Motorcycle Insurance Claims

How to File Motorcycle Insurance Claims

Filing motorcycle insurance claims isn’t something the average motorcyclist worries about on a regular basis. However, most motorcyclists have experienced one of these scenarios:

  • You skid and wipe out on a patch of rough road. Your motorcycle is heavily damaged.
  • You are injured in a fall when swerving to avoid collision with a driver that ran the light.
  • Your bike is vandalized and your GPS device is stolen.

While you most likely have insurance coverage in place, you may have no idea how to file claims until you have a reason to.

When it is time to file a claim, make sure you have an agent who will for you. A local member of the Trusted Choice® network will work carefully with you to ensure your claim is processed as quickly as possible. Find a Trusted Choice member agent and get started today.

If you are in a severe accident, make sure you are safely off the road and call 911 before anything else. If the accident is not severe, you can simply contact local police instead.

When speaking with other parties involved, such as a driver or witness, do not place blame, and do not admit to causing a collision. There can be a number of factors involved that you may not have seen, and it is important to leave it to the authorities and the insurance companies to determine the cause of the incident.

Document Everything

Motorcycle insurance claims can go much more smoothly when the answer to who, what, when, where and how is clear.

If other vehicles are involved, gather contact and insurance company information from everyone involved in the incident. Take photos documenting the damage to your motorcycle as well as any damage to other vehicles. Keeping accurate information will help prevent any false claims the other driver may file.

It is also a good idea to take pictures of the surrounding scene. Include identifiers, such as street signs and landmarks.

If anyone else witnessed what happened, be sure to ask them if they would be willing to share their version, then record their contact information. When speaking with the police, explain what happened as clearly and thoroughly as possible.

If your motorcycle was stolen, write down everything you know that could be helpful in locating your bike. For example, if you have a tracking mechanism installed, or you remember seeing any suspicious activity, be sure to provide this information in your police report. Make sure you get a copy of the police report, as well.

Contact Your Agent to Begin the Claim Process

Once you have the police report, photos of the damage and the other driver’s information, call your agent and inquire how to file claims with your motorcycle insurance company

The claims process includes providing detailed information on the accident claim or stolen motorcycle claim. When you call your agent, be ready with your insurance and motorcycle information. Your agent will ask you about certain details, including:

  • What happened
  • Whether your bike was damaged or stolen
  • Whether anyone was injured
  • Whether your motorcycle needs towing
  • Whether there is a police report and other documentation

Give your agent copies of photographs, police reports, medical reports and other information. If the accident involved another driver, give your agent a copy of that driver’s insurance and contact information.

For a vandalism claim or stolen motorcycle claim, describe the scene of the crime. Provide your agent with information on the damage to your bike, as well as a list of items stolen.

If you had any customized work on your motorcycle, be sure to include any documentation or receipts you may have.

How Do Claims Work?

Your agent will help you with the claim process once you have provided information about what happened to your agent or insurance company. Here are the steps:

  1. Inspection: The first part of the claim process is inspection of damage or evidence of loss. If your motorcycle is being repaired, the claims adjuster will contact the shop and will work with the repair technicians to determine the cost of repairing your bike.
  2. Adjuster recommendation: After reviewing the damage, the adjuster will provide your insurance company with recommendations. The adjuster will consider the value of the bike before the accident, referred to as “actual cash value.” If the costs of the repairs are less than the value of the bike, the adjuster will likely recommend that the motorcycle be repaired. If the damage exceeds the value of the actual cash value, the adjuster will most likely consider the motorcycle a total loss.
  3. Coverage review and settlement: Once the adjuster has made a recommendation, your insurance company will review the causes of the accident and your policy coverage. If you were responsible for the crash, your insurance company will discuss your liability coverage with you.

After reviewing your policy, your insurance company will offer a settlement for the damage and handle paperwork for any medical payments covered under your policy. This settlement will depend on the value of the bike and the cost of repairs.

How Do You Report Fraud?

Reporting fraud is very important if you suspect someone has made a false claim regarding damage to their vehicle or personal injury. Some of the most common fraud cases involve people claiming they were physically or emotionally injured, falsely reporting vehicles as stolen and falsely claiming damage that already existed.

Another fairly common fraudulent insurance claim occurs as follows:

  • A person who was not insured under the vehicle policy was driving the car when an accident happened.
  • The insured party conceals the fact that the uninsured person was driving the vehicle when the accident occurred.

Report fraud anytime you are aware that it has occurred, or suspect a claim is fraudulent. Fraud costs insurance companies an estimated $40 billion each year, resulting in increased premiums for insurance customers.

When Is a Claim Denied?

Motorcycle insurance claims may be denied for several reasons. A common reason is insufficient coverage. You may not have the right coverage for the particulars of an accident. For example, if you only have liability insurance, and you have filed a claim because of a collision with a deer, you will not have the right coverage for that claim.

Review your coverage with your agent when you buy or renew your policy. Make sure you have the coverage you need for potential liability, collision and comprehensive claims, as well as your bike’s replacement value and any aftermarket upgrades you have made to your vehicle.

Also, review any restrictions in your policy. These are incidents or types of damage that your insurance company will not pay for out of that particular policy.

If your claim is denied, discuss it with your agent. If you feel the denied claim is in error, ask about the appeals process and consider filing an appeal with the insurance company.

Work with an Agent for Best Service

Getting the right insurance for your needs is important. Find an agent in the Trusted Choice network today. The agent will find you the right policy at the right price, and will ensure that you have the help you need when it comes time to file claims.

Now, who's ready to get their insurance problems solved?