The “Stolen Bike” Process in Düsseldorf
Shit happens. Bicycles in the city often disappear, no matter how old and scrap they may look.
Perhaps it’s happened to you, or you’re hoping to prevent it from happening. There’s some pre- and post-procedures you’ll need to check off the list in order to find your bike or be compensated for a new one.
We have Elisa Stella, Founder of Düsseldorf Expat Assistant, back and sharing some more detailed information on how the steps you’ll need to take when your bike is stolen.
Before you bike is stolen, you must:
- Write down the frame number of your bike. The frame number univocally identifies your bike and it is engraved on the saddle tube, or on the rear axle, or on some metal part close to the handlebar
- Get household insurance (Hausratversicherung) in order to have your bike reimbursed (bicycles are considered part of your household goods)
- If possible, keep the receipt you received when purchasing your bike (in order to prove date of purchase and it’s original value)
When your bike is stolen, you must:
- Claim the theft to your insurance immediately. Most insurances have an online form called “Schadenmeldung” to report the damage/the loss and you will require the following documents:
- “Bescheinigung über die Erstattung einer Anzeige” from the police station
- The loss-certification you get at lost-and-found office
- A description of your bike and its lock, even better if you have pictures and a purchase receipt
- Frame number (if you know it)
- Go to the nearest police station and give notice. You will need to provide as many details as possible related to your (ex) bike (brand, color, type of lock, place and time of the theft, and the frame number). Obtain a “Bescheinigung über die Erstattung einer Anzeige“ form from the police to prove you’ve actually been to the station.
- Look online on the lost-and-found website of the Stadt Düsseldorf, if your bike is by chance at the so-called “Fundbüro” (It is actually quite rare to find a stolen bike at Fundbüro. Nevertheless, this is a required step to get the reimbursement from your insurance). The Fundbüro can provide you in short with a loss-certification for 5 Euro if you know the frame number of your bike. If you don’t, then you have to wait five weeks to prove that there’s no trace left of your bike and no hope to find it anymore.Unfortunately, the Fundbüro of the Stadt Düsseldorf does not accept bank transfer payments, you will have to go there in person, pay the 5 Euro in cash and get the certification issued.
- Send all necessary papers to your insurance and wait for a response. They usually reimburse a proportion of the original price, depending on how old it was.
Alternatively, if the effort of dealing with all the paperwork is not worth the worry, you always have the option to simply look for a new bike.
If you’re looking for a great place to find a second-hand bike, check the Life in Düsseldorf list of the best places to find used bikes in Dusseldorf.
Have a nice ride and take care!
Have any other questions about insurances or expat services? Ask Elisa! Do you have questions about living #LifeInDüsseldorf? Feel free to send us an email with your question at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have tips you’d like to share with others, we’re also accepting guest posts which include the author’s name, bio, and photo.