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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I nearly totalled my 2013 Custom 900 SE a couple of weeks ago, two months after buying it brand new from the dealership. I was not at fault, and the other driver was charged on the spot. I was lucky and walked away with a gash and a couple bruises. All in all, I am almost glad to have gone through this experience -- I was very confident on the bike and had been telling people that I was pretty sure that I was never going to get into an accident. I was serious, too. Hahahaha.

I have been lurking around the forum for a little while now -- invaluable stuff --, but decided to finally post a thread in order to draw from your collective wisdom. I am in Ontario, Canada, if that makes any difference.

My bike was towed to the nearest Kawasaki dealership -- my choice, since I do not have a trusty shop --, who provided an estimate of just under $5000 to fix the bike, including a new frame. To my surprise, my insurance company (State Farm) approved the service within an hour of receiving the estimate, which, from what I had been reading, is rare as bikes are invariably totalled whenever there is damage to the frame.

My question, then, is something like this: Should I be concerned that my brand new bike (which had just had its first service) will be tainted forever now? Why would the insurance company approve such an expensive claim so quickly? Should I push for it to be totalled?

Thanks for reading, I would really appreciate your thoughts!
 

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They are replacing the frame. Any part with so much as a scuff on it will be replaced. No, there is no concern having your bike rebuilt. It will appear as having been in an accident on some reports, so that might scare away a future buyer, maybe.

Different companies operate differently. $5k is approaching the value of the bike, but they'd still have to pay you more if it were totaled. If it were another year or two older, the value would be significantly less and it would've been totaled. With State Farm you might also have a total loss coverage of some sort which would actually pay you the full MSRP of the bike within the first couple of years if totaled; which creates a significant gap between your repairs and totaling.

Internet wisdom is useful sometimes but, the fact is, insurance companies are in the profit making business. They have scales and percentages for everything. They know what percentage of repairs will go back for additional repairs or cost them additional money, so they have a percentage of total value that they'll pay, otherwise, they'll just total it and cut you a check. A total loss can sometimes raise your premiums more than an expensive accident repair bill. Don't worry, your premiums will go up! And they'll stay up for the next 3-5 years, depending on Canada's insurance laws and the way your company works it.

I wouldn't for a second be concerned though if the repair is being done by a reputable dealer. You're getting, essentially, a brand new bike. Concerns about frame damage are warranted but you are getting a new frame, so it's no biggie.

Also looks like you learned a valuable lesson; sometimes crashes do happen. More than 90% of drivers consider themselves above average; and that's a problem. The same is true of motorcyclists. We all think we're super proficient and accident proof; but it's just not a reality.

Glad you walked away with just a few bruises!
 

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I can't speak specific to bikes but overall insurance companies just run the numbers for totaling vs fixing. If the repairs exceed the value of the bike or car then they will total it and if they don't they will op to fix it instead. So if your bike is brand new and is valued at $9,000.00 and the repairs are $5,000.00 then it is a pretty simple decision for them to pay to fix it, they save $4,000.00 by not totaling it.

I'm pretty much the opposite of you as far as expecting an accident. I've only been riding a year but I'm confident in my riding in so much as I don't try to ride beyond my ability however I ride like I expect everyone to hit me. I expect everyone to slam on their brakes and to pull out in front of me, already had one do that, and to change lanes right into me. I hope that this anticipation is what will keep me safe.
 

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On my last dealing with insurance, was told they will total at 2/3 the value, and they make up the difference selling the bike for salvage. That $9000 bike would be totaled at $6000 damage but they pay you current purchase price, then sell with a salvage title for $3000.


Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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Hope you feel better soon glad to hear you were not hurt badly. I ride around Toronto everyday and never believe that I will not be in an accident......I pay attention keep my distance and enjoy my ride. Never be complacent around here....drivers are nuts!


Good thing the police charged the other guy, depending on your Ontario policy and your driving record at least it should not affect your rates (also live in Ontario).Unfortunately the accident will show up on the abstract for the bike make sure you get copies of all of the repair bills so if you sell it you can show what was done.
 

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Hope you feel better soon glad to hear you were not hurt badly. I ride around Toronto everyday and never believe that I will not be in an accident......I pay attention keep my distance and enjoy my ride. Never be complacent around here....drivers are nuts!


Good thing the police charged the other guy, depending on your Ontario policy and your driving record at least it should not affect your rates (also live in Ontario).Unfortunately the accident will show up on the abstract for the bike make sure you get copies of all of the repair bills so if you sell it you can show what was done.
Depends largely on whose insurance he made the claim. An in-law was rear-ended and decided to make the claim with his insurance instead of pursuing the other driver. And although they then turned around and sued the other girls insurance and won; his rates still went up. I was also rear ended several years ago, but I never even called my insurance company; I called the other drivers insurance company. They paid me, and my rates never went up.
 

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Insurance companies are definitely in business to collect premiums, not pay claims. After my accident on my little Honda, the insurance company told me they would give my $600.00 and take the bike. WTF? The junk yard would give me $1,000.00 for it, but it's not for sale! After my lawyer had a chat with the insurance guy, I got a check for $1,740 and some-odd cents, and they called me and asked me where I wanted the bike delivered.
Getting that lawyer was the best thing I could have done. I got an email from him a few days ago, saying that after the medical bills are paid, we split the rest of $250,000, 2/3 to me, 1/3 to him. If I had gone it alone, the insurance company would have left me with nothing but a stack of bills. The hospital alone was $75,000.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everybody for your thorough responses, I really appreciate it and definitely feel positive about getting my bike fixed now...

The only thing that surprised me was to hear some of you say that my insurance premiums might go up. That never crossed my mind since I was not at fault. I assumed all I had to do was contact my insurance company letting them know what happened, and that they would then contact the "at-fault" company to collect. It didn't make sense to me that I would contact them directly. Anyway, I'll be seeing what happens with that in the next little while I'm sure...

Thanks again!
 

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I will agree with everyone else. Insurance companies are there to make money.

To me, a new frame usually = totaled. But like someone has stated, if it is cheaper to fix it they will.

I personally wouldn't keep the bike. Let them fix it, then sell it, then buy a new one.
 

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You live in Canada ... so do I. A bike being rebuilt at a shop requires a competent mechanic ... make sure they have one .... frames usually carry a vin number or stamping # ... yours should match all legal deeds and ministry records. ... remember , when selling the bike, purchasers may ask for a vehicle report ... yours will show the accident making it harder to sell for full book value. Ask the "quoting dealer" for a full list (in advance, before any work is commenced) of replacement parts and what is being used, new or original .... remember, insurance companies do not like paying more than what was quoted, arguing with them when the job is done, over what you thought was going to be fixed or replaced is a loosing battle. What is the warranty period (in writing) for the repair work.

Anything that you think that should be replaced and is not being replaced should be addressed with the adjuster ... NOW.

Good luck, you had a new bike, you should be getting back the same..
 

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Thanks everybody for your thorough responses, I really appreciate it and definitely feel positive about getting my bike fixed now...

The only thing that surprised me was to hear some of you say that my insurance premiums might go up. That never crossed my mind since I was not at fault. I assumed all I had to do was contact my insurance company letting them know what happened, and that they would then contact the "at-fault" company to collect. It didn't make sense to me that I would contact them directly. Anyway, I'll be seeing what happens with that in the next little while I'm sure...

Thanks again!
Welcome to the land of "Intact" insurance, if you are having to pay a deductible, you can expect an increase in premiums. Any other Countries policy anomalies are irrelevant to your situation Here in Ontario, there are 3 major insurance companies that cover 90% of the market, they have all just hiked up their rates over the last 6 months, and lets face it, we ride 5 months of the year.... its called a monopoly .... and its what ever they can get away with. I pay $850 a year for each of my bikes, there is no multi bike discount ... I have a squeaky clean driving record with no accidents or speeding / violation tickets and drive around 160,000 miles per year accumulative with bikes, cars and my tractor trailer. It is what it is.
 

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You live in Canada ... so do I. A bike being rebuilt at a shop requires a competent mechanic ... make sure they have one .... frames usually carry a vin number or stamping # ... yours should match all legal deeds and ministry records. ... remember , when selling the bike, purchasers may ask for a vehicle report ... yours will show the accident making it harder to sell for full book value. Ask the "quoting dealer" for a full list (in advance, before any work is commenced) of replacement parts and what is being used, new or original .... remember, insurance companies do not like paying more than what was quoted, arguing with them when the job is done, over what you thought was going to be fixed or replaced is a loosing battle. What is the warranty period (in writing) for the repair work.

Anything that you think that should be replaced and is not being replaced should be addressed with the adjuster ... NOW.

Good luck, you had a new bike, you should be getting back the same..
Getting a full list and estimate before work is started isnt always possible. Had a car accident several years ago. 1st estimate was like $4500. Shop ordered all parts on estimate and got started. Could not get rear alignment right and found other bent parts, just enough to throw everything off. By the time they finished, it came to over $12,000. If the car hadnt been only a year old, am sure it would have been totalled, am surprised they didnt anyway.
 

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I had a blowout on a Goldwing back in 2010 and the bike was totaled. The worst of the worst happened; my father was riding with me and he didn't survive the accident. I had State Farm at the time. They paid for the bike and a death claim and my insurance never went up. About a month ago, a pickup did a Uturn into me, hit and run so my insurance is footing the bill. I was on a 2008 VTX 1800 and I currently have Allstate. Body damage on the bike was estimated at about $6500 but the adjuster said they were unsure about the internal damage. They totaled it and gave me $7,500. Haven't heard anything about premium increase yet so shhhhhhh, don't say anything :).
 

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Getting a full list and estimate before work is started isnt always possible. Had a car accident several years ago. 1st estimate was like $4500. Shop ordered all parts on estimate and got started. Could not get rear alignment right and found other bent parts, just enough to throw everything off. By the time they finished, it came to over $12,000. If the car hadnt been only a year old, am sure it would have been totalled, am surprised they didnt anyway.
Considering they are replacing the frame, the only major thing would be the forks and wheels ... my suggestion would be for cosmetic visuals ... like scratched levers, grip ends, foot pegs ... you know, all the things that tell a prospective purchaser that the bike has been down the road on its side. When I see bikes with these cues, I don't even consider them as a viable prospective purchase.
I fully understand your correlation to cars, you cant hide to much on a bike, and you can see everything damaged or scratched.
 

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To speak to the confidence part of the OP, I read in Proficient Motorcycling (I think, great book either way) that the most dangerous time to be a motorcyclist is in the 6 month to 2 year experience range. It's that zone where you have built more confidence then ability/experience.

Then there's always "There are two types of motorcyclists - those who have had an accident and those will" quote. :)

Glad you walked away from it!

Joel
 

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State Farm used to be a good insurance company, until recent years. I've had a few claims with them. And pay for full coverage. The most recent being the worst pain in my arse ever. Be weary of the things they approve. They approved my Subaru to be repaired with a refurbished transmission. When the transmission failed, they refused to pay for it to be replaced even though they chose to use a refurbished part. Long story short they replaced the transmission 3 times before finally getting a good one. Racking the bill up to over $4,000. Then told me it was my responsibility to pay for it all because I had it repaired by a shop of my choosing. Instead of on of their "preferred shops". They quickly changed their tune when I said I'm getting a lawyer. They could've paid off my car for what they spent in repairs.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks everyone once again for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I am supposed to be getting my bike back this week -- hopefully it will be just as it was. The whole insurance process has been pretty painless so far, the only thing that has been bugging me is that I don't get compensated for the inconvenience of losing my vehicle for a month, associated costs, etc...

And Sheepdog, thanks for sharing, and sorry to hear about your dad.
 

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... I pay $850 a year for each of my bikes, there is no multi bike discount ... I have a squeaky clean driving record with no accidents or speeding / violation tickets and drive around 160,000 miles per year accumulative with bikes, cars and my tractor trailer. It is what it is.
That's scary. I'm in the UK and riding a new 650S. I've had one at-fault accident and one conviction for speeding in the last 5 years, and recently took out a fully-comprehensive, insurance policy with zero excess and 2 years' No Claims Discount. It cost me £109 and I got £40 rebate through a cashback deal.

My wife has the same bike, same NCD, same zero excess, no claims or convictions. £106 policy and same £40 rebate.

In UK it's all to do with being an old-ish fart and living in a rural area.
 

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it's all to do with being an old-ish fart and living in a rural area.
I fit the same criteria as you .... unfortunately, here its all about making the almighty dollar. In Ontario Canada, there are 3 major companies that have snapped up the smaller, less expensive companies and jacked up the rates, as my broker told me, .... I can giver you a lot of fluff on why rates are high, theft increases, accident increases etc etc, but in fact those contributors are down, its all about profit. I guess I pay.
 

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I fit the same criteria as you .... unfortunately, here its all about making the almighty dollar. In Ontario Canada, there are 3 major companies that have snapped up the smaller, less expensive companies and jacked up the rates, as my broker told me, .... I can giver you a lot of fluff on why rates are high, theft increases, accident increases etc etc, but in fact those contributors are down, its all about profit. I guess I pay.
I imagine medical costs and compensation for personal injury are far higher than here in the UK.

I don't imagine our insurance companies are any less interested in profits than yours' :)
 
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