Okay kids, get out the popcorn... sorry about the length of this post.
Megson/ING Insurance – Be sure you know what you’re buying
I know a few of you BCSB’ers are waiting for me to share my experience with my claim through Megson/ING Insurance and so far it’s not been a great experience for me. I don’t want to leave anything out (which I’m sure I have) so that's why it goes on & on & on. Feel free to make any comments that you want to – I’d love to hear any ideas that you have. I told a representative at Megson that I would be posting this up, so this will be no surprise to him.
A bit of background:
Motorcycle: 2000 Honda CBR 600 F4. I bought this motorcycle in July of 2004 for $7000 and it currently has 38,000 kms. It is in great condition and has a double bubble windscreen ($120), frame sliders ($75), a new 525 chain ($160), and had regular service & maintenance done (I provided receipts to ING to prove this). The bike was in good condition.
Purchased insurance: ING Insurance through Megson Fitzpatrick on April 1, 2006 for $455. In good faith, I valued my bike & gear at $8000 for the purposes of the insurance coverage because that’s what I thought it would cost should I have a claim, to replace my motorcycle (Megson asks for a "declared value" - "that should include value of accessories/trailer/riding gear/PST and GST" - when you purchase the insurance). For those of you who are not aware, Megson is a broker for ING Insurance. I have been having difficulty with ING Insurance (the Megson rep has been reasonable).
Accident: On October 12, 2006 I lowsided my bike as a result of riding over diesel fuel on the 176th exit off of Highway #1. I hadn’t even started to turn the bike when I hit the diesel and I was on the ground before I had time to react (there was a patch of diesel dropped on the pavement that carried on through the corner). No, I wasn’t speeding. The bike slid about 100 feet and as a result, there is damage to the fairings – front & side – and shifter, etc. to the tune of about $5000 (including labour & taxes). There was damage to my gear, Joe Rocket Kevlar pants (holes in my right knee) and a ripped Kevlar patch on the right elbow of the jacket. Other than that there was no other damage to the gear. I was told by the appraiser that the gear will be replaced however I’ve also been told by the ING representative that the gear claim will not settle until the bike claim is settled.
Here’s what’s been going on since October 12th, and my claim still hasn’t been settled:
Claim: I made the report to Megson as I’m required to do, on October 12th when I got home. I made an appointment with the appraiser who looked at the bike and decided what needed to be fixed to put the bike back in showroom condition (I’ve learned that the insurance company will fix anything that needs fixing so the bike is as good as new). I agreed to waive getting a new swing arm and fuel tank as the swing arm only had a few scratches (and the integrity was not compromised) and the fuel tank had scratches that were there previously, and no others. I then rode the bike to RMS to have them figure out the cost to fix it (I was told that it would be about $5000).
In the letter that I received from Megson when I made the claim, this is what they say about “Replacing Your Vehicle”: “If your vehicle cannot be repaired, we will do a market search to determine the value of a comparable replacement vehicle to yours. ING will reimburse you for the vehicle’s value based on this information, less any applicable deductible.”
I got a call from the adjustor at ING Insurance who told me that they were going to write off the bike. The initial offer was $4,690. The offer was based on their market value surveys with two bikes that they found in Red Deer & Saskatoon (I’m not sure how these markets are related to the Vancouver market where there are several CBR F4’s for sale, but who knows how appraisers think?) and two bikes from BC - one in North Vancouver listed at $5500, and one at a dealership in New Westminster listed at $5000 (which was crashed & burned & in terrible shape).
This value was unacceptable to me so I asked ING to revisit this value (I provided them with a list of similar motorcycles in the Vancouver market to prove that they had placed too low a market value on the motorcycle).
On October 30th I sent ING an email that included about nine CBR’s (F3’s and F4’s) that ranged from $6000 to about $7300.
I also stated in my email that the people at RMS might be able to assist them in placing a market value on the motorcycle however they have not yet contacted RMS.
On November 3rd I received the following from ING:
“I have recv'd the revised report with the value of your motorcycle. The value has increase from the $4690 to $4940 with the receipts you provided. When adding that to get the average with the other adds the new amount of settlement is $5413.50 before taxes.
$ 378.94 (PST)
$5792.44 - $1000 (deductible) = $4792.44 - initial settlement
GST would be $324.81 for a total settlement $5117.25 if the full GST is paid.
You mentioned in your letter that the closest bike to your was for sale for $6000 OBO. If we amend that price for the OBO (-200), (-300) for kms, and (+200) for the options that you would need to add then the price above is a fair and reputable price for the value of your bike.”
Now, if I’m not mistaken, if I was to use their calculations in the purple paragraph, the bike should be valued as follows (forgive me as I’m not an accountant but…)
$6,000 minus $200 minus $300 plus $200 = $5700.
I’m still not sure how they came up with $5413.50.
Because I haven’t accepted their offer I am at the point where I have the option of hiring an appraiser at my cost (approx. $200), and if the figures that ING and “my” appraiser don’t match then there will be further negotiation about pricing and an agreement will be reached. Who will win the final battle on this one I’m sure you can guess, and I’ll be out the $200 I spent on the appraisal.
Anyways, I just wanted you all to know to be careful when choosing an insurance company and have them explain to you what will be covered and how much they will actually pay out should there be a total loss. I don’t feel, so far, that I’ve been treated fairly by ING Insurance and I’m seriously considering looking at ICBC again as I believe that things would have been quite different if I was insured by them (you may have a different opinion however). Warning: you may pay a little less going into the insurance contract with Megson/ING but in my experience you’ll lose in the end if you have to make a claim.
As there are other insurance companies out there – Coast Capital (which I believe is underwritten by Northern Shield) and Beacon I would seriously take a look at them.
I have a few friends that will be reviewing their policies with Megson and will likely just let their policies lapse now as they don't feel confident that ING will cover them in the event of a claim.
When I purchased the insurance, in good faith I placed a value on my motorcycle for replacement cost (which they ask you to do), fully expecting that I’d be fairly compensated and that has not happened. If you are going to consider Megson/ING Insurance I would suggest that you ask them what they would pay you in the event your motorcycle was a total loss.
For example, I’ve spoken with a friend who would have saved $70/year on one of his two motorcycles that he’s got insured through Megson if he had valued the bike at what they would pay him in the event of a claim. That’s a fairly significant.savings.
Comments? Any ideas??