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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lawyer & Real Estate Broker, 30+ years, foreclosure, land contracts, inheritance, probate.
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I have a question regarding setting up a proper approach for

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I have a question regarding setting up a proper approach for damage on a vintage collectable motorcycle 1950 example of models (built between 1950 - 1967 ) during transcontinental shipping which I fear will greatly exceed the limits quoted in the contract. Partially my error as I thought I had purchased additional insurance but after reviewing contract and bill realize I was never charged for this.
I would have to provide the contracts, claim, supporting damage documentation from shipper, receiver and photos as well as provide some references why models produced between 1950 - 1953 vary by as much as 50% from other similar models before you could answer the question of - is this worth retaining an attorney for.
Marc Drapeau, Brunswick, Maine [email protected]

Hello Marc. Thanks for submitting this interesting question. I tend to agree with your brother. Your analysis about paying an attorney to pursue a claim for more than the insurance limits makes sense. Insurance policy limits are stated in absolute dollars for the reason that you find yourself in now. The insured must select the amount of coverage and courts will enforce the contract as written. I don't know what you mean by a "state option". State law of contracts where the policy was issued applies. You haven't said how the damage occurred or if there was third party negligence involved. IMO, that would be your best chance to recoup your loss.

I hope this information is helpful and that you will enter a positive rating. I thank you for submitting your question to Pearl-Just Answer. We appreciate your business. If you need clarification or additional information, please send me a Reply and I will be happy to explain further. Please consult a local attorney to verify the accuracy of this information according to your state's laws.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The contract with broker specifies claims with them to be filed in San Diego CA. They instructed me to file with (www.stidelivers.com). Are they a third party ? Initial notification claim was filed November 12', however (STI) are unwilling to send an appraiser (2 telephoned requests) they are familiar with circumstances, are not redirecting claim yet. Instructed me of a 9mo. limit to establish estimate but I am pressured given scarcity parts and unknown costs associated with rare items. Do I have room to be more demanding with them eg. requesting full damages and labor to establish estimate and repairs, address 'Loss of Value' etc. Should I negotiate with them or their insurance carrier ?

Do you know exactly what happened during shipping to cause the damage? The carrier, SDI is actually the first party in a damage claim for negligence. (They would be a Third Party in your claim against your own carrier.) Negligence would be something like they didn't tie the bike down or pad it correctly. Or perhaps something was allowed to fall on it. Their liability coverage should cover the whole loss, unless you signed a waiver of some kind beforehand. You can negotiate directly with SDI until they turn it over to their insurance carrier, which I'm surprised they haven't already. I can't comment on the 9 month to provide estimate issue, since I haven't seen your shipping agreement, but I would obtain such and submit it within that period. There must be numerous motorcycle collectors and mechanics who can evaluate the loss. Use a reputable dealer/collector ala the guy in Las Vegas who has a show on the History Channel. He seems to know everything about anything with wheels on it and there must be others like him around where you are. Good luck getting this resolved asap.
I hope this Answer is helpful and that you will give it a positive rating. If you have any follow up questions please send back a Reply. You should consult a local attorney to verify that this information is accurate for your state. Thank you for using Pearl.com- Just Answer. We appreciate your business.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes I appreciate your reply - this is quite a different situation now isn't it. Actually your third guess is probably quite correct, that something quite heavy did fall on it this was our first estimate and background chatter when communicating with STI reflects this but of course they will not disclose the scenario. The damages are consistent with this. The upper parts: Decompression, clutch, brake levers are bent or completely missing speedometer, fuel tank were crushed and the front shocks were compressed and bent, Front and rear fenders torn, etc, Evaluation by an expert is not so much of an issue, there are many I am familiar with and picture have been sent. Why is estimation such an issue then ? Well front shocks, control levers don't come up for sale very often on rare bikes especially ones that are profitable when restored to collectors, fi they do become available will the prices be reasonable I expect costly and frankly we have to deal with Italian's, more costly then some one in the states. I may have to purchase a 2nd bike to obtain the many replacement parts.


 


Loss of Value: As a junior collector of mid 50's Italian cars and motorcycles (we all need hobbies) I appreciate an all original and complete vehicles are more desirable and command more than a vehicle which has been restored. For example one auto I have commands 2x the insurance than recent auction values would suggest, because it is hand built yes but all original down to the paint and entirely intact.


 


This motorcycle was original and never involved in any major repairs or restoration so some value has been lost - how quantifiable this is I am not sure.


 


I obtained it cheaply but was simply fortunate after years of study and contacts. I am concerned this will negatively affect the decisions of the insurance carrier ie. claiming 'totaled' at a value less than true replacement value for the 1950 model which is at question.


 


For illustrative purposes I will refer you to


http://ltjackforce.hubpages.com/hub/Moto-Guzzi-Falcone-Sport-Classic-Superbike


And the line which reads:


"Of all the many versions of the post-1950 single, a genuine Sport is the rarest, most prized - and most imitated. Collectors beware!"


 


and where we can see actually in the real world


 


http://www.guzzino.com/sobise.html


 


And direct your attention to the right hand column and the difference in price for the 1952' Falcone vs. a 1957' Falcone.


 


As per your 2nd response, I interpret this as:


Deal first with the 1st party (the carrier STI) contracted with the brokerage in CA. It is reasonable to expect full coverage, additionally I should feel encouraged to obtain legal counsel (as probably more worthwhile) in this scenario if reimbursement is deemed inappropriate.


 


Would you agree or disagree on this assessment ?


 


Should I approach the broker simultaneously for the purpose of increasing the pressure on the first party to be agreeable ?


If so would you recommend a letter from a retained counsel or ease the tension with a direct letter from myself ?


To party 1 (STI) or party 2/3 (http://www.1aamotorcycles.com/), or both and what party am I here ?


 


As I appreciate that this is taking more of your time,


I would like to authorize and increase the payment how would I do this ?


 


Regards,


Marc

IF you enter a positive rating with one of the smiley faces, you can add an addition payment with a bonus. I will be off line for a short time and will return in an hour or so.

I am not sure what I am supposed to do with all of the technical information you've provided. You can write it all up for the insurance company and put a value on your demand, but they will undoubtedly want confirmation from an independent. expert - either yours or theirs. Don't worry about the legal technicalities. Just back up your claimed dollar amount with people who could qualify as appraisal experts. Then if you can't come to terms on the amount, hire an attorney. Be sure that you stay within the time limits for filing that are stated in your contract and for filing suit under CA law.

I hope this information is helpful and that you will enter a positive rating. I thank you for submitting your question to Pearl-Just Answer. We appreciate your business. If you need clarification or additional information, please send me a Reply and I will be happy to explain further. Please consult a local attorney to verify the accuracy of this information according to your state's laws.

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