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    How to protect bicycles from vandalism


    Bent spokes, punctured tires and cut saddles – one in ten bicycles is vandalized. The Hanover-based insurer Wert Garantie found this out in a study. However, if you think carefully about where you park your bike, you can greatly reduce the risk. If the perpetrators are not caught or are unable to pay, cyclists without insurance will be stuck with the costs – this also applies to owners of the often expensive e-bikes.

    According to the study, e-bikes (9.9 percent) are damaged slightly more often than bikes without a motor (9.1 percent). Sören Hirsch, bike division manager at Wert Garantie, calls the numbers “alarming” and advises “taking preventive measures.” Wertguarantee specializes in insuring bicycles and electrical appliances and of course wants to win customers.

    The numbers are still interesting. Accordingly, the bikes of younger owners are particularly affected by the destruction: 31.7 percent of the owners are between 18 and 29 and 32.7 percent are between 30 and 39 years old. The authors of the study suspect that cyclists in these age groups are more likely than older people to be out of the house regularly in the evening and then leave their bikes outside.

    Prevention helps: If you lock your bicycle or e-bike in a bicycle depot or parking garage or park it in a well-lit street and lock it, you have a good chance of effectively preventing damage from vandalism, the experts explain. Bicycles with a striking design, on the other hand, can cause attention and aggression, according to the study. A bike cover or buying an inconspicuous bike from the outset can help here.

    The experts also recommend reporting observed acts of vandalism, but not necessarily taking action. This could lead to an escalation of the situation. Without witnesses it will be difficult for the police to solve the crime. In addition to vandalism, bicycle insurance that pays compensation and covers repair costs also covers risks such as theft, accidents, falls and wear and tear. The prerequisite for this is a report to the police.

    Many cyclists insure their bikes through their household contents insurance. It protects against burglary, which includes the theft of a bicycle, as well as targeted bicycle theft under certain circumstances.

    The providers of special bicycle policies want to score points by saying that they also pay if bicycle parts are stolen while traveling or if there is damage due to wear and tear. A Europe-wide pick-up service is often included. Cyclists will then be brought home in an emergency.

    Consumer advocates argue that bicycles can be insured through household contents insurance and point to the additional components at an additional cost. However, it should be noted that there are sometimes limits on the maximum amount of compensation. They believe that separate insurance only makes sense for expensive two-wheelers. Corresponding policies cost between 80 euros and 200 euros per year.

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