April to October is the season of bicycle thefts – the summer period stands out in OP’s non-life insurance claims

Up to 40% of the crime-related non-life insurance claims received by OP are linked to bicycles. The odds of a bicycle being stolen on the street or from inside a bicycle storage are much greater than a bicycle being subjected to vandalism. Most often, it is a case of an unlocked bicycle stolen, for example, in a public place.

The warmer spring weather marks the start of the cycling season. Typically, this also signifies an increase in theft and vandalism. Bicycles are stolen round the year but the summer months are the busiest time for this type of crime.

“The number of bicycle-related crime would seem to increase almost five-fold compared to the winter months. We receive roughly 500 bicycle-related claims a month between April and October,” says Hanna Hartikainen, head of insurance operations for private customers at OP.

Bicycles are stolen much less frequently in connection with burglaries than, for example, from a back garden or a public place. Whilst OP received more than 4,200 claims related to bicycle theft or vandalism in total in 2018, OP only received 60 claims related to bicycle theft connected to burglaries.

“The best way to keep your bicycle safe is to keep it in a locked storage or otherwise indoors, and even then, secured by a lock. We rarely receive claims pertaining to thefts under these circumstances,” says Hartikainen.

Geographically, there is some inconsistency in the dispersion of bicycle-related crime. Last year, Helsinki had the greatest number of bicycle theft claims. However, relative to the population, Oulu came first in the comparison. OP received 845 claims in Helsinki, with a population of approximately 650,000. Last year, Oulu had a population in excess of 203,000 but OP received 415 bicycle theft claims.

Insurance companies do not require owners to use a specific type of lock, but the bicycle needs to be locked. The best way to protect your bicycle from theft is to use two locks: a fixed lock attached to the frame of the bicycle as well as a D lock to secure the bicycle, for example, onto a bicycle rack. It is also a good idea to take a picture of your bicycle and record the serial number on the frame.

Further information and requests for interviews:

OP Corporate Communications, tel. +358 50 523 9904, viestinta@op.fi

OP Financial Group is Finland's largest financial services group whose mission is to create sustainable prosperity, security and wellbeing for its owner-customers and in its operating region by means of its strong capital base and efficiency. OP Financial Group consists of 153 member cooperative banks, its central cooperative OP Cooperative, and the latter's subsidiaries and affiliates. The Group has a staff of 12,000 and 1.9 million owner-customers. www.op.fi