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How GPS tracking is revolutionising the e-bike insurance segment

Bild: U.J. Alexander / stock.adobe.com

 

“Seldom have I been so lucky,” says Petra* as she stands in a deserted piece of woodland near the Mecklenburg Lakeland. Three police patrol cars gave hot pursuit when a thief made off with her valuable e-bike.

The nerve-racking search for the expensive bike quickly came to a successful end thanks to the built-in IT’S MY BIKE GPS tracker. The e-bike was returned to its owner within a mere 60 minutes. “It’s not something you experience every day: I actually just wanted to visit family but then I was suddenly speeding through the woods on the back seat of a police car at 120 km/h,” laughs the Neubrandenburg native. Although they finally managed to surround the thief, he escaped on foot, throwing the stolen property, Petra’s e-bike, down an embankment before fleeing.

The lucky customer had just bought her brand-new e-bike the day before, which made the shock even greater: “To protect my bike, I bought a high-grade lock and took out e-bike insurance with GPS tracking from Alteos in the bike shop itself. Without this combination, I’d have probably never seen my bike ever again and would have lost thousands of euros overnight.” The owner and the IT’S MY BIKE and Alteos team were able to use GPS to track the thief’s exact route and arrange for the bike’s quick recovery. “The bike is a little damaged after it fell down the embankment. We are now ensuring that all the damage is repaired and Petra will be able to enjoy cycling again,” says Henryk Banac, Customer Service Manager at Alteos. The insurance covers the recovery service and repairs after a theft. “As retailers, we are thrilled that AlteosIT’S MY BIKE and the police are working together,” opines Martina Leffin of Fahrradhaus Leffin, the store where the lucky cyclist bought her e-bike. “We and our customer are happy that all parties assisted her and eased her worry.”

Petra was not the only lucky one that day as a thief also stole Marvin’s* e-bike in the early morning. “I quickly rang the police. We then worked together to search the basements and buildings in the immediate area where the last GPS signal was transmitted from my bike. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to find it then,” he recalls. What he didn’t know was that his e-bike was already on its way to Poland, as the IT’S MY BIKE team informed him after he had notified them of the theft via the app. But even transportation to a neighbouring country did not stop the police or  IT’S MY BIKE and Alteos team from tracking down the bike. In the end, the police were able to retrieve the e-bike and stop the thief after an exciting chase along the motorway and through roadblocks just before the Polish border. “I was on tenterhooks in front of the screen, updating the patrol car of the thief’s route by phone. I thus was able to form part of the bike rescue from Darmstadt,” relates Sebastian Stoll of IT’S MY BIKE. The GPS tracker not only allowed one e-bike to be found: the thief was caught with a second expensive bike – it is likely that he was acting as a courier. The find has thus made not just one e-bike owner happy, but two. The stolen e-bikes are currently still with the Polish authorities, who are gathering forensic evidence.

Taking out the combined tariff of e-bike insurance with GPS tracker also paid off for Marvin: ““Luckily, thanks to Alteos I had also included a recovery service in my insurance policy, so I will soon get my bike back without needing to go to Poland myself. I’m really glad that both the tracker and the insurance deliver what they promise. The day was truly stressful: I now value my decision to take out Alteos insurance in combination with the IT’S MY BIKE tracker all the more.” This means that Marvin, who had owned his bike for just two days before it was stolen and who also chose the comprehensive coverage when he bought it, will also soon be able to sit on his e-bike again.

“We are very pleased to have IT’S MY BIKE on board, an innovative cooperation partner which values state-of-the-art technology as much as we do,” affirms Sebastian Sieglerschmidt, Managing Director at Alteos. The Berlin insurance start-up and the Darmstadt-based IoT specialists have worked together since Alteos launched its e-bike insurance and have already saved quite a few e-bikes from thieves. This is the first time that two spectacular chases took place on the same day, though. “The combination between an insurance product, an GPS tracker and a recovery service is unparalleled on the market. The two cases show once more how effective our concept is and how our customers are protected against thieves and damage,” states Jürgen Veith, CEO at IT’S MY BIKE.

 

About IT’S MY BIKE

IT’S MY BIKE is an IoT Venture GmbH brand. The company develops and markets GPS trackers which open up a new type of service world for e-bikes in conjunction with an app. IT’S MY BIKE uses the innovative narrowband NB-IoT radio standard for its products. NB-IoT provides a cost-efficient solution for the Internet of Things as a Low-Power Wide-Area Network with low energy requirements, effective building penetration and a wide range. It also offers the advantage that it makes use of existing networks. IT’S MY BIKE operational activities include hardware and software development (embedded systems) and the provision of the required data platform (cloud solution).

 

About Alteos

Alteos develops customised insurance solutions for innovative sale partnerships. Agile, flexible and customer-focused, Alteos is synonymous with the insurance of the future meeting tomorrow’s requirements. As a wholly owned subsidiary of AXA Konzern AG, Alteos benefits from the experience and stability of one of the world’s largest insurance companies.

*Name has been changed