We often read in the press about mobility equipment being stolen or damaged through mis-handling when traveling. It is an odd world we live in and as the saying goes ‘there is nowt so strange as folk’! But, seriously what goes through peoples minds when stealing wheelchair equipment – ‘yeah this will be fun to take it for a spin,’ or ‘can I sell it and make me some cash’. And as for baggage handlers – don’t chuck this expensive high-end, life depending piece of equipment around – it’s part of me, so I hope to goodness you wouldn’t throw me around in the same way! I guess some people just don’t give it a second thought and don’t truly understand the effects this sort of behaviour has on peoples lives.
Over the year’s we have heard of some travel horror stories from our customers, but fortunately have only heard about one theft of a customers Mountain Trike (which was subsequently found!). So, we thought that perhaps we should highlight some options to try and avoid your Mountain Trike being stolen or damaged.
As with any valuable item, we would always recommend getting your Mountain Trike added to your home insurance policy. Obviously, you will be taking your Mountain Trike away from your home, so check with you current home insurance provider whether your Mountain Trike can be added to your home contents as a named item, making sure you check the terms and conditions as to what is and isn’t covered.
Failing that we can recommend Fish Insurance – who class themselves as Disability Insurance Experts and with over 40 years of experience in this specialist sector are a trusted source offering packages to suit individual needs. We know a number of customers who have used them in the past to insure their Mountain Trike and have been extremely happy with their service.
Visit their website here for further information. Yes, insurance is an additional cost, but its worth it for peace of mind that you’ll be covered for theft or damage.
With the addition of our eTrike (electric power assist) model we have been asked about immobilisers for insurance purposes.
It seems a standard question for electric wheelchairs (which are heavy so difficult to move if the power isn’t on and usually don’t have removable batteries) but doesn’t quite fit the eTrike with its hybrid manual/electric setup (and light weight). Our advice would be to remove the battery as this stops the motor from working at all and it is only a very specific eBike battery that fits so unlikely someone could fit a different battery to power it.
You could then go a step further and lock the whole trike to something solid (e.g. a ground anchor in a garage – see below recommendations) with a good bike lock to stop someone riding it or wheeling it off manually.
We’d hope these 2 points are more than enough to satisfy an insurance company. From experience with protecting expensive bikes, we’d also take a photo of it locked up where it is stored to show the insurers.
Like any outdoor piece of equipment storage can be an issue and the chances are you’ll be storing your Mountain Trike in the garage or an outside shed. With that comes security issues and we would recommend fitting a ground anchor in your garage or shed and locking the Trike to it with a good kryptonite lock.
This will provide an extra level of protection and could be enough to put off a thief. Search the internet for ground anchors, but something like this works well and all good cycling shops will sell kryptonite locks. If a ground anchor isn’t an option at the very least try and use a bicycle lock around the wheels to make it harder to wheel / ride the Trike away – again deterring any potential thieves. For a good, secure outdoor storage solution see our blog piece here.
TRAVELLING WITH YOUR TRIKE
Travelling with your Mountain Trike can fill you with dread – we’re talking airlines rather than other public transport or your own car, as usually this means handing over your pride and joy to the airline staff and as you ask for reassurance that your Mountain Trike won’t be damaged or lost, you can only hope and pray that you will be reunited with your Mountain Trike safe and undamaged at your destination. To help protect certain elements of the Mountain Trike we have put together a blog piece with images showing you how to best protect some of the parts and we would also recommend that you fold down your Mountain Trike – see our how to protect your Trike blog here for further detail. Heaven forbid your Mountain Trike is damaged by the airline, be sure to take photographs and log a claim asap. Also, check to make sure your insurance policy covers you for foreign travel.
With the addition of our eTrike product and the uncertainty of flying with lithium batteries we have added a separate blog piece about traveling with your eTrike. Detail of which can be found here.
Hopefully, you will never have to live through the horror of theft or damage of your Mountain Trike and that some of the above tips will help protect you from it ever happening to you.
Keep safe and happy Mountain Triking!