Cycleguard Insurance Claim - The TERRIBLE service saga continues....

by Taylorttc   February 20, 2013  

Hello all.

I am a very frustrated and angry insurance customer.
I was look for some advice and maybe some opinions and some feedback from other people's experiences.

Allow me to fill you in on my story.

3 weeks ago I was out on our Sunday ride, descending I went through what I though was a puddle and it turned out to be a large pothole. I only went through it as there was oncoming traffic which stopped me from avoiding it, the car driver was at no way at fault.
So anyway I went over the bars doing about 42kph. Awoke to find the bars and stem snapped, front wheel buckled, rear derailleur cracked, crank bent Etc etc.
I went to hospital to get checked out, just a concussion and brushing, so lucky escape.

The next day I started claims proceedings with Cycleguard and also reported the pothole to the council.
After sending all requested documents, including an assessment from the shop where I bought the bike, they declared it a write off as due to the force of the impact the structure and strength of the frame could of been compromised.
I was told by Cycleguard it would take at least 5 days to assess and review my case.
A week later I get an email requesting more photos, map of pothole, bank statements etc etc, all reasonable requests. But after sending this all off I was then told it would be a further week to review any correspondence...this is when I started to get frustrated. Any other insurance claim iv ever made, once he case is open it's a back and forth with your claims manager to get it resolved.
A week later the claims manager calls asking for further info, and also says that due to the size of the claim the underwriters have to approve it. Sounds understandable to me.
But it would be another week to hear from them....

So now another week on, I finally get through to my claims manager who informs me that the underwriters want to send out a loss adjuster. But she couldn't tell me when this would happen, she only said that she will send the file to them today or tomorrow and hopefully il hear from them within two weeks to make an appointment.
She also said that I was realistically looking at a minimum of a further 2 months to get any kind if payment.

So after this call I sent an official complaint to the Financial Ombudsman and a complaint to the insurance company direct.

Anyway sorry for the long essay.
But just wanted to see if anyone had any advice, thoughts or cared to share any of their experiences.

It just seems crazy to me that I paid a premium that was higher than my car insurance, and the service is terrible.

Many thanks

14 user comments

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Unfortunately it sounds like a typical insurance company scenario with the backwards and forwards rubbish all the time not realising the person who is affected is left in limbo waiting. Sorry to hear about your accident, or are they calling it an incident these days? Confused , I hope you were ok and this mess gets sorted soon. Sticking the foot of the ombudsman up their backside might help to close this quicker so good luck.

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posted by cidermart [460 posts]
20th February 2013 - 16:17

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Yeah, that sounds typical for bike insurance I've afraid. It can take upto 6 months to get a payout/replacement.

I would keep on at them, it should speed it up.

In the mean time, have you got pictures of the pot hole? Put in a claim against your local council aswell.

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posted by Gkam84 [8783 posts]
20th February 2013 - 16:20

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Why would they want to see your bank statements? Perhaps you should tell them that you are going to have to hire a bike while they sort out the claim and that you will be billing them for it...

posted by nappe [40 posts]
20th February 2013 - 18:20

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Great idea 'Nappe' it gets you mobile again and it might speed it up. Seconded against the council although they will try and squirm out of it some how.

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posted by cidermart [460 posts]
20th February 2013 - 19:00

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Thats a great idea guys. Thanks!!
Anyone know of any 'High End' Bike rental companies in the UK? If I'm going to rent a bike I will give them the price of renting roughly the same spec bike as I had insured.
Hopefully that will shock them into action

Thanks a lot!!

posted by Taylorttc [6 posts]
20th February 2013 - 20:04

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Taylorttc wrote:
Thats a great idea guys. Thanks!!
Anyone know of any 'High End' Bike rental companies in the UK? If I'm going to rent a bike I will give them the price of renting roughly the same spec bike as I had insured.
Hopefully that will shock them into action

Thanks a lot!!

Why not go back to the LBS where you bought your Dogma 65.1......? Confused
Surely they will understand your predicament especially if you're going for a replacement bike.
Most shops will take a deposit and possible a finance plan which you could pay off straight away when you get the pay out

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posted by colhum1 [98 posts]
20th February 2013 - 21:30

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It is very easy to deal with them, serve them with reasonable notice then file a small claims court application for breach of contract and undue frustration. You will be amazed how quickly they resolve your claim. In any event you will get satisfaction quicker. In the small claims court lawyers fees are not covered but as a limited company there is a legal requirement to employ counsel. Claims procedure are based on a tier system of difficulty layers, they work on statistics. Wink

posted by Seoige [104 posts]
20th February 2013 - 21:32

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I'm writing this from the viewpoint of someone who worked in insurance and also has a legal background.

I can understand the frustration at the wait, and at the requests for additional information, but suggestions you should file a small claim for breach of contract are at best unhelpful (from the information you've given, they haven't breached anything yet), and risk you wasting your own time and money.

If this were something that had happened months ago, you might have a case, but as you say it's only been three weeks. The sample Cycleguard policy I looked at - it may not be the same one you have, granted - gives you 30 days to put the paperwork together to support a claim.

While there's no stipulation on how quickly they say they should deal with it, no court is going to see them not having settled a claim within three weeks of it happening as unreasonable, especially since they seem to have been getting back to you within the week they have said each time.

Involvement of a loss adjuster, as the company has acknowledged, will stretch the process out, perhaps to two months or more as they say. Again, I'd say it would be difficult to describe that as unreasonable in a legal sense.

You say you've written to the Financial Ombudsman, which I'm not sure helps... as their website says, they take a minimum of several months to deal with simple complaints, by which time your claim for the bike will have been settled one way or the other - and if it's not to your satisfaction, does that mean you raise a separate complaint with the Financial Ombudsman?

By taking out insurance, you've covered yourself against being out of pocket if something goes wrong, such as your bike being written off. They will have procedures that need to be followed before authorising a claim, which will partly be dictated by the value of the claim, and unfortunately for you, those procedures do take time. And they are keeping you informed.

Frustrating, yes, but hopefully it won't be too long and they will pay your claim in full. If they don't, that would be the time to consider taking further action.

One more point. Again, this may not be in your policy, but the one I looked at specifically mentioned hire of a replacement bike, but the hire (and the cost) needs to be agreed with them up front. I'd recommend reading your policy carefully regarding what it says about hiring a replacement, and follow the procedure laid down to avoid potentially being out of pocket.

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7998 posts]
20th February 2013 - 22:40

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Just having read the samples on their website, I fully agree with Mr MacMichael QC Devil

Also, just to point out, they will be wanting to sort out cycling things quickly these days, as the underwriters are none other than JTL, chief sponsors of Rapha racing team Big Grin

Not that I agree with the small claims statements others have made, that wouldn't come until months, because you have to give them a chance to figure things out from your paper work etc.

It'll go between Cycleguard and JTL, minus weekends, so you are only talking two weeks in terms of working days.

I would chase up the council for some compo though. Car drivers can do it for tyres, wheels and suspension. I don't see why cyclists can't.

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posted by Gkam84 [8783 posts]
21st February 2013 - 1:04

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Great Advice guys thanks!!

It looks like Cycleguard are a subsidiary of JLT and Thistle Insurance. And they are underwritten by UK General.

posted by Taylorttc [6 posts]
21st February 2013 - 11:07

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I do agree with what Mac Michael says having read law myself. However I seem to have skipped over the part where Taylor mentioned 3 weeks. I was of the opinion that it was like 3 months at which point given the delay in proceedings and the view that they were about to appoint a loss adjuster at that stage, in my opinion, small claims proceedings would be deemed appropriate to expedite matters. I am certainly not a fan of insurance companies as it is well known from whistle blowers that by prolonging claims many fall by the wayside as a matter of policy. Whilst I respect Mac Michaels opinion in this instance.I would simply consider it. Contract law is a little complicated, frustration avoidance terms blah blah but in my mind it is a subjective opinion as to when you feel hard done by. I do agree that you should agree reasonable hiring costs if there is provision to do with the insurance company in advance but depending on your contract does not necessarily mean that you will recoup those costs. A letter clarifying that may be in order. One might argue the toss whether initiating legal proceeds would be 'helpful' as Mc Michael argues but one is not interested in making friends. I wonder if how quick they would be to respond and dismiss your claim if you missed a premium. Simply notifying the other party means that you mean business and that there is a time limit in dealing with the matter. Otherwise there is an alternative forum to consider the delay should the need arise. A small claims application takes months to be heard and they always have the option of paying you during the interim to discharge their liability. There is no point hiring a bike and having agreed the rate with them and find a long way down the line , yes we agreed to that but we have a limit of a 100 bucks. In a legal situation you argue that the breach of contract gave rise to related damages, not so remote to recover them given that it was your only mode of transport at that time within reason. As always one has to be reasonable in life Thinking

posted by Seoige [104 posts]
21st February 2013 - 18:26

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So you missed the part that started

"3 weeks ago I was out on our Sunday ride, descending I went through what I though was a puddle and it turned out to be a large pothole." Devil

That was basically the start of his story.

3 weeks into the matter, you will be laughed off for starting a small claims Nerd

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posted by Gkam84 [8783 posts]
21st February 2013 - 20:14

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Well in fairness I did not check the date of the post...If 3 weeks into the claim the insurance company refused to pay then I wish issue a small claims writ after have served the requisite notice if I felt so justified. So it is all relative. It is all your fault because I was side tracked when I read your post and you mentioned typical six months!! Big Grin

posted by Seoige [104 posts]
21st February 2013 - 21:22

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Edited after taking legal advice myself!

posted by djgorey [37 posts]
2nd March 2013 - 9:35

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