So the Stolen Bike Thing Dragged On

Alright, I promised to conclude the story of the bike I lost in August last year.

As one should I reported it to the police and to my insurance company. I included a reference number to the police report in the report to the insurance company. As one should.

Then I promptly forgot about it for almost a year. I started using my then-wife's old commuter bike instead and I really like it. I got to keep it in the divorce (dividing up property was easy; I had already moved out some time before and didn't feel like I was missing anything so we just decided that we each kept what we had).

Fast forward to the summer of 2023. I suddenly remembered that I hadn't heard anything from the insurance company regarding the bike. I checked the progress of the report in my app and noticed that the case had been closed without a comment.

Somewhat puzzled I sent them a message asking why it had been closed. They responded promptly that I had yet to submit a reference number to the police report.

Before I even had time to write a response saying that I already had, they sent a follow-up saying "I see that you have submitted a reference to the police report". I have no idea how they missed that the first time.

Then a lengthy discussion about the make and model of the bike ensued. I couldn't find the exact model on sale anywhere but after some to and fro they "kindly" agreed to value it as a similar bike currently in stores. Minus some years of wear and tear, of course.

So they sent me a message saying that I would receive a payment of €150 within a few days.

Satisfied with the conclusion I dropped the matter until a few weeks later when I discovered that I still hadn't received the money. I asked them about it and they just said "we've sent the money now and you will receive it within 7 days".

A couple of weeks later I still hadn't received it. It turned out that they'd tried to pay out to the bank account I'd written in my original report; a bank account that no longer existed post-divorce. Yet their economy department had failed to inform them of the fact that the transfer had bounced.

I gave them the correct account number.

And the day after, some 14 months after the bike had gone missing, I received a mail from the police saying that my bike had been found.

Now I was faced with a choice. Should a go to the police station and retrieve the bike? Or should I take the money?

I was strapped for cash at the time and didn't feel like I needed a bike, so I opted for the latter. I was, however, wary about whether or not it could really be my bike that had been found. I asked the insurance company if maybe I should go to the police station to verify and they replied that I should not, if I wanted the money. I don't know the logic behind that, really, but I called the police to ask what part of the description they had matched the bike to. They said it was the serial number on the frame. That's a good thing, because it's really unambiguous. I took the money and left the insurance company to deal with the bike.

To this day I'm not sure I ever included the bike's serial number in the police report. I'm not sure how I would have known or found that out; I don't keep receipts for that long and I had no separate insurance for the bike as my home insurance covered it.

But I don't dare to check.

-- CC0 Björn Wärmedal