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You’ve been in an accident while driving your motorcycle. Understandably, you may be hesitant about filing a motorcycle crash insurance claim. After all, filing claims is not a common experience for most people.

What follows is some motorcycle insurance claim advice that will help you along every step of the way. Remember that all insurance companies have their own processes for handling claims, so you should read the policy and talk to your insurance agent for the details. But this article will help guide you through the most common areas of filing a claim.

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What to do First

A motorcycle insurance claim is filed for three primary reasons.

  • You’ve been in an accident
  • Your motorcycle has been stolen
  • Your motorcycle has been damaged or destroyed for reasons outside of having an accident

If you have been in an accident, the first step is to check for any injuries and seek medical attention. The next step is assessing the damage by getting your motorcycle off the road and looking it over. Get all the details from the other driver, including their insurance information. Take photos of the damage and the location where it happened.

Should You File a Claim?

Apart from who is at fault, it will depend on if the damage is covered under your insurance policy, if anyone was seriously injured, and the extent of the damage to the motorcycle.

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After all, if your motorcycle has only suffered a few dings and the cost of repairs is less than your deductible, then do not call the insurance company because you will pay for it yourself regardless.

But if the damage is well above your deductible, you will need to call your insurance company to take the first step in filing a claim. However, it would help if you waited at least a few days because some internal injuries that may not be apparent during the accident may arise afterward.

How to Make the Claim?

The first step is to call your insurance agent or company. This assumes that you have checked for injuries, assessed who is at fault, and the damage amount on the motorcycle. Because these are the questions the insurance agent will ask.

In addition, the insurer will gather all the relevant information about you, anyone else involved, and the accident itself. When you are asked, tell the story of what happened. Be sure to tell the truth and be honest when answering questions and providing information.

bike owner takes photo after an accident with a car

Once that process is complete, an adjuster will be assigned to handle your claim. They will calculate the cost of the damage, which the insurance company will offer to repair your motorcycle. And depending on your policy, the insurer may assist with getting your motorcycle to the repair shop, determining if you need a rental, and all other relevant information.

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If you have been injured, the insurer will handle the medical bills that you have accumulated. Otherwise, you now sit and wait for the claims process to work.

If your motorcycle was stolen, you must tell the story of what happened. This is part of the motorcycle theft insurance claim process. You will be asked questions about the steps you took to protect your motorcycle from being stolen and the circumstances of the theft itself.

This is similar to filing a claim for the damage or destruction of your motorcycle by means other than an accident. Keep in mind that the policy may not cover some sources of damage, such as a natural disasters. This is often the case with an ‘act of God’, so be sure to read the policy first and discuss it with your insurance agent.

How Long Will it Take?

The claims process depends on the insurance company, the type of accident you have experienced, and the extent of the costs to repair your motorcycle. However, the average time that it takes for most claims is four to six weeks. This allows enough time for the process to conclude and for you to receive the settlement that the adjuster has made.

Can You Negotiate?

You can negotiate the claim amount, but you must wait for the settlement to be recommended. As part of the claims process, the adjuster will include the information used to assess the settlement amount. You can respond to their letter by recommending a higher amount, but you need to provide something that backs up your offer.

This can be some overlooked information on the part of the adjuster. If you provide that information, the insurance company will offer a counterproposal. You may not get the total amount you want, but if you negotiate properly, it will usually be higher than the first offer made by the insurance company.

Will My Insurance Premiums Go Up?

Premiums are based on several factors, but RISK is the most important to the insurance company. That is, whether they assess that you are now an increased risk due to the accident. The insurance company may view you as a higher risk even if you are not at fault. That is why you should not file a claim unless the damage to the motorcycle well exceeds the deductible.

going up graph

This is one reason a dropped motorcycle insurance claim may occur if the risk increases. The bottom line is that you should expect an increase in your premiums even if the accident you were involved in didn’t happen while riding your motorcycle. There are many other reasons for an increase in premium in renewal, though.

It is you that the insurance company assesses in determining risk. Although if you own a make and model of motorcycle that is more involved in accidents than most, that may also cause a rise in your premiums.

Before filing a claim, you should discuss your policy with your insurance agent. Remember that you can discuss the possibility of claiming with the company and assess from there.

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Mike Navarette has more than a decade of experience in the auto insurance industry, but that's not his true passion. He loves getting on a motorcycle to explore roads he's never traveled. You'll find Mike in the garage working on something when he isn't helping clients or leaning into curves. It's sometimes a side hustle, more often a favor, but it keeps his hands busy doing something productive. Since the first time his father strapped on his helmet and took him for a ride, Mike has loved bikes. That passion, along with a desire to help others through a deep understanding of insurance policies, led to the creation of Motorcycle Ride Coverage.

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