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  1. #1
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    Advice on homeowners bike loss--negotiating with adjuster?

    Anyone have any insider information on how adjusters work, and how much negotiation power they have?

    Short version--can I negotiate with them to waive my deductible if the option I select saves them cash?

    Long version--my bike (2016 SC Nomad) was recently stolen, but I hit social media hard and printed paper fliers, and actually got the thing back. Kid spray painted the frame, fork, wheels, and got a little overspray on just about everything else. Adjuster says the claim is covered, and is giving me two options: 1. they'll give me $7000 minus depreciation = $3,000, and if I buy a new bike and submit the receipt, I'll get the depreciation back. 2. I can have it restored and they'll pay for it.

    I know I'm going to have to haggle with them if I want to go route #1--they're replacement value is about $2k low (the bike is my own custom Shimano equivalent to the 2020 X01 with Reserve wheels [$8,500, and then some]). For route #2, I got an estimate from CycloCarbon in MN for $1,500 to restore the bike. Stupid, but I'd rather keep the bike and get it restored. Is there any possibility of negotiating with the adjuster? Can I say "I'll save you about $4k ($7k minus say $3k for salvage on the bike), but you pay for the full restoration and waive my deductible?" I have a $1,000 deductible.

    Is that even a possibility?

    Or am I just being a total idiot and I should buy a 2020 bike?
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    A fucking show dog with fucking papers

  2. #2
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    Is your insurance policy written as covering replacement cost or purchase cost? If the former, I get two bike shops to get you an estimate on the replacement cost (which should be $8,500 from the sounds of it) and present them to the adjuster.

  3. #3
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    Adjusters can always negotiate. That is their job. I am not sure why you wouldn't get the new whip, though.

    The real interesting thing to me is that if they pay you replacement cost then, under most policies, the insurer theoretically owns the old bike.

    I would be curious to see what your policy actually says about how it values personal property.

  4. #4
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    Advice on homeowners bike loss--negotiating with adjuster?

    A little different scenario but I was the dumbass that drove into the garage with my bike still on the roof rack a few years back. Result was a month old custom road frame crunched. Insurance didnít send an adjuster, just told me to get a receipt and they sent me a check and I kept the frame.

    Iíd totally get a new bike and Iím riding a 2016 5010 so I get your enthusiasm for those vintage years.


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  5. #5
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    Take the $3k.

    Strip the bike down to frame and fork - find a local auto body shop to paint those with skulls and flames.

    Buy some new decals.


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  6. #6
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    Agree you can negotiate. But I'd also go for the new bike. As mentioned the old one should become property of the insurance co.

    On that note, you could also make an offer to buy that bike from the insurance company if you want. A friend at home had a V10 stolen up in Whistler. He had it insured for a blanket value and insurance paid him that amount. The bike was later recovered. Not sure if insurance asked him if he wanted to buy it, or if he made the offer, but he ended up getting it for $1000 even though they'd paid him a few $k more than that. The thief had replaced his boxxer with a shiver, which he was actually stoked on. So he kept the extra cash for beer and weed.

  7. #7
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    If you don't ask, then you can't get your way. Get as many "reasonable " estimates as you can and present them to the adjuster. It's just like any property claim. You can willing accept their offer, or you can protest. One thing is for sure, if you accept the offer, then you can't do better. If you do protest, it is definitely to your advantage to be prepared with a cogent argument with evidence.
    ďA society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.Ē
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  8. #8
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    Advice on homeowners bike loss--negotiating with adjuster?

    You can negotiate. I had 3 bikes stolen once. I had receipts, pictures of all upgrades with receipts, current $ amounts of all items, invoice from manufacturers on current model replacement, etc. Baffle them, they donít know this stuff like you do/should.
    Iíd get a new bike w/ the money.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  9. #9
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    I'm glad I asked--you guys are awesome, thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    Is your insurance policy written as covering replacement cost or purchase cost? If the former, I get two bike shops to get you an estimate on the replacement cost (which should be $8,500 from the sounds of it) and present them to the adjuster.
    Hmmm, I don't remember now, but she told me outright that they'd give me $3k, but if I bought a new bike, they would send me a check for the depreciation they took off. I was thinking of getting an estimate from a shop, and now you've reinforced it, so I'll definitely do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by RootSkier View Post
    Adjusters can always negotiate. the insurer theoretically owns the old bike. I would be curious to see what your policy actually says about how it values personal property.
    Yeah, she told me they'd take it as salvage.

    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    On that note, you could also make an offer to buy that bike from the insurance company if you want. but he ended up getting it for $1000 even though they'd paid him a few $k more than that.
    DUDE. Mind blown. So you're saying that I can have a brand new 2020 bike AND my bike and only be out a thousand (or two or even three)???? This seems too good to be true. I need to think more on this strateegery. FrigginA!

    Quote Originally Posted by schindlerpiste View Post
    If you don't ask, then you can't get your way.
    True nuff.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natedogg View Post
    I'm glad I asked--you guys are awesome, thank you.



    Hmmm, I don't remember now, but she told me outright that they'd give me $3k, but if I bought a new bike, they would send me a check for the depreciation they took off. I was thinking of getting an estimate from a shop, and now you've reinforced it, so I'll definitely do that.



    Yeah, she told me they'd take it as salvage.



    DUDE. Mind blown. So you're saying that I can have a brand new 2020 bike AND my bike and only be out a thousand (or two or even three)???? This seems too good to be true. I need to think more on this strateegery. FrigginA!



    True nuff.
    Anyone want to come steal my bike? Iíll leave the garage door open, garage fridge stocked with beer. Go for a rip and leave it in the bushes! Really want a slacked out long travel 29er.


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by plugboots View Post
    Baffle them, they don’t know this stuff like you do/should.
    Interestingly when my bike got stolen the adjuster State Farm assigned to my claim was a mountain biker - and was assigned to it for that reason. He was quite familiar with bikes and components, which was a good thing.
    Last edited by evdog; 09-24-2020 at 11:28 PM.

  12. #12
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    Advice on homeowners bike loss--negotiating with adjuster?

    Quote Originally Posted by Natedogg View Post
    Yeah, she told me they'd take it as salvage.



    DUDE. Mind blown. So you're saying that I can have a brand new 2020 bike AND my bike and only be out a thousand (or two or even three)???? This seems too good to be true. I need to think more on this strateegery. FrigginA!
    This is quite easy and as designed. You arenít doing anything shady here. Replace the bike then repurchase the bike back as salvage. Get two - three quotes to replace it and give those to the adjuster. Buy the one you want and submit the receipt. They will likely sell you the damaged bike cheap, the same as whatever a ďsalvorĒ will pay for it which is probably 30-40% of its real used value. The salvor only wants the bike if they can sell it at a profit to a Re-seller and account for their time.

    Note that doing what was described by Evdog above is likely fraud (negotiating lower prices on other parts on the basis of paying full price for insured parts) but Iíve had insureds alter financial records to game their claim and my clients wonít go after them for fraud so....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natedogg View Post
    Or am I just being a total idiot and I should buy a 2020 bike?
    Bullshit. Itís your bike. You made the effort to get your bike back because itís your bike you built your way. Keep that thing. Itís going to have character and a story now, and thus, it will be priceless.

  14. #14
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    Update on this and maybe informative for people searching the forums in the future for a similar situation. It took some haggling, but the insurance co finally agreed that the bike was worth $8500 (getting a free written appraisal from the LBS helped). The adjuster got me in touch with salvage to arrange pickup of the recovered bike, and salvage asked if I wanted to buy it back. Street value seems to be about $3k (maybe more now due to COVID), and I bought it for $1,000. Thanks for the heads up evdog and especially neufox re: buying it back! When I got the check in the mail, it wasn't for the $8500 minus the depreciation, it was $14000 minus depreciation (which worked out to about $8500). Not sure how that worked, but I'm taking the $8500, getting this thing a slick paint job, and running.

    Thanks for all the comments and help!
    A fucking show dog with fucking papers

  15. #15
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    Very nice, sounds like the next round of beers is on you!

  16. #16
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    “I love a happy ending”
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  17. #17
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    Way to stick it to the man.

  18. #18
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    Nice!
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natedogg View Post
    Update on this and maybe informative for people searching the forums in the future for a similar situation. It took some haggling, but the insurance co finally agreed that the bike was worth $8500 (getting a free written appraisal from the LBS helped). The adjuster got me in touch with salvage to arrange pickup of the recovered bike, and salvage asked if I wanted to buy it back. Street value seems to be about $3k (maybe more now due to COVID), and I bought it for $1,000. Thanks for the heads up evdog and especially neufox re: buying it back! When I got the check in the mail, it wasn't for the $8500 minus the depreciation, it was $14000 minus depreciation (which worked out to about $8500). Not sure how that worked, but I'm taking the $8500, getting this thing a slick paint job, and running.

    Thanks for all the comments and help!
    Just a reminder - you NEVER, EVER get to complain about your insurance premiums again. Not for your entire life!

  20. #20
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    FYI for those who have a bike that you put a bunch of $$ in it is not too much of a hassle to get an appraiser to do a report for replacement value for insurance purposes with just some pictures and links to components, etc. Nice to have handy for if this does happen.

  21. #21
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    Pay once or pay over your whole life either way you pay for the bike!


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