Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Saving Money on Insurance: Now vs. Later (Getting Real Serious Now - Part II)

"Get a quote in just 15 minutes or less."
"Save up to 50% with Motorcycle Insurance discounts..."
"Cheap Rates as low as $9 a month."

That's just the first three descriptions that came up when I googled "motorcycle insurance." Save, save, save. Save money now, and quickly too. Why would they want to do that?

Left: Tooter's Street Glide after the accident. Right: Tooter with Adam of #ScootinAmerica

"The NY State Trooper who responded to her accident showed up at the hospital and gave her a ticket for failing to signal!"

In Part I we talked about how states determine what class vehicle your motorcycle fits in. In New York motorcycles are considered recreational vehicles because we use them about six months out of the year. And because of that, motorcycle insurance is very different than auto insurance - what you're covered for in your car isn't automatically covered on your bike.

(I'll just remind everyone that I'm not an insurance agent or broker, nor am I an attorney of any type. I'm just someone who has seen a few things while working at FX Caprara Harley-Davidson.)

So, back to the question: Why are insurance companies in such a hurry to save you money? Shouldn't they be trying to save money themselves? After all they are a "for profit" industry that makes Billions in revenue every year (yes, Billions with a capitol "B").... How do they do that by saving you money on your insurance premiums?? Things that make you go, "hhhmmmmm....."

Of course any business wants to control their expenses as best they can so they can make money. And THE biggest expense for an insurance company is paying claims, so they'll want to keep those down by paying the least possible.

"But my insurance agent is a nice person! S/He always shows me ways to save and says I'm fully covered." Are you signing their paycheck? No! Plus, what exactly is their definition of "fully covered"?? Because if it's the bare minimum the state requires under the law, it isn't designed to help or protect you at all. Let's add in the fact that there is no law saying they have to disclose everything to you at point of sale (unlike a doctor, lawyer or real estate agent). 

Show and Tell Time: This my friend Diane - aka Tooter - from Minnesota. This is what her bike looks like now.... thanks to being rear-ended by a semi-truck on the interstate. She's been in hospital close to two months after getting a life-flight. She has a broken collar bone, had a collapsed lung, has a few rib fractures, a broken left leg, and a gash that nearly took her leg off completely. 

Tooter is on the mend, but it's been a long, slow road. She has had to endure numerous surgeries to try and close her leg wound -yeah, it's that deep. Intensive care round the clock. And now she's getting physical therapy while still in hospital. The goal of her doctors is to get her mostly healed so that she can get home and be under the care of her local doctor. There's still no idea as to when that'll be.
"motorcycle insurance is very different than auto insurance - what you're covered for in your car isn't automatically covered on your bike"
Since the accident, Tooter has received bills for her life-flight and has even gotten a letter from New York State. They said if they find any damages to the road that were from the truck hitting her they'll may send her a bill. Nice (not).

And all this is after the fact that the NY State Trooper who responded to her accident showed up at the hospital and gave her a ticket for failing to signal! Keep in mind the trooper didn't actually witness Tooter's accident - he's just basing the traffic violation on the word of the trucker who hit her.... Yeah, I'm sure he's going to be completely unbiased.

Recap: Biker hit from behind by a semi-truck. Trucker says Biker is at fault and Police give Biker the ticket. State says they might send her a bill for road damage. One Life-Flight, nearly two months of intensive, round-the-clock care, numerous surgeries and physical therapy visits later.... Bonus: Biker is hundreds of miles away from her home, work, family and friends. What's the real cost??

Fortunately, in addition to increasing the right parts of her motorcycle insurance policy, Tooter has already hired legal representation. However, that's going to cost money as well, and it's far from being over. For me and Tooter's other friends & family, we're just thankful she's still with us and on the road to recovery - that was a close one!

Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated!
Here's Tooter's Go Fund Me page ~ thank you so very much!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

I write our E-Newsletters too!!

Did I mention that already?? Actually, writing FXCHD's E-Newsletters is just one of the reasons I started this blog! But then I get so busy creating content for our newsletters, I forget to write for Life Behind Bars!! So I'm going to try to remedy that.... Here it goes:

Here's the link to this week's E-News from FX Caprara Harley-Davidson. And in case you don't want to click there, then here's what I wrote:

Swinging into the Holiday Season
We really can't believe that Thanksgiving is next week already! Where does the time go?
A quick reminder that FX Caprara Harley-Davidson® will be closed Thanksgiving Dayso that our employees can celebrate the day with friends & family.
FXCHD will re-open on Black Friday, November 25th, at 9am. Sleep in and still get a good deal! This year we'll be saving you 25% on all in-stock, regularly priced Licensed Products throughout our dealership all day long. Plus take an extra 15% off items on our Licensed Products Clearance Rack.
And don't forget this year's Holiday Gift With Purchase: a beautiful (and collectible) Harley-Davidson® Memory Box while supplies last. This is only available in store - any online purchases won't qualify. 
We'll keep things rolling with FXCHD's Twelve Days of Badness. Every day starting Saturday, November 26th till December 7th we'll have one item on sale. Check our websiteFacebook or Twitter pages each day to see what the item is, or you can email Dawn and she'll give you the whole list.
Of course the ultimate gift is a Legendary Harley-Davidson® Motorcycle - the battery is included and no assembly required!! Right now Harley® has Extended the Factory Warrantyon new 2016 H-D® Motorcycles till April 1, 2019. Also Dan Carfi (our GM) got Americu to do 120 Days No Payment - see us for details.
So stop in and see us soon! We've got the coffee on!! And we're always happy to help you find the perfect gift for that special someone (or even yourself!)!

What I'm thinking of doing in the future is to write actual text in this blog, then put snippets of this blog in our e-news - that way you can click on what you wish to read more about and skip what you want.... What are your thoughts? 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Planning the Road Ahead

Bikers (aka Motorcycle Enthusiasts) are constantly scanning the road ahead looking for a myriad of challenges that we might have to negotiate when riding: loose dog, pot hole, gravel on the road, other drivers etc.

So it should come as no real big surprise that we usually do the same in our day-to-day life. "I'll leave for work 10 minutes early because they're supposed to start road construction today."  "I better get Bob those reports I know he needs at the end of the month." Those kind of things.

Of course we wouldn't be true Bikers if we weren't looking
forward to next year's riding season! The Watertown Chrome Divas have already started planning their 10th annual Ta-Ta Run, and - even though I stored my bike for winter at FXCHD - I think it would be fun to Ride Route 66 in August 2017.

Because we do all this planning & scanning ahead, we sometimes feel as if everyone should do it - is doing it, because it's such second nature to us. But clearly that wasn't the case because - in case you've somehow missed it - so many people have been stunned by the outcome of our Presidential Election (don't worry- this won't turn into another political blog, I promise!).

Going into this election I assume we all knew there would be a
loser as well as a winner - I mean, that's how the game is played people!! I had a plan in case the person I voted for didn't win (and if you want to see who I voted for you can check out my Twitter and/or Facebook accounts). 

My plan was to move into a quiet cottage in the Irish Countryside (my maiden name is McBride!) and live out my days. Sure I'd have to learn how to ride on the other side of the road.... but that should be easy!

However, on election day, I changed my plan. I'd decided that no matter who won the election I was going to stay in America, stay American. After all, this is where the greatest motorcycle manufacturer was started (I'm talking about Harley-Davidson of course!)!! And this is where the American Biker Culture that I love was born and continues today. 

Nope- just before I walked into my polling station, I pledged I would stay and help to heal the wounds of my country. Especially since many of us have realized our country was divided before the election - the vote just brought it all to a head.

So it is in that mind set that I look to a future for all Americans.
Working towards how we can learn to listen to each other so we're all heard. How we can come to appropriate compromises so the majority or those that need it most benefit. How we can all travel the same road in relative happiness. 

Look ahead. Embrace the future. Say & do good things - ALL of us. Besides us Bikers know that you've gotta #KeepMovingForward in order to balance on two wheels. 

And I'll just leave one of my fav Cat Stevens songs right here...
Two balance on two wheels you've gotta #KeepMovingForward