You walk out the front door and see that your motorcycle is no longer where you parked it. It’s a feeling of dread that affects everyone who owns a motorcycle. After you calm down from looking around for your motorcycle, it is time to file a police report that it has been stolen.
But what about your insurance company? Should you file a report on your stolen motorcycle?
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As you contact the police and your insurance company, several questions may pop into your mind. What follows are the answers to questions such as what if a motorcycle is stolen without insurance, and what if the stolen bike is recovered after settlement?
You will learn about the basics of motorcycle insurance if your bike has been stolen. Knowing what to do will help you make the best-informed decisions about whether to file a claim.
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Does the Insurance Company Cover Stolen Motorcycles?
Your motorcycle insurance will cover theft under two basic circumstances. You have comprehensive motorcycle insurance, which covers many different events.
In most cases, comprehensive motorcycle insurance will cover theft and vandalism, fire, and damage caused by hail and even animals. You will need to read your insurance policy fully and check with your insurance agent to see if theft is covered. But in most cases, theft coverage is part of comprehensive motorcycle insurance.
The other circumstance is if you have purposely added theft to your standard motorcycle insurance. Many insurance companies will have individual coverage that can be added to the state minimum. So, in addition to liability and uninsured motorists, you may add an extra fee to your premiums coverage for theft.
Keep in mind that if you have third-party theft coverage, it only applies to the other party, not you. So, check with your insurance agent to see if you have theft coverage for your bike.
What Steps to Take in Filing a Claim?
The first step is to report to the authorities that your motorcycle has been stolen. The faster you call the police, the higher the probability your bike will recover. However, it would help if you kept in mind that motorcycles are less likely to recover than vehicles.
You will need to answer all the questions asked by the insurance agent. They will walk you through the claim filing process. At that point, an adjuster will be assigned to assess whether the claim is valid and honored.
How Much Does the Insurance Pay for the Stolen Motorcycle?
Typically, insurance companies will pay you the same amount for a stolen motorcycle as they would if it were totaled in an accident. This means that they will pay the blue book value of the motorcycle. The blue book value of motorcycles and vehicles is not what you paid at the time of purchase. Instead, it is the bike’s value when stolen, which is almost always less.
In addition, there is the deductible which will be subtracted from the money provided to you. Plus, if you have any liens against the motorcycle, such as a loan, that will be deducted from the payment.
This is how insurance companies usually determine how much will be paid for a stolen motorcycle.
To receive the money, you will need to turn over the physical title of the motorcycle to the insurance company. Essentially, they pay for your motorcycle, meaning they become the owners.
Does Your Insurance Go Up if Your Motorcycle was Stolen?
Although not guaranteed that your premiums will go up after the motorcycle has been stolen, it’s quite possible. This is because insurance companies assess your premiums based on risk. Depending on the circumstances of the theft, your premiums may or may not go up.
For example, if everything reasonably possible was done to prevent the motorcycle from being stolen, and yet it was anyway, your premiums may not go up. This will depend on whether you have ever had a motorcycle or vehicle stolen. But if this was the first time your motorcycle was stolen and it was in a safe, secure area and adequately locked, your rates may not increase.
However, if something reasonable could’ve been done to prevent your motorcycle from being stolen, then it is pretty likely that your rates will go up. Leaving a bike unattended in a known dangerous neighborhood without locks or other protections will guarantee that your rates will go up on your following premium payments.
Whether the rates go up or not will depend on the assessment made by the adjustors. So, if there is something in their report that you can successfully dispute, it may result in your rates either not going up or rising at less than recommended.
What Can I do About My Uninsured Bike?
If your motorcycle is stolen with no insurance that covers theft, the insurance company is under no obligation to pay you anything. To ensure you get paid for your stolen bike, you must have theft coverage that applies to you and not a third party.
In addition, if the blue book value of the motorcycle were less than the deductible, then the insurance company would not pay any money for that either. So, you should read your policy carefully and talk to your insurance agent to see if you qualify for a motorcycle stolen insurance payout.
What if Stolen Bike is Recovered After Settlement?
If the insurance company has paid you for the loss of your motorcycle, then they own the motorcycle. This means that if your motorcycle is recovered after the settlement has been made, they own it.
In most cases, the insurance company will have an auction to sell off motorcycles or vehicles that have been recovered in this fashion. This means you can buy back your old motorcycle if desired and possibly for less than the insurance company paid. However, since it is an auction, there is no guarantee that it will sell for less than what you received from the insurance company.
So, if your motorcycle is stolen, you should call the authorities first and then your insurance company. This will give you the directions needed to file a claim on your stolen motorcycle.
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