Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Laguna Seca Recreation Area and Update on Our Stolen Bike Claim



We were pleasantly surprised with the campground at Laguna Seca. For $33/night with Jim’s $2 senior discount, we have electric and water at our site, and there is a dump station, flush toilets, and showers.


We even have a nice view of the green hills between Monterey and Salinas.


Some of the sites overlook the Mazda Raceway, which has practicing drivers on a daily basis. There is also a shooting range on the other side of the campground, so depending on where you park you either hear racecars or gunshots, but it hasn’t been bothersome since it’s been cool and we haven’t had windows open.


It’s also rained off and on since we got here yesterday, which is good news since this part of CA really needs the rain. We did squeeze in a little hike between showers. These would have been great trails to mountain bike on.


Speaking of bikes, we did take a drive to Monterey and Carmel to look at a few bike shops but didn’t really see anything we were interested in.

And I saw a recipe on Watson’s Wander blog this morning for these Honey-Lime Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos that sounded so good I had to make then tonight. I must say they were excellent, and Jim concurred. I will definitely be making these often!

And now I turn this post over to Jim for some insurance talk:

Since people asked I thought I would give you an update on our insurers handling of the stolen bikes.

I first reported the loss to the Salinas PD yesterday morning. Couldn’t reach them by phone, their voicemail box was full. I was able to submit the report online. As you can imagine, other than an automatic email saying they got it I heard nothing else.

I took photos of the car and scene and then contacted our insurer, National General Insurance, formerly known as GMAC. Other than a windshield claim this is the first experience we have had with them. They took my report and within a couple of hours I was contacted by phone by the claims rep assigned to our claim.

I discussed the loss with him and advised him that I had photos of the bikes, serial numbers and receipts for all the stuff that was taken. I emailed all of those records to him late yesterday afternoon. This morning I received an email noting they have sent payment with an itemization of what was paid for each item.

We have what is known as fulltimers coverage, which includes some coverages that are similar, if not identical, to what you will find in a homeowners or tenants policy. It includes personal property coverage in an amount that we specified. It also covers our personal property at replacement cost value. However, generally you don’t get the replacement amount until you actually replace the item. In this case the bikes were so new I assume they decided to not apply depreciation pending our replacing the items.

One commenter mentioned that his policy covered property only when it was attached to his RV. I had not heard of coverage that limited before. Our policy covers your personal property up to the limit of the policy at your campsite. This means anywhere you park your RV and the surrounding area. Had we taken the bikes on the car to a location away from the RV then the limit would have been reduced to some percentage of the personal property coverage. This is generally the case on a homeowners policy as well and the policy spells out the percentage it is reduced too. You can purchase insurance for specific items which will cover them wherever they are up to the limit and that is referred to as a scheduled item and is used most frequently for expensive items like jewelry, silverware, art, etc.

So, as far as I am concerned, their service exceeded my expectations. The service in my experience, having worked in insurance claims, was exceptional. Of course, this can all vary based on the claims person you deal with and the company. There is a good bit of fraud in theft claims.

I know that people love to complain about insurance companies and there are plenty of reasons to be aggravated with them. That said, you need to read your policy before a loss and have some idea as to how and what is covered. If you find that the coverage isn’t what you would hope for you need to find coverage that provides what you want and decide if the cost is worth the coverage.

Hope this info helps someone. Property and auto insurance can be a complicated subject and there is a lot more to this topic, but I suspect everyone fell asleep a couple of paragraphs ago.


  1. Looks like a nice new home with some great views. Hope you can get in some long hikes.

    It's nice to read how smoothly the claim went with this provider. We are with the company. Hope you are able to find some new bikes.

  2. This is great to read that an insurance company treated you fairly. Care to share the name of your company?

  3. No sleeping here. Excellent information. Thanks for providing it. Glad neither the cars nor the guns bother you. Hope you can find some bikes soon and very glad that your insurance experience was a good one. I didn't know National General, whom I will always think of as GMAC, did full timers insurance.

  4. We stayed at the Laguna Seca campground in the fall of 2012. We were also surprised by what a nice campground it was, and luckily there were no races going on so it was very quiet. How wonderful that your insurance claim went so smoothly. Hopefully you'll find some new bikes soon! Oh, and I am so glad you liked the tacos. It was one of the best recipes I have made in awhile.

  5. Thanks for the write up on your insurance claim, and especial thanks for naming the company. We have full time insurance, but the amount of money they offer for content replacement in the event of a catastrophic event (like burning to the ground) is ridiculously low. I think we're going to shop it and maybe go with someone else. Good tip on recording photos and serial numbers. I did the road bikes but not the mountain bikes. Are you staying for Sea Otter? We looked at their brochure and were amazed at how many vendors of bike stuff will be there. Sort of like the Big Tent, but for bikes.

  6. Thank you so much for the insurance info - I am covered by the same company with a full-timer's policy and am happy to hear they are so responsive. I hope to never have a claim, but just in case it's nice to know.