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In the event of a loss, an adjuster is going to pay you the "Actual Cash Value of your bike. Now understand, what YOU feel the actual cash value of your bike is, and what the adjuster feels the actual cash value is, is probably at opposite ends of the payment spectrum. So, if you take a couple of minutes to do the following exercise; you'll save yourself a lot of aggravation in the event of a loss..
First: go to Kelly Blue Book kbb.com to the motorcycle section (click on the "motorcycle" icon in the left hand column), and fill in your zip code, and click on the "on land link" first try the trade in value, and then go back ands do the retail value. Follow the links that pertain to your year make and model. Find it? Ok, now add the two figures together and divide by two. From that figure, depreciate for mileage, wear and tear, etc. Then add in the receipts for the extras you've put on your bike. (Remember here, items like tires and replacement parts are not considered upgrades; those are considered necessary maintenance items. Remember here too, that an adjuster does not necessarily think that "jazzy" paint job increases the value of the bike either.) That total is an approximation of where the insurance adjuster will "start" determining the value of your bike in the event of a loss. Are you shuddering yet? If you are, you NEED an appraisal.
Remember, an adjuster is going to take the "Actual Cash Value" of the bike, depreciate it, and then add on the receipts. Whereas, with an appraisal, the adjuster will start at the appraised value, and work down.
Just for laughs I did my own bike, 1997 Police Custom Fuel Injected which is not even listed on the Kelly Blue Book (KBB) page. The trade in value was $9370.00 and the retail is $13000.00. If I add the two together and divide by two I get $12,370. If I add in my receipts I'm only up to $21,000 and the appraisal I have for my bike says it's worth $28,500. So I would really lose out in the event of a loss! For me the appraisal makes sense!
So if you're wondering how you'd make out in the event of a loss, do the above exercise and it will give you an idea of what you'd be offered in the event of a loss. Rule of thumb is, an appraisal is good for a couple of years, and obviously if you make any major changes to your bike, get an updated appraisal. It's money well spent! Most of us value our motorcycles more than we value anything else we own!!
Plus, make sure you save all your receipts!
An appraisal costs about $200- $225.00 ($200.00 if you tell them I sent you, I believe) and worth every penny you spend on it.
If you do the exercise and find your within an acceptable range for the value of your bike, then you probably do not need an appraisal. I share this in the attempt to answer the "when and why" of the necessity of an appraisal. Hopefully it will help.
I cannot tell you how many times I am emailed and called with this question; "Why do I NEED an appraisal? Or, when do I need an appraisal?"
This question is to be answered by the individual; but here's a few tips to help you decide whether or not getting an appraisal makes sense.