Everyone has probably seen these pictures of bicycle vandalism up close: bicycles that are hardly recognizable as such. Especially in big cities you often come across lonely front wheels that are fastened to railings with thick chain locks. Bicycle frames stripped down to the bare metal are also common. If a parked bicycle is damaged, it is not only annoying, but can also lead to a high financial burden.
These examples are of course extremely drastic cases of bicycle vandalism . Nevertheless, they leave us cyclists with a queasy feeling.
- Can that happen to me too?
- What should I do if my bike is vandalized?
- Who is responsible for the damage?
In fact, indiscriminate damage to property is widespread. Between 600,000 and 800,000 damage caused by vandalism are reported in Germany every year. And the number of unreported cases is higher because not everyone reports the damage to property.
Vandalism on your bike: what is the right way to react?
The frame was scratched, the wheels were bent or even slashed, and the saddle was stolen. When we find our bike in such a condition, the shock is deep! How to react correctly if your bike is vandalized:
1. Keep calm
If your parked bike has been damaged, you will of course be shocked at first. Still, it's important that you stay calm and keep a cool head.
At second glance, the damage is usually not quite so disastrous and can be repaired quickly, so that you can still make your way home.
2. Don't interfere
If you even catch the one responsible in the act, you'll want to step in and vent your anger immediately. But the police warn against intervening! Bicycle vandalism is often carried out in a group that may be intoxicated and violent.
So don't put yourself in danger!
It is best to remain unnoticed and memorize the external characteristics of the rioters.
3. Report the vandalism to the police
Whether you catch your bike vandalized in the act or just find the result, it is important to report the incident to the police .
When reporting against unknown persons, you should also describe what damage was caused to your bike and where you parked your bike.
4. Notify your insurance company
If you have bicycle insurance against vandalism, you should notify them immediately. Otherwise, bicycle vandalism is also covered by household contents insurance.
It is best to find out more from your insurance company so that you are prepared in the event of an emergency.
Why is bicycle vandalism so widespread?
It's annoying that a parked bike gets damaged, but it doesn't surprise us all. In addition to bicycles, cars and window panes are also vandalized. The perpetrators are mostly young people who, through group dynamics, incite each other to do stupid things. If then alcohol is involved, the inhibitions disappear and the consequences for their actions are forgotten. Frustration or anger is often behind outbursts of anger, which result in the destruction of someone else's property.
Of course, the victims of bicycle vandalism don't understand very well that their bicycle was used as an outlet for outbursts of anger. The perpetrators usually strike completely at random and can therefore only be identified in very few cases. Nowadays you have to come up with something to ensure that a parked bicycle is not damaged .
For example, a smart bicycle lock with an integrated alarm system can be a good way to effectively ward off bicycle vandalism.
Is bicycle insurance against vandalism worth it?
Protection against bicycle vandalism refers to the wanton destruction of property by others. Most standard insurance contracts do not cover vandalism. It is therefore important to also protect an expensive bicycle or e-bike from vandalism.
In order to decide whether insurance is necessary for you, you should first weigh the risk factors . For example, vandalism is a bigger problem in urban areas than in rural areas. Your usage behavior is also included in the consideration. If you commute to work and leave your bike at the train station, or if you like to go out in the evening and leave your bike outside at night, your bike is at greater risk. The value of the bike also plays a role. With e-bikes or expensive bicycle models, a repair would be very expensive, which is why insurance can make sense.
Find out what you can consider when parking your bike to protect it from vandalism and theft.