Bicycle (or, indeed, any kind of) insurance

On the cycling community I belong to, we have been having a discussion about insuring one’s cycle against theft, and this article was cited:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Now-get-your-bicycle-and-your-life-insured-/articleshow/5515102.cms

This article does not address the other part of insurance: what you will have to face when trying to get the insurance company to pay in the event of your cycle being lost.

I have said it earlier, and I’ll say it again…do not just purchase the insurance (not just for your cycle, but of any kind) but look carefully at the small print, and ask the person who is selling you the insurance, really pointed questions. A few sample questions for cycle insurance:
Will they pay if your cycle is stolen from public parking spots?

If it is stolen from your basement parking or your company parking?

What if it is found in a seriously damaged, unusable condition?

If you find the answers not satisfactory, do not buy the insurance. Thinking that "it’s only Rs.100" misses the point….why pay even Rs.100 to some insurance company, if you will not be able to get it to pay?

When we lost our cycle (it was stolen from our 1st floor balcony some years ago), we were told that unless we could *prove* that the cycle was kept in the flat we would not be able to get the insurance money…and that too, only we had an FIR stating that someone had broken into our apartment and stolen it…stealing from the balcony counted as entering an open house and stealing…not covered under the insurance policy! A sure case of the letter of the law going against the spirit.

Insurance companies are just not accountable in India, and routinely hide behind the clauses of their contract, to the most unethical degree. So be sure that you don’t pay the money for the insurance and add the trouble of endlessly chasing up the insurance company to the woe of losing your cycle, and the cost and effort of replacing it.

What is worse is that if the policy-holder is in an influential position (where s/he can decide on the number of company employees who will buy insurance from the company), these thorny clauses are not invoked, and the insurance is paid with much less effort on the part of the policy holder

Even when everything is above board, there may be a clause to state that the first, say, 4 or 5K is not going to be re-imbursed!

So…do study your insurance policy carefully; you may decide, as we did, that insurance is often just a waste of money and effort.

Deepa Mohan
About Deepa Mohan 712 Articles
Deepa Mohan is a freelance writer and avid naturalist.

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