This blog is about another dirty little secret of insurance. The attempted application of this one even shocked me, and I’ve had 21 years experience of exposing their secrets.

Read on to find out how this scenario unfolded, how the secret affects both businesses and families, and what you can do to avoid being kept in the dark.

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Bicycle Theft Leads To Flat Service – Part 1

We often protect the personal assets and reputation of clients who have already instructed us to look after the very same for their business.

One such client contacted me just before Christmas after bicycles were stolen from his property, even though they were securely chained and anchored to cement.

Shattered Glass

A determined thief will get past any security. I recently shared a photo on twitter of a smashed jewellers window on Oxford Street when a Christmas shopper had helped themselves to a 100% discount.

In this case I knew that cover was in place for the bicycles because we had specifically addressed this requirement, as well as other specifics, before the cover was arranged.

Why don’t insurance companies want to deal with claims?

A lot of insurance company’s outsource their claims. It’s supposed to save them money. Their PR people say it makes them accessible for clients. In my experience it causes delays, and outsourced companies reduce settlements because they think it’s what the insurer wants them do. We deal with all these people on behalf of our clients because the service is so poor it would frighten the most legitimate claimant.

I knew this client used his bike to get to and from work which gave him a degree of flexibility and helped maintain fitness. The other bikes were used by his wife and children and an extended lack of such an amenity is not good for any family.

Cutting losses is fine, yet not when it breaches a contract

The first sign of trouble was when the insurance company used two separate companies to validate the claim. They argued over who was responsible for contacting the client. We were able to jump straight on this, and a series of daily chasers was placed in the diary to ensure the situation was managed effectively.

After daily chasing, the claim companies advised that they were going to reduce the settlement by 80% because they were entitled to make a deduction for wear and tear. So much for the “new for old” cover the insurance company promoted in their literature! They have hundreds of similar lines of small print to clarify the “cover” they describe in their sales spiel. An 80% deductions is outrageous and supports the myth that insurance companies avoid paying out. Which is not 100% true.

Sign up to our RSS feed or return here to find part two of this blog later this month and find out how we got this ended up.

Top Tip

Businesses are taking advantage of “bike to work” schemes because it is a tax efficient way to keep employees healthy. However, who owns the bikes? It’s a grey area. Having a healthy workforce reduces absenteeism, disciplinary procedures and subsequent increased costs of recruitment and training. Yet ownership of the assets can cause complications when an accident happens. Who is responsible if they were at work or on their way to work?

Wrap Up: Keep in mind that public transport in London is going to be problematic during the Olympics so you might want to “mobilise” your workforce as a way of maintaining business continuity throughout the games. Contact me if you would like details of excellent schemes.

Who to share this with: Business owners that are bicycle users.