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!!