How upsetting to have your prized electric bike stolen from under your nose.
You had treated yourself to this bike so you could get yourself to and from work as a university professor without using public transport during the pandemic. At age 68, the electric aspect was appealing as it made the journey into central London less daunting than navigating the roads on a pushbike.
Lloyds Bank is the actual insurer behind Saga’s home policy, for which you paid a £60 premium to cover your bike. But it proved to be useless for you when an opportunistic thief grabbed your bike just as you were unlocking the front door to the small block of flats where you live.
You said it happened so fast that, at first, you believed it must have simply fallen over when you couldn’t see it as you turned to take it indoors. As you say, you were trying to be a sensible owner by storing it inside while at home, rather than locking it up outside your building.
But Lloyds didn’t warm to this argument, nor to your defence that it would be tricky for someone of your age to balance such a heavy bike on the steps up to your entrance while you wrestled with the front door.
Saga did agree you were extremely unlucky. But its spokesman said, “Unfortunately, as it was left unattended and unlocked, the insurer is unable to meet his claim as this sits outside of his policy terms and conditions.”
However, after my intervention, and as a gesture of goodwill, Saga offered you £500. While you were pleased to receive this, it is just 10pc of the £5,000 price of the bike you lost. You told me you don’t hold out much hope for seeing your electric bicycle again and so plan to use this payment to purchase a pushbike instead.
Meanwhile, you are also considering making an appeal to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Electric bikes are growing steadily in popularity; 60,000 electric cycles are purchased in Britain each year, according to retailer Halfords, compared with bike sales of 3 million. But they tend to cost more than the average bicycle and as such can make them particularly attractive to thieves.