I was recently asked to review a total loss claim from a motorcycle accident located in Ventura. The fact that it was a total loss and the guy was alive to ask for help was a miracle, but never the less I thought about it and reviewed his claim settlement to determine if I could help him.
The path was clear, although it was not going to be easy. He did not have an “Actual cash value” policy, he had a “stated value” policy. That meant that his insurance company just went to the available guides for average values of stock motorcycles. His problem was proving the motorcycle had as many upgrades and what the fair market value actually was.
I had him give me a written list of all the changes and upgrades and where or whom did the custom work. I took that list to several dealerships for upgrades pricing and then custom paint shops for costs. I did the prior to loss appraisal through this method and completed the appraisal that he submitted in support of his dispute with the insurance company’s determination of value.
The process took about 60 days and was very expensive, but the client was fully compensated for replacement. This process doesn’t always work out as this did, but it can be a path to getting your vehicles replaced with like and kind.
All the time I was performing this appraisal, I was thoughtful that had the client taken advantage of our appraisal service prior to his loss, and gotten an agreed value policy he would have had settlement far sooner and with much less expense and energy, not to mention the emotional stress, proving it pays to be prepared.
Protect Your Investment. Have it Appraised!