Renters' Insurance Claim - Compass Wanted.
September 18, 2011 6:51 PM   Subscribe

Our family's four bikes were stolen ! BOO ! We have renters insurance, Yay? Do you have any tips for navigating a successful renters insurance claim for bicycles?

Our two daughters' bikes (one pretty high-end) and my two bikes (a high-end cyclocross and another 'fitness bike') were stolen out of an enclosed storage area next to our house. All together, we're looking at around $3K worth of bike. We were all extremely sad about this and it would be FANTASTIC if our renters' insurance covered it.

When I was pricing it, I had specifically asked if it would cover my bike if it was stolen off our property and was told yes. But I am paranoid and my kids would be really disappointed if we couldn't replace the nice bikes they had. I also have general mistrust around insurance companies' happy willingness to fork over cash.

I've filed a police report online with Oakland PD and have submitted a claim online with Farmers. I'm planning on calling them tomorrow if I don't hear from them. I'm just looking for any insight about what to say about the situation to help make sure we get it covered. I also have not provided my insurance company with any inventory of my bikes or my personal property. Does that mean they'll tell me to go fly?

Thanks for any insight
posted by duckus to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You'd need to post your policy and any applicable riders/addendums for us to know definitively what will be covered, what won't be and what sort of deductible you're looking at.

The terms of your policy won't change now, they were already set.
posted by Brian Puccio at 7:00 PM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Start looking for receipts or some sort of proof that you owned the bikes.

Also, contact your agent, part of his/her job is to advocate for you...
posted by tomswift at 7:04 PM on September 18, 2011

My homeowner's insurance covered $2000 worth of lost luggage (my suitcase full of nice business clothes, cosmetics and a custom $500 mouthguard, which someone else took out of the overhead by mistake and was never seen again), although we have a $1000 deductible. Still worth it. I emailed them a spreadsheet of estimated replacement costs, as well as ages of the various items, and they deducted depreciation and covered the difference less deductible. This was with Liberty Mutual. It was actually a totally fine experience, despite my many misgivings (would they think I was lying? would they demand receipts? who keeps old receipts for shoes? etc) and I would certainly file again in the same situation.

I should reiterate that I did not get full replacement cost for my stuff, but getting half of my $2K back made a big difference.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 7:09 PM on September 18, 2011

Also, the only thing I had a receipt for was replacement cost for the mouthguard.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 7:10 PM on September 18, 2011

Every insurance policy I've had has had a rider specifically for bikes, which I had to request and for which I paid extra. Read your policy carefully.
posted by goo at 2:43 AM on September 19, 2011

Every insurance policy I've had has had a rider specifically for bikes, which I had to request and for which I paid extra. Read your policy carefully.

This is true of my insurance as well (RBC insurance), but that was only due to the fact that I have a $1000 bike and a $1000 deductible, which is less than helpful. I know that my bike would have been covered under my standard renter's insurance.

Yeah, you should be fine - hunt around today for any information you might have about your bikes - sales receipts would be preferable. But if you have repair receipts from a local bike shop, that's proof that your bikes are the kind of bikes that they are, which can then be priced out (I assume, but am not sure, that you would receive replacement value and not your original cost, so proof of what bike you had is very helpful). Barring those, did you write down the serial numbers? Or do you still have the owners' manuals?
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:21 AM on September 19, 2011

Assuming you've got replacement cost coverage on your policy--check the terms--this is how this is going to go down.

The insurance adjuster is going to cut you a check for the actual cash value of your bikes, minus any applicable deductible. The ACV is basically what you could have sold the bikes for, so it's going to be some fraction of what they cost new. Then you're going to buy new bikes and give the receipts to the adjuster. He'll then cut you a check for the difference between ACV and the price you paid, assuming you bought bikes that were pretty close to what you had before. No going out and doing a massive upgrade.
posted by valkyryn at 5:46 AM on September 19, 2011

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