A bicycle-theft victim was left 'gobsmacked' after being told his insurance only covered his bike frame when his wheels were stolen at Cambridge North station.
Richard Brown, 55, from Orchard Park, Cambridge, said he bought his son David a new mountain bike and took out insurance with Tesco Bank after a telesalesman told him it would cover up to £1,000 for a bicycle.
When Richard called his insurance company to report the bicycle's wheels were stolen even though the bike was locked up, they told him the tyres were deemed accessories and not covered by the policy.
Richard said he feels misled by Tesco Bank because he believes the company should have told him when taking out his policy.
"I was gobsmacked," he said. "I thought it was an April Fools' joke. Wheels and tyres are of course essential and integral to a working bicycle, surely I am not the only person who would think this?
"The telesalesman told me it would cover up to £1,000 for the bicycle – and that was that.
"They're trying to put the blame on us. I hold my hands up and say I didn't read the policy fully.
"But we feel like we've been mis-sold."
Richard bought the "expensive" bike for son David in March – alongside a £60 D-lock from Argos.
Do Richard and David have a right to be aggrieved?
0+ VOTES SO FAR
Yes, they should have been told about the tyres policy from the outsetNo, they should have read the policy like we all doIt's a bit of a mess. Both are at fault
But on Tuesday, April 3, he discovered that someone had stolen the wheels.
He contacted Richard to speak with Tesco Bank about claiming the loss on his insurance.
Richard claims that Tesco Bank says tyres, wheels and all gearing mechanism is classified as accessories, and therefore not covered under his policy.
He tried to cancel the insurance as a consequence, but was told that he needed to pay a cancellation fee.
"People should know about this," said Richard. "I'm sure there are people who have taken out insurance with Tesco Bank that don't know their tyres are not covered."
What is in the policy booklet?
The policy booklet outlines what is and what is not covered in the bicycle part of the policy.
What is covered in relation to Richard
- A maximum of £1,000 is covered for one bicycle.
What is not covered
- Theft of an unattended bicycle away from the home unless the bicycle is securely locked to a permanent fixture
- Tyres, accessories or removable parts of a bicycle, unless the bicycle is lost or damaged at the same time
What do Tesco Bank have to say?
Tesco Bank says that David confirmed to the insurance company that the bicycle has quick release wheels which the bicycle lock did not secure to the bike or the rail. This means the fault lies with the customer.
A Tesco Bank spokesman said: "At Tesco Bank we always strive to do the right thing by our customers and make the terms of our insurance policies as clear and transparent as possible.
"We always refer customers to the policy booklet which clearly explains what is and is not covered.
"On this occasion we do not believe that the customer took reasonable steps to secure his wheels to the bike or rail and the removable parts stolen are not covered under his policy.
"As a gesture of goodwill we have agreed to waive the cancellation fee.”