my shadow a year ago never even contacted his insurance company.. they found out when Progressive got after them to pay what progressive gave me for my destroyed bike.

It really does sound like you're getting shafted. I got paid for replacement cost on the '03 Shadow Ace 750with over 20k on the clock... it was over 3k and that's a cheap bike, plus they covered all the crap I had bolted to it, along with a helmet, extra visor, quick chin-strap clip, and all the other crap that was off the bike that particular day that I had taken off for a show(back rest, luggage rack, windshield, stuff like that) All because it was plain that the kid in the Nissan wasn't supposed to be going the wrong way in my lane to begin with. Progressive likes paying when it's not going to be a loss for them. They just priced all the stuff right out of JP Cycles, Dennis Kirk, Kurykin, and catalogs of that sort and wrote me a check (not that I had paid that much or gotten them there to begin with:thumbup:. It ended up paying for all but $125 of my Vee ($4750 cash).

As far as state farm goes, ex-wife had em and hated it... a good friend has them and hates it as well... that's enough for me to not bother. If they cut a check I understand you have a good chance of being dropped (from what the aforementioned folks have told me).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'll be calling them tonight to try and settle. I have not heard from them since faxing my letter and supporting documents. They have cut me a check for my helmet, but that's it. Someone told me if an insurance co. gives you the run around, you call the insurance commissioner in your state and that will get them on track. Hope I won't need to do that.

Supposedly, they cannot drop me because of my history with them. The agent also said my premium would only go up $6.00 per year. I think I need to get that in writing. I will post the results once this is over with.
 

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hinting around about possibly getting a lawyer doesn't hurt either
Yes it will. Any agent worth their salt will immediately go into radio silence the moment the insured suggests or confirms that an attorney has been retained. At that point, the insured will have to pay the attorney to maintain any and all momentum in the claims process.

==============================

All: Please be very careful when making such suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Follow-up

Well,

I have settled with the insurance company today and I think it turned out very well. The time to write the letters and fax paperwork was well worth it.

I mis-quoted the amount of the first offer they made, which was actually $3,287 for the bike itself. After they added tax credits and subtracted the deductible, the offer came to $2,996.20, with a buy-back of $1,080, leaving me $1,916.20 if I kept the bike.

After re-evaluating my bike with the farkles, they came in with a value of $4,867 minus $485 for high mileage. Adding the tax again and minus the deductible again, the new settlement offer is $4,176.39 for a difference of $1,180.19. However, since I argued for higher value and they agreed, the buy-back went up as well to $1,314.09, a difference of $234.09. I will buy the bike back and so all told, I am still getting $941.10 more after keeping the bike.:thumbup: Plus, they still owe me $70 for one last receipt and also replaced my helmet.

A couple of things I notice here is that I am actually getting more back than if they hadn't totaled the bike and paid the damage estimate minus the deductible. Don't know how that happened. Secondly, the increased value they came up with is more than the value of the farkles I submitted to them, even at full price when new. This tells me the original offer, by itself, had to be way low. Needless to say, I think this is more than fair for my bike and the paperwork for me to keep it is on the way! Moral of the story: be polite, do your research, and don't give up if you feel they are offering you less than you think.

Oh, and thank you all for your responses!
 
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