You will no doubt have been asked the question, if you have purchased anything electrical or electronic during the past few years: would you like to extend the warranty, or cover some things which the manufacturer might not.
Similarly, you can now buy service plans for a new car; instead of the shock of an expensive bill for an annual service, you cantake out a service plan to pay a modest amount each month and “guarantee” the service costs over, for example, a 3 year period.
I’ve just seen a press release for Velocare in Florida, who have launched an extended service plan for bikes. While it’s not being made available here, it’s an interesting idea, and one which may get copied by an astute insurance company this side of the “pond”.
<pstyle=”text-align: center;”>What Velocare covers
Velocare operates an extended service/warranty program founded in 2014 by Dave Williams and Denis and Sergei Voitenko, three serious cyclists who set out to give fellow cyclists an alternative to paying for bicycle repairs out of pocket. Velocare, a 3- or 5-year extended service/warranty plan, provides cyclists with financial protection against costly bike repairs. They point out that it is not uncommon for a cycling enthusiast to spend as much on a high-end bike as many do on a family car. But the cost replace the drive train can leave cyclists reeling with “sticker shock”. The annual cost of keeping an active cyclist on the road can run into hundreds of pounds.
“There are over 4 million bicycles of higher value sold in the US every year,” said Dave Williams, CEO and co-founder of Velocare. “A good quality entry-level bicycle costs upwards of $1,000 with an average mid-range value of $4,000. The cost to keep these bicycles in peak operating condition is high. The Velocare model is based on auto industry extended service programs: if it moves it will wear out, and when it does, Velocare will repair or replace it.”
Denis Voitenko added: “Even though the manufacturer’s warranty is quite good, there are many things that it doesn’t cover, such as parts failure caused by normal use of the bicycle. Velocare extends and improves on the manufacturer’s warranty by offering 3 or 5 years of worry-free riding.”
The only cost to the bicycle owner is the initial purchase of a Velocare plan, which is shown in the graphic. Velocare is currently available for newly purchased bicycles in the USA, however the company already has plans to release certified pre-owned service in the near future.
Velocare partners with bicycle shops across the USA to sell Velocare plans and to provide repair or replacement services to Velocare clients. According to Sergei Voitenko, “No matter where our client is riding, there will be a Velocare service center nearby. And for our clients who find themselves out of reach of a Velocare service center, the plan administrator will reimburse the cost of repairs performed by an out-of-network shop directly to the bicycle owner.”
Will we be seeing something like this in the UK any time soon?
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