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Hit by car, insurance tries to pay depreciated value for the bike

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Hit by car, insurance tries to pay depreciated value for the bike

Old 05-20-16, 07:47 AM
  #26  
Wilfred Laurier
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I have dealt with a lot of Canadian insurance companies for bike replacements and I am disappointed to hear this story - my experience has always been that they pay for replacement with a new bike of similar quality. The amounts we deal with for bicycles are generally miniscule compared to the amounts that usually deal with (how much is a new Ultegra road bike compared to a Mercedes fender and whiplash lawsuit?).
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Old 05-20-16, 07:58 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I didn't that the OP can recover his or her attorney's fees. I suggested that if the OP has a friend who is a lawyer, the OP can ask a few questions about filing in small claims court.

The OP can file his or her own claim. There is a real cost to the insurance company if this becomes litigated. A demand letter followed by a suit will drive up the settlement value of the claim.

Ah, gotcha!

If his bud is willing to send a low or no cost demand letter, that might be the best route. Otherwise, I'd go the small claims court route
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Old 05-20-16, 08:06 AM
  #28  
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Why isn't depreciated value fair for an insurance payout? I don't know if the $750 is a low-ball value for the depreciated $3000 bike, but if it is accurate then $750 will get OP a bike of about the same value as the one he lost.

I've had insurance companies low-ball me though, and it's always been a struggle to get to a fair settlement in those cases. With or without a lawyer, who will take a third of it. I think that you have to be prepared to go through with it if you have to, the whole nine yards of civil court, and that means you have to be right in the first place and have it documented. They've heard it all before and won't be bluffed, and might drag you through a protracted fight just to test your resolve.

Personally if the $750 is objectively close I'd take it, or give them a reasonable counter offer.
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Old 05-20-16, 08:22 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
What is the attorney's hourly rate and how much money above what you were offered do you hope the attorney can get you?
Were you injured at all?
my atty's fee is contingency-based. he receives 33.3% of the settlement amount for medical-related issues (which includes pain/suffering). he is providing assistance in the property-damage claim, but takes nothing from the amount negotiated.

in most cases, the ins company is much more concerned about the medical portion of a claim (which can be quite expensive) than whatever property damages resulted. your leverage is to not sign off on the medical release until you get a fair amount for your property.

if there are no injuries involved, a lawyer will likely not want to spend time on a relatively minor property damage claim.

in that case, a small-claims court is probably the next available option.

the annoying part of the whole process is that I've spent tens of hours getting estimates, medical treatments, filling out countless forms, being without my bike, and generally being stressed out for weeks while the driver who hit me has not experienced one minute of inconvenience.
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Old 05-20-16, 08:22 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Why isn't depreciated value fair for an insurance payout? I don't know if the $750 is a low-ball value for the depreciated $3000 bike, but if it is accurate then $750 will get OP a bike of about the same value as the one he lost.

I've had insurance companies low-ball me though, and it's always been a struggle to get to a fair settlement in those cases. With or without a lawyer, who will take a third of it. I think that you have to be prepared to go through with it if you have to, the whole nine yards of civil court, and that means you have to be right in the first place and have it documented. They've heard it all before and won't be bluffed, and might drag you through a protracted fight just to test your resolve.

Personally if the $750 is objectively close I'd take it, or give them a reasonable counter offer.
The depreciated value model is fair if the amount that is depreciated is fair. I am bad with percentages. What percentage of $1700 is $750? Is that percentage a fair amount to depreciate a one year old bike? Is it fair for the insurance company to not give any value to the upgrades?
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Old 05-20-16, 08:24 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by FullGas View Post
my atty's fee is contingency-based. he receives 33.3% of the settlement amount for medical-related issues (which includes pain/suffering). he is providing assistance in the property-damage claim, but takes nothing from the amount negotiated.

in most cases, the ins company is much more concerned about the medical portion of a claim (which can be quite expensive) than whatever property damages resulted. your leverage is to not sign off on the medical release until you get a fair amount for your property.

if there are no injuries involved, a lawyer will likely not want to spend time on a relatively minor property damage claim.

in that case, a small-claims court is probably the next available option.

the annoying part of the whole process is that I've spent tens of hours getting estimates, medical treatments, filling out countless forms, being without my bike, and generally being stressed out for weeks while the driver who hit me has not experienced one minute of inconvenience.
That's an important part of an insurance company's claims model. They try to wear people down to the point that they give up.
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Old 05-20-16, 08:53 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Why isn't depreciated value fair for an insurance payout? I don't know if the $750 is a low-ball value for the depreciated $3000 bike, but if it is accurate then $750 will get OP a bike of about the same value as the one he lost.
Before I bought my bike, I spent a couple of months choosing a bike that's right for me. There aren't many bikes on the market comparable in function to the bike that I chose, and those that are comparable, are also more expensive.

There is not a single bike of the same model as mine or comparable on the used market in my area (I checked Kijiji and Craigslist). And if there were, what would be the chance that it would also be of the right size for me? And what would be the chance that it would also be a 1-year old bike, just like mine? There is a huge second hand market for used cars, but not so much for used bikes.

So, even assuming that $750 is what I would have got for my bike should I have decided to sell it the day before the collision (which is questionable), what am I supposed to do with $750? I sure cannot ride the $750 cheque. I will have no choice but to buy a new bike and reinstate all the upgrades that I have installed on mine, that were damaged in the collision. Before you know it, I'll be out by a couple of grand.

How is that fair?
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Old 05-20-16, 09:25 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by agenkin View Post
Before I bought my bike, I spent a couple of months choosing a bike that's right for me. There aren't many bikes on the market comparable in function to the bike that I chose, and those that are comparable, are also more expensive.

There is not a single bike of the same model as mine or comparable on the used market in my area (I checked Kijiji and Craigslist). And if there were, what would be the chance that it would also be of the right size for me? And what would be the chance that it would also be a 1-year old bike, just like mine? There is a huge second hand market for used cars, but not so much for used bikes.

So, even assuming that $750 is what I would have got for my bike should I have decided to sell it the day before the collision (which is questionable), what am I supposed to do with $750? I sure cannot ride the $750 cheque. I will have no choice but to buy a new bike and reinstate all the upgrades that I have installed on mine, that were damaged in the collision. Before you know it, I'll be out by a couple of grand.

How is that fair?
It isn't fair, but OTOH you already had a years service out of the bike, and odds are it was due for some replacements of some wearing parts such as tires. So it's definitely not worth as much as new, and payment of a FAIR depreciated value, would make you whole, except for inconvenience.

The key here is FAIR depreciated value. $750 depreciated value for a $3,000 bike is patently ridiculous. The adjuster is saying the bike lost 75% of it's value in that year, and he should be made to justify that amount before a judge. Realistically, assuming a 5 year life, with some residual value at the end, depreciation of 15-20% in that first year would be justifiable on the numbers, even if not in a specific case.

In your shoes, I'd come back with a claim of 85% of the provable cost with upgrades and any taxes paid, and tell the adjuster it's that or court. Then I'd go about building a case for justifying my figure. BTW- If you go to court, don't sue the insurer, they're a 3rd party to the case, and you have no obligation to speak to them. Sue the driver and/or owner of the car and let them insist that the insurer cover them and get them off the hook.
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Old 05-20-16, 09:58 AM
  #34  
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If the insurance company loses in court, then they would be liable for your attorney fees plus the settlement.

You don't necessarily have to hire an attorney, or even consult one. Just make the insurance company think that the next step will be a mountain of legal fees.

Depreciation is tricky. Just taking possession of a new bike, and it will depreciate. Not that you would necessarily expect to be able to buy a bicycle that is 5 minutes old for half price. So, the replacement value may well be the full price it was at the store.

So, a 20 year bike, do you adjust the value up or down based on time? Absolutely.

A 5 year old bike? I'd still push for replacement. Or, perhaps find a similar used bike (noting that you may lose warranty support).

A 1 year old bike? I'd consider that equivalent to the new bike, and push for full replacement. There are lots of 2015 bikes still in the stores. Perhaps even some 2014 bikes.
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Old 05-20-16, 11:05 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I don't know if the $750 is a low-ball value for the depreciated $3000 bike
Sure sounds like it to me. The OP said they got that figure from a low-end bike shop in a bad part of town.
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Old 05-20-16, 11:18 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
If the insurance company loses in court, then they would be liable for your attorney fees plus the settlement.

You don't necessarily have to hire an attorney, or even consult one. Just make the insurance company think that the next step will be a mountain of legal fees.

Depreciation is tricky. Just taking possession of a new bike, and it will depreciate. Not that you would necessarily expect to be able to buy a bicycle that is 5 minutes old for half price. So, the replacement value may well be the full price it was at the store.

So, a 20 year bike, do you adjust the value up or down based on time? Absolutely.

A 5 year old bike? I'd still push for replacement. Or, perhaps find a similar used bike (noting that you may lose warranty support).

A 1 year old bike? I'd consider that equivalent to the new bike, and push for full replacement. There are lots of 2015 bikes still in the stores. Perhaps even some 2014 bikes.
I wouldn't be so sure about that.
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Old 05-20-16, 11:52 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by agenkin View Post
Before I bought my bike, I spent a couple of months choosing a bike that's right for me. There aren't many bikes on the market comparable in function to the bike that I chose, and those that are comparable, are also more expensive.

There is not a single bike of the same model as mine or comparable on the used market in my area (I checked Kijiji and Craigslist). And if there were, what would be the chance that it would also be of the right size for me? And what would be the chance that it would also be a 1-year old bike, just like mine? There is a huge second hand market for used cars, but not so much for used bikes.

So, even assuming that $750 is what I would have got for my bike should I have decided to sell it the day before the collision (which is questionable), what am I supposed to do with $750? I sure cannot ride the $750 cheque. I will have no choice but to buy a new bike and reinstate all the upgrades that I have installed on mine, that were damaged in the collision. Before you know it, I'll be out by a couple of grand.

How is that fair?
You mentioned that the bike cost 1750 new, and you intended to keep some of the expensive upgrades. If the bike is totaled it technically belongs to them after the settlement. Was your keeping undamaged components a factor in their estimate? If so it looks to me like potentially a few hundred dollars between the positions.

I do think on face value they're probably low since a bike doesn't lose that much value in one year. Thousands on the basis of upgrades is probably out of the question, but their adjuster might not have taken the spec levels into account.

You might demand that they replace the bike with something similar, instead of a check. It's been known to happen.
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Old 05-20-16, 12:08 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
That's an important part of an insurance company's claims model. They try to wear people down to the point that they give up.
yep, absolutely a tactic they use.

the adjuster started our conversation with a very condescending tone and asked what I was cited for...huh? his policy holder caused the incident.

then he asked if alcohol or drugs were involved...maybe on the driver's part, ask him...I didn't conduct a field sobriety test on the guy.

when I mentioned that the bike was a one-off, custom-built item and not a stock model, there was an audible sigh on the other end of the phone...

I realize that the guy's job is to settle for the smallest possible amount, but that doesn't make him any less irritating.
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Old 05-20-16, 12:14 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by FullGas View Post
when I mentioned that the bike was a one-off, custom-built item and not a stock model, there was an audible sigh on the other end of the phone...
On a custom build worth that much, it's definitely worth getting a floater on your homeowner's or renter's insurance covering it at a set replacement price. Then you get your money from your insurance and they deal with the other guy's insurance to try to recover it. Trust me, they're better at it than you, and it's not your problem if they don't anyway.

Only reason I haven't been in much of a rush to do it is because my 2010 Trek 7200 bought used for $200 isn't exactly a high value bike. Even still, I could probably get a policy covering it with all accessories at a fixed price that it would take several years of premiums to match.
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Old 05-20-16, 01:18 PM
  #40  
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This is when I would go to the shoe box and pull out all the receipts for the upgrades and submit them to the insurance company. They should reimburse you minus depreciation for all of the receipts and that should help you recover more value for your property that was damaged. If I were to spend $40 on gasoline just to pull out of the gas station and get creamed and my car totaled, you bet I would fight and get that $40 back for my tank of gas.
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Old 05-20-16, 01:25 PM
  #41  
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your claim is against the driver and not his insurance company

take the driver to court and let a judge decide
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Old 05-20-16, 01:47 PM
  #42  
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Unless the insurance company is claiming that it is normal practice to replace a bicycle every 3 years, I don't see how they can depreciate a $3000 bike to $750 in 2 years. That would indicate that they believe that it is worthless in 3 years.
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Old 05-20-16, 03:08 PM
  #43  
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At least from my googling, it appears that Toronto has some pretty good resources to assist cyclists in situations like yours. Here's one hit I got: How to claim insurance | I Bike Toronto

I've extracted an excerpt below that might be helpful:

"If an insurance agent is uncooperative there are ways to put on the pressure. You can first ask to speak to a supervisor or case manager. If this doesn't help, in Ontario you can ask to speak with the Consumer Complaint Officer (use exact phrase) which will let them know that you know what's going on. The CCO must respond in writing within 48 hours to your complaint. Then if you aren't happy with the CCO response you can speak to the ombudsman of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, or even directly with the FSCO for arbitration or mediation. This is when it gets really serious and the FSCO can audit the agent or even the entire company."

There are also plenty of legal firms that offer free consultation. You also might contact Cycle Toronto https://www.cycleto.ca/ and ask if they can direct you to appropriate legal resources.

Best of luck with this!
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Old 05-20-16, 03:10 PM
  #44  
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10% per year is the most a quality bicycle should be depreciated by the insurance company. Any more and they need to be slammed.
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Old 05-20-16, 03:32 PM
  #45  
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To the OP: What is YOUR time worth? This is what the insurance company is trying to find out. For me, and I am not rich by any means, I wouldn't waste even one of my precious days off for $2000. In fact, the amount of time it took me to read this 2 page thread, if not for entertainment value on a rainy day, wouldn't be worth a hundred bucks if the sun was shining and I could get out of here.

I too had a "fancy" expensive bicycle. A 2009 Cinelli Supercorsa that was dripping with Campy and Ferrari red with chrome lugs. Replacing that bike like new would cost about $7000. I rode if for a couple of years and tried to sell it on eBay three times. Could not get $2000 for it. So I sold it to a company called Goodby Cycle for $1200. They offered me $1400 at first but I decided to ride it for another year before I just "gave it away".

From $7000 to $1400 in just two years and it was in PERFECT shape. This is called reality.

So.....what is your spare time worth? Is it worth what you can realistically gain? And I don't know any attorneys who will speak to me for under $2500 up front.

Let it go man.
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Old 05-20-16, 03:56 PM
  #46  
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Get a good recommendation on a lawyer from family and/ or friends and get some feedback. Might only cost you a couple hundred and you get the full 3 grand for 30minutes of your time. Something like that might lterally take a lawers assistant a few minutes to print, file, send a letter of intent and thats when the insurance company will start dancing. They love cases like that.
Any injury involved .., and I mean ANY??? You have a certain of time to file a suit in the US.. Back problem? Neck? Hand? You feel ok now, but, An issue can arise several months/years down the road. Consult a lawyer, let them take care of it, and save yourself the grief. Otherwise tHat insurance company might ride you 'til you break.
Edit, i dont jnow where joeybikes coming from in the post above.. I have a lawyerfriends that havedone cases like this..Like i said, once they contact the defendants insurance company about possble litigation.. It's case closed and your checks in the mail. And its not going to going to cost u 2 grand, lol.

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Old 05-20-16, 04:21 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by dwing View Post
Edit, i dont jnow where joeybikes coming from in the post above.. I have a lawyerfriends that havedone cases like this..Like i said, once they contact the defendants insurance company about possble litigation.. It's case closed and your checks in the mail. And its not going to going to cost u 2 grand, lol.
Agreed - there are plenty of legal firms that will do a free consultation for something like this and they'll let you know exactly what your options are. A letter from a legal firm to the insurance company probably won't cost that much, but I suspect will get you more than that back in a hurry from the insurance firm. The insurance company is in the business of making money: right now it's cheaper to low ball you and hope you take it and go away. If it becomes cheaper to offer you what you are really after, they'll do just that.
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Old 05-20-16, 05:14 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by dwing View Post
Get a good recommendation on a lawyer from family and/ or friends and get some feedback.
Don't waste your time on a good lawyer. Getting ready to sue someone isn't the time to choose the lesser evil. Take a Bible to the consultation with you and touch him with it. If either the Bible or the lawyer bursts into flames, you've found the guy you want.
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Old 05-20-16, 05:44 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by FullGas View Post
my atty's fee is contingency-based. he receives 33.3% of the settlement amount for medical-related issues (which includes pain/suffering). he is providing assistance in the property-damage claim, but takes nothing from the amount negotiated.

in most cases, the ins company is much more concerned about the medical portion of a claim (which can be quite expensive) than whatever property damages resulted. your leverage is to not sign off on the medical release until you get a fair amount for your property.

if there are no injuries involved, a lawyer will likely not want to spend time on a relatively minor property damage claim.

in that case, a small-claims court is probably the next available option.

the annoying part of the whole process is that I've spent tens of hours getting estimates, medical treatments, filling out countless forms, being without my bike, and generally being stressed out for weeks while the driver who hit me has not experienced one minute of inconvenience.
If you are pursuing legal action you should not be posting anything, anywhere on the web about it...... look at the stick at the start of the forum
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(looking for Torpado Super light 56,57 or so)

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Old 05-20-16, 06:29 PM
  #50  
D1andonlyDman
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
10% per year is the most a quality bicycle should be depreciated by the insurance company. Any more and they need to be slammed.
We may wish this to be the case, but this is unrealistic. If we expected insurance companies to actually refund market value of the bikes, it would be realistic to assume maybe 35-40% depreciation in the first year, and then probably another 15% or so per year after that. The fact that most year-end clearance sales are at least 20-25% discounts means that the bare minimum depreciation for a one year old bike is 25% of it's retail price.

I get that we want to be able to replace a totaled bike with a new one - but the fact is, you can generally buy a 2 year-old bike for about 1/2 of what they sold for when new.
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