Sunday, April 19, 2009

"Fair Market Value" or "Pre-Crash Condition"

In case you haven't been following my blog for the past week or so, I got hit by a car last Saturday while riding my bike. I've been working on what I should ask of the driver's insurance company as far as repairs or replacement to my bike. Here's the latest.

I talked to my lawyer brother-law-today, and he had some great advice for me. Since Michigan is a no-fault state as far as auto accidents and insurance go, the fact that the driver's insurance company is offering to pay for anything shows that they probably just want to make my situation go away. Otherwise, they would have referred me to my own auto insurance to make a claim (which I'd rather not do, to avoid higher premiums). So, if I try to push for a new bike that's four years newer than my damaged bike, they'll likely see that as an upgrade and refuse to pay for it. I can, however, demand that all of the damage done in the accident be made right - including the cosmetic stuff. I can ask that my bike be returned completely to its pre-crash state of repair.

So, my brother suggested that I get both a quote for the list of every repair needed to return my bike to its pre-crash condition and an estimate of the "fair market value" of the bike. Then I should submit the higher of the two numbers to the insurance company along with my police report and other documentation. I'll get those final numbers together on Monday and submit everything to the woman who's handling my claim. I think this is a very reasonable route to take. I hope the insurance company sees it that way, too.

But, if they want to be really difficult about it, I have a lawyer to back me up. Cool!

I also went out for a ride today on my old mountain bike. It was great to get out there, even for a short 10.5 miles, but it wasn't the same. I've fallen in love with the road bike!

1 comment:

  1. Your brother has given you some excellent advice. The detailed estimate will help your case as it demonstrates you are detail oriented and are only interested in being indemnified - to be "made whole again" which is the idea behind insurance.

    Sounds like things are under control but if something else comes up, feel free to send me an email!