Legally Speaking- Not Depreciated
By Bob Mionske
Posted Dec. 26, 2002
My bicycle was totaled when it was run over by a truck. I was waiting at a red light on the right shoulder when the truck driver also waiting at the light, began a right on red turn. I saw that the trailer was going to hit me and tried to move out of the way. The wheel hit my front wheel and I jumped off the bike and was able to avoided being hit, but the bike was crushed under the rear wheels of the truck. The trucker’s insurance company offered to pay for the bike and asked me to get an estimate to replace it.
My local shop provided me with an estimate for $3500, which is less than I paid. I submitted this to the insurance company and just received a letter with an enclosed check of $2100. The letter said that because the bike was four years old, they estimated that it had depreciated 40 percent (10 percent a year).
Have you been a nice boy this year? Maybe you got what you needed under the Christmas tree on Wednesday morning. On the other hand, you could send the check back, contact the insurance company representative and reject their offer and demand the entire $3500. The argument that the bicycle depreciates 10 percent a year is ridiculous. According to that logic, my 1993 Specialized Epic Allez is worth zero!
This 10 percent per annum depreciation of property value is used by some insurance companies to determine the replacement value of automobiles and is simply not applicable to bicycles. While some diminution of value is reasonable, 30 and 40 percent is excessive if the bicycle was well maintained.
If you are unable to come to an agreeable replacement value with the insurance company, contact me directly and I will assist you pro bono.(Happy Holidays-
The information provided in the "Legally speaking" column is not legal advice. The information provided on this public web site is provided solely for the general interest of the visitors to this web site. The information contained in the column applies to general principles of American jurisprudence and may not reflect current legal developments or statutory changes in the various jurisdictions and therefore should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal advice. Understand that reading the information contained in this column does not mean you have established an attorney-client relationship with attorney Bob Mionske. Readers of this column should not act upon any information contained in the web site without first seeking the advice of legal counsel.
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