Every day, 70 bicycles are stolen in Germany. So it's not surprising that it has happened to you too. Thieves rarely choose old or simple bicycles. High-quality and expensive models are the most popular among thieves. The probability that the police will find a stolen bike is very low. Only about nine percent of all bicycle thefts are solved by the police. You are lucky if your bike was locked and you are well insured. Have you taken out Bicycle Insurance for your bike? If not, Home Contents Insurance may be able to compensate you for your loss.
When does Home Contents Insurance pay for the stolen bicycle?
Whether Home Contents Insurance will reimburse you for the value of your stolen bicycle depends on the individual policy. Until about 20 years ago, bicycle theft was a typical insured event for Home Contents Insurance. This is no longer the case. So if your homeowner's policy is more than 20 years old, you might be in luck. Do you still live with your parents and they have been with the same insurance company for that long? If so, their Home Contents Insurance may also cover the cost of your stolen bike. To find out exactly, have a look at the policy (see Home Contents Insurance and Bicycle Coverage).
Nowadays, only a few providers include bicycle theft in their Home Contents Insurance. As a rule, you have to include your bicycles as an add-on to the insurance contract. This increases the insurance premium. Is this the case for you? Then you got lucky. However, you should take a close look at the insurance contract. Often, Home Contents Insurance only covers theft in the event of a break-in in your home, basement, or garage. Also check in your insurance includes a night clause. This means that insurance companies will only pay the value of your bike if it is stolen during the day.
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How to report the bicycle theft?
First of all, you must file a report with the police stating that your bicycle has been stolen by an unknown person. The report to the police should be made within 48 hours at the latest. You will receive a copy of the report for your insurance. You should also check with your local lost and found office to see if the bike has been turned in. Sometimes bike thieves simply leave the bike somewhere after a short tour. Attentive passers-by or residents may bring it to the lost and found office. Some insurers require a certificate from the lost and found office stating that the bike was not recovered there.
How you report the bicycle theft to your insurance company depends on the insurer. In any case, you should do it immediately. Many insurance companies offer online claims reporting. If your provider does not, you can go in person to your local insurance agent. Give them a copy of the police report and ask them to file the claim for you.
You also have the option of informing your insurance company in writing about the theft. Your insurance company needs the following data to be able to process the claim:
- Name and address
- Insurance number
- Frame number of the bicycle
- Time or period of the theft
- When did you park the bicycle and when did you notice the theft?
- Indication whether the bicycle was locked
- Place of the theft
- Exactly where you left the bicycle, for example in front of the house in the driveway or in a bicycle cellar.
- Detailed description of the bicycle
- Certificate from the lost and found office
- Your bank details for the settlement of the damage
You will need most of the information for the police report. Therefore, you can take them from the police report. Ideally, you still have the invoice from the purchase of the bike. It is best to send a copy of it with the damage report and the police report to the insurance company. This way you avoid unnecessary follow-up. You should copy the police report beforehand so that you have a copy for your records.
Report bike theft online
Your insurance company makes it easy for you to report the bicycle theft online. With online insurances like Luko, reporting a claim is just as easy as taking out an insurance policy online. Simply log into your Luko account and search for your Bike Insurance policy. When you click on it, you'll find a "Report a Claim" button. In the event of a claim, the first thing to do is to report your claim via the application. Read this article to find out how.
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The first step is to open the claim. To do this, go to your personal space, from the Luko app .
If you need urgent help, you will be redirected to our 24/7assistance service
How do I report a claim?
- Log in to the application with your personal Luko account details.
- Once logged in, go to the "Insurance" tab (in the bottom menu)
- You will see the "Claims" tab at the top, click on it.
- In the "Claims" tab, scroll down the page: you will see the heading "Claim". Click on the type of claim that matches your situation, or on 'Other' if you don't know which category to choose
- If you have not yet authorised the Luko app to access your location, a window will open for you to do so. Click "Allow", this will open a window in your phone settings. Click "Ok", then "Allow".
- Answer our few questions: they help us understand what is happening to you. For each question: select the answer, or Write in the box provided, then click "Next" at the bottom right.
- Make a video of your damage (if you have any problems making it, our advice is here)
What happens after I report a claim?
Luko will process your bicycle theft claim in about four weeks, once all required documents have been submitted and possible questions have been clarified. After that, the payment is made within a few days. You will receive your reimbursement by transfer to your current bank account. Luko Bicycle Insurance refunds the purchase price for a bike up to three years old. For older bikes, the insurance benefit is based on the current value.
If the Home Contents Insurance pays for the damage, you will receive the replacement value as part of the sum insured. The insurance benefit in the Home Contents Insurance is independent of the age of your bike. By the way, you should always lock your bike, even in a bicycle cellar to which several people have access. If you choose the Bicycle Add On to your Luko Home Contents Insurance, it also reimburses the replacement value of your bicycle up to 5,000 euros.
Some insurers will only pay for a theft claim once they have received a statement from the public prosecutor's office that the case has been dropped. This can take up to six weeks.
What happens if the police find my stolen bike?
If the police find your bike before the insurance company pays, you must report it to the insurer. If you fail to do so, you have committed insurance fraud. For the insurance company, the matter is settled when the bike is back with you. If important parts that were originally fixed to the bike are missing, the bike insurance can replace them. However, if the bicycle is severely damaged, it is vandalism. Bicycle Theft Insurance does not usually cover this. It's different if you choose Luko's Bicycle Insurance with Vollkasko add-on. It also pays for the repair of vandalism damage.
If the bike turns up after the insurance company has paid for it, you have two weeks to make a decision. You can return the bike to your insurance company or pay back the amount paid. If you do not exercise your right of choice, the insurer gets to make the choice. The insurance company then decides whether to accept the bicycle or to reclaim the compensation.
If the insurance company accepts the recovered bicycle, it will be sold to the highest bidder. This is interesting for you if you have settled the claim through your Home Contents Insurance. Home Contents Insurance calculates the compensation depending on the sum insured. Depending on the insurer, you will receive a maximum of between one and five percent of the damage sum for your bicycle. If you have a low sum insured and an expensive bicycle, the proceeds from the sale may be higher than the compensation already paid. In this case, you may be entitled to a portion of the sale proceeds.