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Evans Cycles/Thistle Insurance - Stolen bike - they are not coughing up - court time?

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In July 2014 I bought a new bike from Evans Cycles cost £450 and decided to insure it through their cycle insurance scheme.

 

In November 2014 my bike was stolen

the thieves having cut through the D/U lock using what the police thought may have been a portable angle grinder,

they left the damaged lock at the scene.

 

I duly reported this to the insurance company and received a claim number

and then sent the claim form together with all the required documents.

I also sent the key to the D Lock and photos of the damaged lock as requested to do so by their policy.

 

There was no contact for at least a month

 

I contacted via telephone to ask about the progress of the claim.

I was informed that the loss adjuster was still processing the claim.

 

Another month went by and I again phoned the company (Thistle Insurance Group).

The agent told me that they needed to see the actual D lock and that I should post that to them.

I asked if they would provide a SAE or label and they refused,

 

I informed them that I would not pay the cost as the lock is extremely heavy and that they already had clear colour photos of the D Lock.

The agent said that they would look into this and be in touch.

 

Having heard nothing back I contacted them again by phone and was told that they had not progressed the claim

as they could not tell what make of lock it was and it was up to me to provide further evidence

as to the make and its compliance to their condition that locks should be Sold Secure of Silver Standard.

 

The D lock was purchased aprox 8 years ago in Germany and cost the equivalent of £30 at that time

and prior to taking out the insurance I asked at my local cycle shop if it was sufficient and of the standard required

and they agreed it was

 

I have not had anything at all in writing from the insurance company regarding my claim

they have not sent a letter stating that the claim will not be accepted and I am still paying the premium each month.

 

Is there anything else that I can do,

I appreciate that with hindsight I should of bought another lock but thought that the one I had would suffice.

Would it be worth me taking the lock to a Master Locksmith member and getting them to evalue it?

 

Any advice would be much appreciated.

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Their failure to communicate with you is clearly a breach of contract and more importantly it is also unfair treatment under ICOBS – so you have the basis for a serious complaint there.

 

In terms of the quality of the lock, what does it say in the documentation about their requirement that the bike be locked and what the lock should be?


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Sorry, I have just noticed that the lock must be of a silver standard.

 

Is your lock rated? If it is not formally identified as being – silver standard, is it of equivalent quality?

 

I think that you may need to go to a couple of bike shops and also maybe some lock specialist to find out.

 

Although the insurers are acting unfairly in the way they are dealing with you, it may well be that your failure to get a lock of the quality required by the insurance conditions will put you in a bad position.

 

On the other hand, if you can show that the lock was cut with an angle grinder – and if you can show that even a silver standard lock could not survive cutting by an angle grinder, then you would be in a fairly good position to say that your failure to use a designated lock did not affect the risk at that time.

 

I think it would be a hard fight though.

Edited by andydd
Typo Lot = Lock

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Thank you for your help with this, I will go to an independant locksmith and see if they could help me with what you have said. I did look on the Sold Secure website and one of their tests for locks in relation to bikes uses lighter tools and no power drills so I could use that as a base. The police said that it was likely that an angle grinder was used so that may help me as well and that it would of taken over 5 minutes to cut through. I will get a letter off to them today and demand that they give me everything in writing and then take the lock and get it verified. I will post any developments here.Once again thanks for your help.

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I wouldn't go – demanding – anything from the police.

 

I would try to deal with them very gently and if possible get to speak to the officer who is actually taken the report were dealing with the case.

 

That is the only way that you will get cooperation from the police. They can get very iffy if they feel that they are being pushed around


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Thanks I will do, they were really helpful when I reported it stolen so I will see if they will help me.

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Hi,

 

just to update everyone on the forum that the insurance company have now settled my claim in full and with cash into my account. By a strange coincidence they actually contacted me the following day after I posted on the forum asking for help and advice. I emailed the company and requested that all correspondence be in either writing or via email. A few days later I received an email the main points of which I have copied out below:-

 

"Having reviewed your claim the information supplied with your claim submission meant that we were unable to determine the make and model of the lock. Whilst there was a clear demonstration of the forcible and/or violent entry provided the policy requires that the lock be Sold Secure silver rated. This information was conveyed to you and the claim remained for the proof to be provided, by you, to demonstrate that the lock held the necessary Sold Secure rating.

 

We are always speaking to our customers and looking to improve the insurance we provide. Subsequent to your claim submission in November we have since reviewed the lock requirements that need to be demonstrated in order for a valid claim to be made.

 

1.6 Approved Lock – means any specifically designed Bicycle, motor scooter or motorcycle lock including Sold Secure rated Locks.

 

Sold Secure lock means any Bicycle, motor scooter or motorcycle lock that has been tested and approved to the Sold Secure testing standards.

 

(a) Bicycles valued up to and including £1200 – A specifically designed Bicycle, motor scooter or motorcycle lock or above.

 

Bicycles valued up to and including £2000 - A Sold Secure bronze rated lock or above.

 

Bicycles valued up to and including £5000 – A Sold Secure silver rated lock or above.

 

Bicycles valued up to and including £12,500 – A Sold Secure gold rated lock; or

 

(b) any other specified lock accepted by Us and specified in an Endorsement.

 

Whilst these terms are not yet applicable to your policy we can look to apply these terms to the instance of your claim. As your claim meets the improved terms I am pleased to advise that we can look to settle your claim, in line with your policy requirements."

 

I don't know if the info above will be of help to anyone going through the same situation at the moment but thought I would post on here just in case. Thanks for all the advice and support you gave me and thankfully it has resulted in a replacement bike albeit 7 months after the theft of the other.

  • Haha 1

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Well done. Thanks for letting us know.

 

I notice then that the lock does not have to be certified - it simply has to be of that quality.


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Funnily enough Bankfodder your comment on the change of lock definition was the exact circumstance that I was going to contest with. I know these bespoke (for wont of a better word) policies for bikes have been around for years, it makes me wonder how many more folk out there have had their claims turned down for that reason? Before everyone yells "you should've read the policy conditions forst", I honestly did as I am very strange, that's why I went to said cycle shop for advice on the lock I owned. Therefore I armed myself with allsorts of facts, figures etc in relation to all this sold secure stuff, and came away with the realisation that the definition is simply how long it would take for a tea leaf to break the lock using a specified range of tools , i.e. bronze level tools were classed as simple tools and should hold out for at least a minute, silver (which my bike came under) the tools were not heavy duty and the lock should hold for at least 3 minutes. And that was the whole basis of my case.

 

Just thought I would have a "get on my soapbox moment" it makes a refreshing change to see Joe Public fight back, rant over I promise and thanks again to the CAG

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