Many bikers assume if their custom motorcycle is stolen or totaled an insurance company will pay the current value of their stock model plus the full cost of all chrome/additional equipment/custom paint. North Carolina law, however, only requires that an insurance company pay the fair market value of the entire motorcycle, which is the amount an average buyer would have paid for the motorcycle before it was stolen or totaled. Insurance companies often do not give the motorcyclist anywhere near full value for the amounts that have been paid for chrome/additional equipment/custom paint. Insurance companies will depreciate these items, but may also say that an average buyer would have paid very little for such items because they were the preferences of the prior owner. Your full investment in chrome/additional equipment/custom paint, however, can be protected. Ask your insurance agent how these items can be insured under your motorcycle policy for what they cost you, which is often referred to as Optional Equipment Coverage. Ask your agent what would be the premium cost to add Optional Equipment Coverage for the exact amount of your investment in chrome/additional equipment/custom paint. You may find that the cost is not very much or maybe even at no charge (as long as you can show documentation of your purchases). Whatever you decide about insuring your motorcycle, I encourage you to retain all records of your motorcycle purchase, save receipts for any chrome/additional equipment/custom paint and keep up to date photographs of your motorcycle.
If you have any questions about your motorcycle insurance coverage or want to talk to me about an accident call me at 800-942-1191. I am always available to answer your questions, and my consultations are free.
Gary Poole – On the Side of Those Who Ride