To help you avoid getting the short end of the stick in the unfortunate event of a motorcycle accident on your bike, here are three things you should look out for when you’re dealing with insurance companies:
1. Increase your rates when you weren’t at fault
My insurance rates went up after both of my accidents. This didn’t make much sense to me because I was in no way at fault during one of the accidents (the driver didn’t yield properly when turning left). Still, somehow the other guy’s insurance company figured I was 30% at fault, and I ended up getting penalized by my insurance company. I wasn’t penalized a whole lot, and I ultimately just let it go. I wish I hadn’t, though. Insurance companies often claim that you were partially in the wrong, even when the other party involved in the accident could be considered entirely responsible.
If you get in an accident, check to make sure you aren’t being held more responsible for the accident than you should be, and consider hiring an attorney to help you contest inaccuracies and increases in your insurance rates!
2. Send your bike to an under-qualified mechanic
As previously mentioned, my bikes were never the same after their post-accident repairs. Insurance companies want to save the most money they can, even if that means sending your bike to a mechanic who won’t give it the tender, loving care it needs. If possible, try to take your bike to a mechanic you already know and trust. Insurance companies can’t force you to take your bike to their mechanic, but insurance reps can definitely be pretty persuasive when it comes to things like this. So, don’t be afraid to stand your ground!
3. Neglect to compensate you fairly for your injuries
Let’s say you’re fortunate enough to feel fine the day after your accident, and you tell your insurance company and the other party’s insurance company you feel fine. You might start to feel back and neck pain a few days after the accident. At this point, the insurance companies may try to get out of paying for some or all of your medical expenses, depending on their individual policies and how much time has elapsed. When you first speak with insurance reps after the accident, it’s essential that you tell them you’ll be visiting a doctor to assess any potential injuries. They don’t require that you respond immediately regarding your physical condition. So, give yourself the time you need to assess your own physical damage.
Motorcycle insurance companies essentially exist to help you in the wake of an accident. That doesn’t mean, however, that many of them aren’t primarily focused on their bottom line. So, consider the possible ways they might take advantage of you, and arm yourself with a lawyer if you want to make sure you’re absolutely, 100% fairly compensated.
Stacy Holmes is a motorcycle enthusiast, mother, and freelance writer for www.motorcycleinsurance.com and other motorcycle sites and blogs. When she’s not on her motorcycle, Stacy spends her time writing about her adventures on the open road.