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NSW Insurance valuation help (claiming against at fault driver)

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by Jimmyjojo, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. Hello All,

    I have been left in a difficult situation regarding my crashed bike and would greatly appreciate and pertinent advice with regards to what course of action I can take. I will try to be as clear and succinct as possible.

    Several weeks ago my Honda VFR 800 (2000) was parked on the street when that evening, a driver smashed into it and drove off.

    Police were called etc etc, bike was very damaged, however I do not have comprehensive insurance, thus the wait was on to see if the driver was indeed caught and I could claim through their policy, assuming they had comp/3rd party property.

    Now fortunately the driver was identified, and thus I was able to lodge a Claim against their driving, this was accepted, my bike towed away to the workshop, whereby it was declared a write off, and as such I would be recompensed by the at fault drivers insurance. (AAMI)

    Now here is the rub.
    Initially I was offered $6800, minus the "salvage cost", about $1k, so $5.8 in recompense. Not so bad I thought, im still without a bike but hey thats enough to get something else. However a few hours later I received another call from the assessor saying " OH now its $4.8 minus the salvage cost"

    Now to look at AAMI website and apply for Comp insurance on such a VFR, the agreed value would be $6.8k. To look at the redbook valuation a VFR sits between $5.6 -$6.6k

    Is there anyway I can challenge this low number of $4.8- salvage cost?

    I am not trying to be greedy, but, purely as a victim of circumstance I am now without a bike, and soon to be down several thousand dollars too. Is there an independent line I can call or some way I can challenge the low number or is it simply a case of my word against the assessors?

    Any help greatly appreciated, thanks for the time and thoughts.

  2. That seems wrong to me. I thought it's their responsibility to make sure you can replace your machine with something similar so I don't know where this 'salvage cost' came from. Why should you pay for someone else's mistake, or why should you be out of pocket because their tight insurance company doesn't feel like fulfilling their responsibility to you?

    I know others here will have been in a similar situation, though.
  3. James have a lawyer write a letter stating just the real value of your bike. It may cost your a few hundred, but well worth your money.
    Welcome to NR.
  4. What they offer you is just that, an offer. It is not their only offer and in most cases, the first one will be poor value.

    You simply need to escalate it with them and negotiate the valuation based on condition, value etc etc. You do not have to

    If you do not get a suitable outcome, then you are allowed to contact the Insurance Ombudsman Service. - http://www.aami.com.au/business-insurance/customer-service/consumer-appeals

    You need to try and sort it out with them first. Easiest way is to find similar bikes to your own that are being advertised to get a fair market value for your bike. They will budge from their first offer.

    Don't waste money on a lawyer - at least not yet anyway. They are compelled to offer a reasonable value. If you have it insured yourself for an agreed value, you can go back with that and see what they say.
  5. Salvage cost is because you get to keep the bike. They value the damaged bike at $2k.

    $2k seems high, especially since you cant reregister a repairable write off anymore. Tell them that you will sign the bike over to them and the can sell it for $2k if they think it is worh that, and you will accept a payment for $6.8k.

    If you dont think $6.8k was the value of your bike before it was damaged, send them a few ads from bikesales showing that bikes in NSW of the same year and kms/condition are going for more than that. Actually might be a good idea just to check this before.

    They need to pay to bring you up to how you were before, that is why if they take the bike and you can buy the same bike for the amount paid then it is even.

    If they wont take the damaged bike, or they wont give a fair amount come back to ask advice.

    BTW, insurance companies always give a low first offer. Treat it like a negotiation.
  6. Ok thankyou guys for such a quick response, and the welcome to the forum.

    @Adprom, ok I think your advice is good. I have not agreed to anything yet, and I will offer to the Assessor the evidence based on my findings as to what I think the bike is valued at, and yes I would prefer not to have to get a lawyer involved for now.
    @thanks Vertical C, that makes more sense to my in terms of what the salvage cost is, my workshop offered me about $200 for the wreck just to give an idea of value...

    I have to say for my next bike I probably will get comprehensive insurance, not having it has left me feeling very exposed.

    Thanks again guys, will keep you all updated on how it goes.

  7. I'm with AAMI, and when they replace things from what i understand basically you send them 3 different quotes.. and they go with the median price, so if bike no1 is 5.8, then bike 2 is 4.8 and bike 3 is 6.8 its usually around the middle mark.

    The salvage cost confuses me a bit because your bike isn't coming back to you right? it was a write off, so you are owed a new one, or whatever the agreed value is.

    thats my understanding of it as it was explained to me when i got insurance with them, basically i bought my bike for 4k and its worth 5k to them because thats the market value or whatever is what they said to me. so thats what its insured for, so if i were to write it off i get 5k or the same bike back.

    if you're not happy with that and fair enough its 2k less than its supposed to be, you can either hire a lawyer or get legal aid OR you could ask to speak to someone higher up and they can work on it with you.

    at the end of the day its not your insurer and you weren't insured, so you're lucky they even caught the person and they proved it was their fault.. so i guess you can count your lucky stars they didn't blame you.

    if i was you i would send them 3 different quotes for a new bike or ads from bikesales and ask for a senior person to handle your case.

    Good luck mate and hopefully you get what is entitled to you.

    and thats the same bike or the proper market value so you can purchase another bike.. but as you alluded to you need full comp insurance it should be the top of your list of things to buy.
  8. The insurer is probably trying their luck to see if they can get someone to accept the bike and $2k thinking that they can just fix it, because the person doesn't know they can't reregister it.

    I am sure the insurers are getting a lot less at auction now. They shot themselves in the foot with that one.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. ah i see that answers that question then.

    on fixing up written of bikes there was a thread on here not too long ago, and if you get all the relevant safety issues fixed can't you get it put back on the road?

    or is there more to it..
  10. It's to stop rebirthing of stolen cars was the official line. Dodgy fixes might have been a factor in cars, is pretty hard to hide a crash on a bike unless you fix it properly.
  11. Do some research and find private sale bikes the same as yours with their different asking prices. Try to find the higher cost ones (as long as the bike in the ad is comparable to yours, ie KM's year and condition). Then present these to the insurer with what you believe the bike is worth. As said above, three quotes and the median price is the best approach.

    Then with the salvage cost of $1000 for your wreck, ask where they got their quote for the salvage price so that you can arrange to sell the wreck to that company. If they say its an estimated cost of salvage, then get the repairer you spoke with to provide a written offer to buy the wreck for $200 and present it to them as a fair salvage cost as that is all you can get for it.

    Generally an insurer will have a quote for the salvage price from someone. So hopefully someone will buy it for the $1k. If not, then hopefully they accept the $200 as a fair price.
  12. Ok thanks again for solid advice, quick update.

    So the assessor rang me back again, said the offer is now $4800-$350 salvage cost.

    I explained that I disagreed and that I will email evidence of my findings as to the bikes cost.

    Hopefully this helps things along a bit.

    Thanks again.

  13. I'm still stumped why you should be charged the salvage fee. Ask why. Sounds like they are still feeding you a line. As long as you can hold out re transport, you should still do better.
    Good luck and keep us posted. Quite alot of interested folks are watching but don't always post anything.

  14. I cant say that i have had this happen with a motorbike but my last car was written off when another driver drove into it. It was their fault and their insurer was AAMI.
    You should not need to pay any salvage cost unless you intend to keep the bike AFAIK.

    Insurance comapanies will ALWAYS initially lowball you when they offer to pay you out, as its an easy way to save alot of $$$ since most people just accept it and dont argue. They did this to me (offered me 50% of my cars value). I had to argue with them for a while (a couple of months, it was quite painful, especially since i had no car, this is why most people just accept the money), but I was a uni student at the time so i needed every dollar it was worth. If they are offering less than what it is genuinely worth then stand your ground. Eventually they ended up paying me out exactly what i asked for.

    Hope it works out for you, and a lesson that I learnt... if you can afford full comp then get it. As if i had full comp at the time i would have just run it through my insurance, the other driver would have paid for everything and they would have had all the stress, which is the way it should have been when they are at fault.
  15. I actually think they do it to bully people into getting fully comp, they make money that way.
  16. Similar thing happened to us years ago - someone turned across the path of the elderly Nissan we had and wrote it off.

    The offer was basically silly so we just sent their insurer adverts for a similar model car. The offer became a lot more reasonable.

    You are aware that you could also hit them up for the cost of hiring alternative transport while you are bikeless? Mention that and see what the reaction is. It might help put pressure on them.
  17. Do not accept anything less than what you think it will cost you to REPLACE the bike with something similar.

    Do not let them deduct any "salvage" fees unless you are keeping the wreck (don't see why you would want to)

    If they play hard ball you can play a lot harder. If you're not happy with the process you can lodge a formal complaint with their IDR (Internal Dispute Resolution). They have 45 days to respond to this, but will usually respond sooner. Failing a satisfactory outcome, call and lodge a complaint with FOS (Financial Ombudsmans Service).

    I recommend you put all your dealings with AAMI in writing. The FOS will ask for this dialogue if/when you speak with them, and it will help you win your case.

    Keep us in the loop with how you get on.
  18. Similar kind of thing happening now to a mate so I'm definitely interested! :)
  19. Ok so,

    The assessor was unable to budge on their offer, and as advised on this thread I have emailed my findings to the Internal Dispute Resolution.

    Funnily enough the gentleman I spoke to at AAMI (not the assessor) had seen this thread and was fairly helpfull enough in providing me details as to what process I should go through with the IDR claim etc.

    I emailed IDR with my evidence, which was,
    1- AAMI's own $ valuation (I lodged a quote of the VFR's details to get a estimate)
    2-The Redbook valuation (including links)
    3-and provided links to 3 VFR's in NSW ,all within similar condition that are listed on bikesales.com

    It's more or less out of my hands now, the insurance ombudsman service perhaps a last resort.

    I would like to thank the community of netrider for offering support and advice to a new member, and hope that this thread gives some help to others. Will keep you all posted on the outcome.


  20. In regards to the salvage cost question:

    A lot of people are saying why would you want to keep the salvage....

    If you are claiming as a third party on someone else's insurance policy, then you do not hold a contract of insurance with the company. Therefore the company does not have any policy conditions saying that it will take your bike in the case of a total loss.

    The bike was yours prior and remains yours following the accident. Therefore they will pay you the repair costs to fix it, or the market value of the bike, less what the bike is worth in its current state (the salvage value). They do not own the bike, you do, therefore it is still yours and they cannot take it.

    Be thankful that they also do not deduct the outstanding registration refund. That is a whole new level of fun.

    By the way, good luck with the outcome. Internal IDR area's are usually pretty good and look to pay out exactly what you are entitled to. Where as assessors usually are judged on their average claim costs, Internal Dispute Resolution staff are not. So you should get a better result if your valuations are F&R