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Insurance claims from third party

jai7783jai7783 Posts: 56
edited March 2015 in Road general
I was knocked off my bike by an 80 year old lady last week. She has admitted fault and passed me her insurance details- no problem.

I was riding my 2015 S works venge with zip 404, with full dura ace. My dream bike!!!! It was only the second time I had ridden it and was in showroom condition. As a result of the collision the bike took a thump from the car and went bouncing down the road. Only the crank and callipers appear unmarked. The frame is scratched, although doesn't appear cracked or compromised but I guess I won't know for sure.

my query is........ I understand by law I shouldn't be in a worse position than I was prior to the accident?? If the assessor states that the damage is cosmetic and should be touched up, then surely i will be worse off because my frame will still have been hit by a car!!! Has anyone else had similar issues when claiming.

thanks

Justin

Posts

  • pastryboypastryboy Posts: 1,385
    If the bike is worth less now then that's a valid form of loss known as diminution in value. Hard to put a figure on but in theory you shouldn't lose out.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    You're not going to get a new bike out of it if the value now is less than the value of a new one. If it were the case that you got new for old, the roads would be full of idiots looking to prang their cars, bikes etc in order to get a new one. The only way of avoiding a loss with vehicles is to have GAP insurance as a back up that will make up the difference between the offer and what a new replacement would cost. If the assessors decide your bike is a write off, they will offer current market value only. With your frame, you could argue that you want it to be sent to Specialised to be assessed for structural damage under the paintwork rather than just be resprayed and you want the paintwork to be done by Specialised rather than some archway paint sprayer with no experience of bicycles.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,014
    jai7783 wrote:
    my query is........ I understand by law I shouldn't be in a worse position than I was prior to the accident?? If the assessor states that the damage is cosmetic and should be touched up, then surely i will be worse off because my frame will still have been hit by a car!!! Has anyone else had similar issues when claiming.

    I'd agree with Philthy3. The frame needs to be properly checked to make sure there is no hidden damage and it then needs to be repainted to as good as factory condition (I guess that should take into account the weight of the paint for a high end bike where you are paying a premium for not carrying around a lot of weight). Only then can it be regarded as being as good as it was before. Probably it would be easier for the insurers to replace the bike.
    I would say though that a bike ridden twice realistically has the same value as a new bike. Maybe not as a second hand product but for you, you bought a new bike and you expect to continue to own a more or less new bike. Never mind that it might be tough to find a replacement Venge that is in your size and has only been ridden twice anyway, if you'd wanted a second hand Venge you could have bought one in the first place.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    Were you injured in any way?

    It sounds terrible but I think I will consider feigning injury and getting authorities involved if I am unfortunate enough to have another incident that leaves me with a repair bill.
    I think thats the only way personal injury no win no fee companies will get involved.

    Without that you seem pretty stuffed for getting justice as a cyclist unfortunately.
  • A bike ridden twice would have little depreciation.

    The insurers will ask you about injuries and quite likely will give you a payout. I just had a sore knee and they gave me £1000! No need to get the no win no fee people involved.
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    It is your legal right to specify who does the repair work, not the insurance company's right.
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • I do have some experience of this (see avatar).

    I found that the insurance company I was dealing with, and the solicitor representing me, both had something of a mental block when it came to the equipment damage I had suffered. It was straightforward for me to recover costs for new clothing, however for the bike itself I had an uphill struggle. You will have to repeatedly emphasise that the bike is worth, what, £8k or so? More than the car which hit you, I would imagine.

    One example was my front light - about £300's worth. This stopped working, and I was offered a second hand replacement amount. I refused, on the grounds that if a car headlight unit had been damaged, one would replace the part with a new one, not a second hand one. I successfully extended the same argument to the shifters, bars and the saddle.

    When it came to the frame, I had it assessed and it was still in alignment. Unlike you, I could not point to any specific cosmetic damage. I did manage to successfully argue that its resale value was now effectively nill - the equivalent of selling a written off car - since I would have to disclose that it had been crashed. I did get some compensation for this.

    I think you will be hard pressed to find a reputable bike shop willing to give a crash damaged carbon frame a clean bill of health. Being a US company, I also doubt that Specialized will do so either. But I agree with others that you should go through the motions of seeking a cosmetic repair and respray, as though it was a car. After all, it may really only be cosmetic damage, which can be repaired if the insurers can find anyone willing to take on the work.

    You must not accept an equivalent second hand cost unless you have a gun to your head, since it will be practically impossible for you to find a replacement second hand in the right size. This type of settlement is only acceptable for cars and motorcycles because it is an effective way of placing you in the position you would have been had it not been for the accident. Not all adjusters will appreciate this; they will just be going through the motions and not really thinking to hard about the specifics of your case.

    You may need help from a solicitor.

    I'd personally recommend this, since the burden of hand to hand combat with an intransigent insurance company can be wearing. You may well still have to do all of the thinking, but you should not underestimate the benefits of headed letter paper or the implied threat of much more substantial legal costs. It is also quite possible that the solicitor and insurer have dealt with one another before. In my case, there was a prior professional relationship which appeared to help the process, since there was prior expereience of cases actually having been lodged in court.

    I used my house insurance legal cover. Another option is CTC or British Cycling membership, I believe. Either way, since liability appears to have been accepted, you should not have any problem having your case taken on.

    Regrettably, this will all take time.

    One final note - do NOT make anything up. By all means get assessed for injury to yourself, but if there isn't any, there isn't; move on.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    Just for the record, I am not suggesting the OP makes up any injuries.
    I simply asked if he had any, and separately said that I would be more on the ball next time anything happens (and may consider it) after being fcuked over/attempted to be fcuked over on two occasions.

    I would rather do things decently, but in the back of my mind I will anticipate being fcuked over, and an injury might be nice to have in my pocket if the other party and their insurer do not have the same desire to be fair.
  • reds99reds99 Posts: 46
    The only way to discover if a carbon frame has suffered damage is to do a NDT(non destructive test). In this case a carbon frame is sprayed with water and a Xray of the frame is produced, that should pinpoint any defective. Whether this process is possible with a paint sprayed frame, i couldnt say. But stripped of paint is. Stripping of paint and respray is easy to find the people with the skills, doing a NDT another matter. A ndt should also be carried out in the manufacture process, certainly on the most expensive frames.
  • Thanks all, I think I will get a solicitor to handle my claim.

    Another thing that comes to mind is that the frames warranty will now be void due to the collision, so I will be at a loss if its not replaced.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    Thats pretty much that then. It needs replacing.
    It is unsaleable and without a warranty.
    If its not replaced then your only option is to keep it forever (possibly stopping you upgrading or changing it for any other reason you may need to). The very situation where the lifetime warranty would be most handy :shock:

    Let us know what the final outcome/settlement is.
    Hope you get it sorted satisfactorily.
  • w12_ladw12_lad Posts: 172
    I was knocked off by a car entering a roundabout while I was on it.
    Happened last July.
    Police and ambulance were called and it was a clear cut case that the driver was at fault and she accepted a driver awareness course as her punishment.
    My bike was brand new on the day of the accident.
    The car hit me side on which bent the near side crank arm towards the frame.
    There was cosmetic damage to left hand shifter, Bar tape, bar and saddle.
    I could only see a minor scratch on the carbon frame.
    I used the solicitors through British Cycling Membership.
    I got an estimate from the shop for replacement parts including the frame which the shop manager stated would need to be replaced in the absence of an x-ray type inspection.
    All this came to more than the full retail cost of a new bike.

    Now the interesting stuff.....
    Due to discounts running at the time of purchase combined with staff discount of a friend of mine, I paid almost 40% less than full retail.
    I told the solicitor that she should argue that....
    a) I should have a brand new replacement. She agreed and said it would be quite likely as it was brand new that day.
    b) They should either get a brand new bike themselves or give me the full retail price in a settlement as I can no longer use the staff discount (this is true). She agreed to try but said there is no way they will give me more than I actually paid.
    After more than 6 months of the insurers ignoring us and generally using delaying tactics (they didn't even admit liability until threatened with court which was 2 months after the driver had been prosecuted and had attended her course) they agreed to pay me for the bike.
    I was expecting the amount I paid but it was for the full retail cost!
    I also got to keep the original (apparently standard practice) which I will be riding.
    As an aside, my solicitor got caught red handed, lying to me. When the other side sent the cheque, my solicitor sent me an email saying she had tried and tried to get the full amount but they just wouldn't budge and as I warned you, they would only reimburse what you actually paid.
    Oh really!
    Hope that helps the OP.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    I hope you reported her to the Solicitor's Ombudsman then.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,673
    W12 lad wrote:
    As an aside, my solicitor got caught red handed, lying to me. When the other side sent the cheque, my solicitor sent me an email saying she had tried and tried to get the full amount but they just wouldn't budge and as I warned you, they would only reimburse what you actually paid.
    Oh really!
    Hope that helps the OP.

    Orally or in writing?

    Very, very dodgy. The money that comes in, presumably a cheque to the solicitors, has to be paid into client account. Transferring any part of that to office account without a proper bill is dodgy. Now, if the issue of costs was to resolved later then the amount that came in on that first cheque is yours. Plain and simple.

    How did it all go down? It's behaviour that could result in striking off if reported to the SRA.
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
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  • w12_ladw12_lad Posts: 172
    The cheque was addressed to me clearly stating that it was for the bike (the injury part of the claim is ongoing) but sent to the solicitors to pass on.
    My solicitor then sent me an email saying the above but she put the correct amount in the email, she obviously assumed that it would be the lower amount and added the stuff about trying to get the full amount off them to make me feel better..
    I assumed she had made a mistake on the amount and the cheque was actually for the lower amount because of all this begging she had tried to do to the other side.
    It was a nice surprise when I got the cheque a couple of days later. Nearly £700 difference.
  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,673
    Ah, that's not QUITE as bad. Though still bad. I assumed she'd tried to somehow take the balance in some way.
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
    https://twitter.com/roubaixcc
    Facebook? No. Just say no.
  • jai7783jai7783 Posts: 56
    just to let you know.... Insurance has been sorted within 4 weeks, paying out full RRP as quoted by the LBS- Result

    The insurer I was dealing with was Sabre insurance and they were fantastic throughout.
  • jai7783 wrote:
    just to let you know.... Insurance has been sorted within 4 weeks, paying out full RRP as quoted by the LBS- Result

    The insurer I was dealing with was Sabre insurance and they were fantastic throughout.

    Good result. There are good insurers and there are bad. I know, I deal with both every day!

    What's happening to the old, damaged bike? Is the LBS repairing or replacing it?
    There's no such thing as too old.
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    W12 lad wrote:
    The cheque was addressed to me clearly stating that it was for the bike (the injury part of the claim is ongoing) but sent to the solicitors to pass on.
    My solicitor then sent me an email saying the above but she put the correct amount in the email, she obviously assumed that it would be the lower amount and added the stuff about trying to get the full amount off them to make me feel better..
    I assumed she had made a mistake on the amount and the cheque was actually for the lower amount because of all this begging she had tried to do to the other side.
    It was a nice surprise when I got the cheque a couple of days later. Nearly £700 difference.
    That's not lying, that's an error of communication / mistake. Whe had no intention of not passing the full amount onto you. She had just somehow thought it was the original purchase price not the RRP.
    Bianchi Infinito CV
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  • w12_ladw12_lad Posts: 172
    I never suggested she intended to keep some of the money. The cheque was addressed to me so that would be impossible.
    She received the cheque, assumed that it was the lower amount and made up the stuff about begging them for the higher amount. Had she actually spoke to them, she would know what amount it was.
    I also never suggested it was a big important lie and thought it was quite funny.
    I'm a complete cynic and understand that these little lies happen all the time to show they are doing a wonderful job for me.

    The really enjoyable bit was when I spoke to her after the cheque arrived.
    I didn't pull her up on the lie directly but there was a great pause when I told her the good news.
    A couple of embarrassing seconds where she knew that I knew she had lied to me.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    If she is negotiating the injury compensation for you then it may not have been the wisest move to embarrass her just for the sake of personal enjoyment. Probably wont make any difference but scoring points doesnt always motivate people to try their hardest on your behalf later.
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