What to do if your bike is stolen?
At Protectmybike we suggest you follow the steps below if you do find yourself the unfortunate victim of a bicycle theft.
1. Report the theft to the police
Firstly, don’t panic! If you have been a victim of a bicycle theft then in the first instance you should report it to the police. Typically, the easiest way would be to report it would be as a non-urgent crime by dialling 101. However, if possible, we always suggest that you report the theft in person at your local police station. This way you well be able to provide additional information to the police including pictures of your bike and details of where and when it was stolen. You can find your closest police station by visiting www.police.uk. If you are based in London, you can also report your stolen bike to the Cycle Task Force by contacting them at email@example.com.
When you do report it make sure you obtain a crime reference number as you will need this to support any potential insurance claim.
2. Inform your Insurance Provider
Once you have reported the theft to the police you should then contact your cycle insurance provider. With Protectmybike you are covered for theft of your bike at home or on the go provided that you have used a Silver or Gold Sold Secure rated lock (depending on bike value) and you have locked the bike in accordance with the security requirements of the policy. This usually requires you to lock the bike through the frame and any quick release wheels and to a fixed, immovable object that the bicycle cannot be lifted under or over.
When you submit a theft claim with Protrectmybike, a specialist claims handler will be assigned to guide you through the process. The first thing they will need to check is the fact that the theft has been reported to the policy. So, you will need to provide them with your crime reference number. The claims handler will also check that that you have provided adequate proof of ownership of the bike and lock. This will include pictures and purchase receipts of the items.
Once all these details are confirmed then the claims advisor will work with you to find a suitable replacement bike that matches the original specification of your bike as closely as possible. They will often provide you with a range of replacement options for you to consider and choose from. Once you have selected your replacement bike we take care of the rest. We will arrange for your new bike to be delivered directly to you or can also provide a cash voucher for you to redeem in person at a range of suppliers. So, you can get back on your bike as soon as possible.
If you don’t have cycle insurance, then you may want to look at the cover provided under your home insurance policy if you have one. If your bicycle was stolen from inside your home then your household contents insurance may cover it (depending on your individual policy terms and conditions and cover), but you will need to check with your insurer to find out if you’re covered.
3. Tell others about it
Unfortunately, recovery rates of stolen bikes in the UK are low, but there are some steps you can take to help fight bike theft and potentially recover your stolen bike. You should consider posting news of the theft and pictures of your bike on various social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (remember to make your post ‘Public’ so that everyone can see it and not just your friends). Who knows, with a bit of luck you may even find someone who has seen your bike for sale somewhere. There are also some dedicated groups and pages on social media such as Stolen Bikes UK etc where you can also post details to the community.
It's also worth checking Facebook and eBay and other online marketplaces for any signs of your bike being for sale. If your bike was stolen in the London area, you can also tweet the details to @StolenRide.
You can also register your details on specialist cycle sites such as the below:
If you do come across your bike, then you should report it to the police. We would not recommend trying to get the bike back yourself or confronting the individual, as this could be dangerous.
4. Check back with the police
You should check back with the police to see if there have been any developments. There is always a chance that your bike may have been found and recovered. You can also check websites of police forces for stolen property. Some Police sites will have a page providing an inventory of stolen bicycles that have been recovered.