Bike stolen – when does the insurance pay?
Even if your bicycle is insured against theft, you must handle it carefully and adhere to some rules so that the insurance pays in case of damage. In principle, insurance companies only provide if the bicycle was properly secured with a lock. Almost all bike insurances and also some household insurance contain explicit provisions regarding the lock. Depending on the policy, certain brands, lock types (usually ironing or folding locks) or a minimum lock value are specified. Be sure to keep the proof of purchase of your bicycle lock in order to prove the use of a suitable lock in case of doubt. Some insurances also require that the bike must always be connected to firmly anchored objects, such as in the ground anchored bike racks or lampposts.
If your bike is insured with the after-clock-clause bicycle insurance option, the insurance will be liable for theft between 10 pm and 6 am only if the bicycle is stolen or was still in use from locked bicycle cellars, garages, etc. “In use” does not mean that you literally have to be stolen away from the bike while driving. In order for an insurance company to be liable despite the night-time clause, you must be able to credibly claim that you did not permanently park your vehicle in public, but only temporarily and also intended to continue using it later.
If you have no opportunity to leave your bike in closed rooms or at home between 10pm and 6am, you should make sure that your policy does not include a night time clause. However, this is only offered by some household contents insurance. Special insurance for bicycles usually offer unrestricted theft protection around the clock.
What should I do in case of damage?
Check before the damage report on the basis of your contract documents, whether the insurance in the specific case of theft attacks. If it does not, for example because the wheel was not in use during the theft, you will have to pay for the damage yourself. Stay with the truth, false statements to the insurance are punishable and can lead to the exclusion from the insurance.
Before you can assert your claims against the insurance company, you must report the bike to the police as stolen or vandalized and report it to the police. This should be done as soon as possible after notice of the incident, ideally within 48 hours. For this you need the frame number of the bike and proof of ownership. This can be, for example, a cash register receipt or a use contract for used wheels. You will also need to present your identity card to the police. If your bike is coded, you should also specify the code. Many police departments are also grateful for photos of the stolen bike.
In general, any damage you wish to claim against your insurance company must be reported to the police. The police will give you a display confirmation or transaction ID that you will need for the insurance. However, if you have minor damage, you should think about whether the effort really pays – especially if your bicycle insurance provides for a deductible.
Also with the insurance you should report the damage immediately and submit the required documents as soon as possible. Most insurance companies have forms available for download on their website, which you can download and fill out conveniently at home. Frequently, damage reports can also be submitted directly online.
Is vandalism also assured?
Damage caused by vandalism, ie wanton damage to the bicycle by a third party, is generally not covered by the insurance of home contents insurance. Special bicycle insurance, however, often take over such damage. In some cases, however, protection against vandalism damage is a paid additional option.
How much is the additional insurance in the household contents insurance?
The cost of additional bicycle protection in the context of home contents insurance vary greatly. Decisive factors include the tariff zone, which results from the place of residence, and the amount of the maximum reimbursement. In the most favorable case, a bicycle up to a value of 500 euros can already be insured in a region with little risk of theft for an additional contribution of about 20 euros via the household policy.
What is the clearance rate for bicycle theft?
The enlightenment rate of indicated bicycle thefts in the past years was about 10 percent in the national average. Particularly in the three city states of Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg, the enlightenment rate is very low at 4.0, 6.2 and 4.4 percent, respectively. In Mannheim, there is little hope for those affected by the country’s worst reconnaissance rate of 2.7 percent to ever see their vehicle again.
Experts estimate that bicycle theft causes damage of at least 134 million euros annually. According to information from the German Insurance Association (GDV), around 275,000 bicycle thefts are regulated annually by the insurance industry. Usually, bicycle thefts are handled by home contents insurance or special bicycle insurance.
How long do I have to wait for claim settlement?
As a rule, insured persons are entitled to claim settlement if the bicycle theft has not been cleared up after three weeks. Good insurance companies usually process the documents within two to three weeks of receipt. So imagine that after the theft, it will take about six weeks for the damage to be regulated.