Sophia my scooter was damaged when a car clipped me and knocked me over. I suffered leg injuries
When the time was right I arranged to have Sophia delivered to Road and River, a local motorcycle servicer, for an assessment of the damage. I was concerned about the structure and the possibility of unseen damage.
I was told the repair would be quite expensive
So I arranged to have Sophia moved to Peter Stevens Motorcycles - the local Vespa dealer and where Sophia was purchased.
I did this through my insurer Famous Insurance
That was pretty much one of only three phone calls I had with the insurer
A few weeks past and as I’d heard nothing I followed up to see about the repair quote
I was told by Peter Stevens that Sophia was a write of with a repair bill of $8,500
Shocked I spoke with Joe from Liquid Paint - a Vespa repair specialist in Melbourne
Joe suggested I take some photos and send them to him as the Peter Stevens quote seemed high
I arranged to visit PS and take photos
Later that particular morning I was told that Sophia wasn’t there and had been collected by the insurance company, but PS did send though photos taken
In a bit of a state of shock - there was not yet a formal claim, and the scooter was still mine - I started making phone calls
In the meantime Joe shook his head and said that the repair bill was outrageous and from the photos he couldn’t see the cost being anywhere near that high.
I phoned Famous Insurance. That morning it took me 4 hours to make contact. I was stressing, I didn’t know where Sophia was or what was happening. I finally made contact by ringing “sales” not “claims”
I was told Sophia have ben written off, and placed on the Written Off Register. This meant that Sophia was deemed by Vicroads to be unrepairable, and was deregistered.
Stress levels increased. Why was this the first I was hearing about this?
Famous managed to tell me where Sophia was. Apparently a holding yard for an Auction House. Stress levels increase
I phoned the holding yard and confirmed Sophia was there (after some reluctance to disclose)
I said I wanted to collect MY scooter and deliver it elsewhere (to Joe for a full assessment)
I was told I would need a “release form” in order to collect Sophia
I was given the phone number of the Auction House and made contact
Stress levels soared when I was told that the “owner already has the release form”… after staying calm and explaining that I WAS THE OWNER, I was transferred to someone who confirmed Sophia’s location and said there was a “hold” on the scooter. Alarm bells ringing.
I arranged for Sophia to be collected and taken to Joe - and that was ok, and from that time things went relatively smoothly.
So, Sophia was officially a write off, and unable to be repaired or registered. She could only effectively be sold for parts. I received a letter from Vicroads confirming this as stating I had 28 days in which to challenge the decision
So I did a little research. The Assessor who was engaged by Famous Insurance has done the paperwork. Famous tried to tell me that there was a legal requirement to de-register the scooter.
BUT, when I researched the provisions of the relevant Act i discovered that to be placed on the written Off Register and be deregistered as motorcycle MSUT meet (all) three criteria:
a financial write off (ie repair too expensive), AND
frame damage in two locations, AND
OR having been submerged in salt water, OR freshwater for more than 24 hours
According to Joe, there was no frame damage. There was certainly no suspension damage and so the Assessor, employed by Famous did not have the legal right to arrange de-registration of the scooter. I was furious
In the meantime Joe had prepared his quote of around $1,600 and sent it to Famous - remember the Peter Stevens quote of $8,500
I contacted Famous (again, never receiving any sort of update) and was told that the claim would be revised. Now not trusting Famous, I asked for a call back within a week, and emailed to confirm
Well I did received the call back. The revised quote was accepted and Joe could repair Sophia.
Famous, or the Assessor would also arrange to the re-registration of the scooter.
Joe was great…but as he came to the end of the repair, he noticed Sophia’s mirrors were missing… somewhere between Sophia leaving my office where she was resting and photos being taken at Peter Steven, they had been removed...
So why I will NEVER use Peter Stevens - poor/no communication, outrageous and questionable pricing, and a sense of a “couldn’t care less” attitude - after all Sophia is a limited edition/special scooter. Perhaps Peter Stevens just wanted to sell a new bike as a replacement?
So why I will NEVER use Famous Insurance - outrageously bad communication, irresponsible assessing, illegal reregistration (etc)
I fail to understand why these service providers did not respect MY OWNERSHIP of Sophia, They created high stress levels…
Yep, I will NEVER use or recommend Peter Stevens or Famous Insurance. If anyone reading this does use them, I’d recommend thinking twice.