Dutch bicycle insurance - with GPS trackers

For the last two years, the ANWB, which is the largest club in the Netherlands with over four million members, has been providing GPS trackers with its bicycle insurance policy, which they claim has had remarkable results…

Speaking to AMWeb, the ANWB mentions that six out of ten bikes are located and that the GPS fitted bikes “are not attractive to the occasional thief.” Also reminding that organised bike thieves are often involved in other crimes, with a huge three million Euro of heroin also recovered due to their ‘track & trace’ activities.

Sixty thousand bikes are now fitted with a tracker. You may wonder, can bike thieves not just remove the GPS tracker? The ANWB, The Dutch Touring Club, say the trackers are glued with industrial strength glue so would be near impossible to remove…

So what happens when your bike is stolen?

Simply, in the event of your bike becoming stolen, you report the theft via their mobile app. This then triggers a special investigation team to hunt down your bike. The team then has two days to find it. If they fail, then the insurance policy pays out to cover the cost of the stolen bike.

The bicycle insurance policy is rated highly among customer feedback, with a current rating of 8.4 out of 10.

Bike thief and bolt cutters

Will we now see UK insurers copy the ANWB setup?

The following questions might be considered…

  • Could the costs become too great for the insurer overtime? The cost of paying for each investigation, including the admin and partner, and going out to each insured person/bike to provide and fit a GPS tracker for free. Or could this save the companies outlay in the years to come, by reducing theft rates overall?
  • Could the risks involved be too great, with legal/police implications? After all, the police should be the only ones engaging with the criminals to recover stolen goods. Organised bike thieves/gangs are rarely just involved in bicycle thefts and can be highly dangerous. Or can this be used to help the police use their time more effectively?
  • Could organised thieves/gangs learn how to break the trackers? To just strip the bikes for parts. Or is that too much trouble for most thieves?

What do you think? Start a discussion on the Stolen Ride Facebook group.