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Purchase protection denied - "reasonably safeguarded"

Purchase protection denied - "reasonably safeguarded"

Old Jun 27, 20, 1:44 am
  #1  
wmz
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Purchase protection denied - "reasonably safeguarded"

I recently filed a purchase protection claim for a stolen bike ($500 value). I left the bike in front of my car in a locked garage (accessible only to residents of my 12-unit apartment building). I see other tenants storing things there all the time. There was nothing to lock the bike to in the garage. It was fine for a few weeks but then got stolen. My claim was denied since it was deemed that my "item not being reasonably safeguarded, for example, leaving it in an unlocked vehicle or at an unoccupied site."

What does "reasonably safeguarded" mean? I would assume that the locked garage would have been reasonable enough, but Amex seems to disagree. Can I appeal?

Thanks,
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Old Jun 27, 20, 2:30 am
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Originally Posted by wmz View Post
What does "reasonably safeguarded" mean?
I don't believe there is an universal definition on this or AMEX has ever defined in its terms.

But FWIW - I would agree with AMEX that your bike was not reasonably safeguarded. In fact, I would say it was not properly to the extreme. At the minimum, rack or no rack, I would expect that you would lock your bike against a fixed structure or your car.

BTW - I see that you are from San Francisco. Because of the high rate of bike theft in the area, I would say you did not do enough to protect your bike.

Originally Posted by wmz View Post
I would assume that the locked garage would have been reasonable enough, but Amex seems to disagree.
If you store in a locked garage that only you have access, then I agree. Just because it can access by residents only, it does not mean the thief is not one of the residents or the bike was removed by the management. Your bike was in fact "parked" in a common area.

Originally Posted by wmz View Post
Can I appeal?
You may be able to do so. At the minimum, I know that mandatory binding arbitration is a known option for AMEX to resolve problems.

But I would not expect anything.
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Old Jun 27, 20, 2:40 am
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I have to agree. Once the garage is accessible to people from outside your household and the bike is not lock to anything fixed, it is not reasonably secured. You can appeal, of course, but I wouldn’t expect Amex to change its position.
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Old Jun 27, 20, 3:22 am
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Also agree with the posters above. If this was say, your locked personal garage at a house and they broke the lock and broke in then I expect AMEX would have approved. But a parking garage in a multi-tenant building? Anyone can slip in and out tailing a car on entry or exit.

Think of it from this perspective. Not locking the bike means it could freely be ridden away by anyone who could get access to it. Would you feel comfortable leaving your car unlocked with the keys inside in that garage such that it's secured by the garage but can be driven away by anyone who gained access to the garage? Probably not, right?
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Old Jun 27, 20, 6:34 am
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For $500, it is worth sending in a short, clear & succinct letter reiterating your facts and that this is a common practice in your garage.

However, do not hold your breath. The bike was left uncocked in an area accessible to at least 11 other households, anybody those households associate with, and whatever maintenance or other personnel might have been in the place.
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Old Jun 27, 20, 9:26 am
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Originally Posted by nexusCFX View Post
Not locking the bike means it could freely be ridden away by anyone who could get access to it. Would you feel comfortable leaving your car unlocked with the keys inside in that garage such that it's secured by the garage but can be driven away by anyone who gained access to the garage? Probably not, right?
The OP might want to clarify if the bike was locked at all. Just because it canít be locked to something doesnít mean it canít be locked.
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Old Jun 27, 20, 5:01 pm
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Originally Posted by wmz View Post
What does "reasonably safeguarded" mean?Thanks,
They can't define it, but they know it when they see it!

Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post
The OP might want to clarify if the bike was locked at all. Just because it canít be locked to something doesnít mean it canít be locked.
I was going to say the same thing. Locking a bike to itself, such that it can't be ridden off, isn't going to be perfect, but it at least prevents someone that might be tempted to just hop on and ride off into the sunset. I heard from an insurance agent once that supposedly 1/3 of all cars that are stolen are taken just because the thief needed to get a ride somewhere. This is probably outdated by a few decades at this point, but back in the day, when cars were more-easily hotwired, I can see this having been the case. A completely unlocked bike is practically an open invitation for someone to hop on and take it a few blocks away to where they need to go rather than walk. That kind of thinking is hard to comprehend for those of us that don't steal things and think it's wrong, but not everyone thinks that way.
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Old Jun 27, 20, 7:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
They can't define it, but they know it when they see it!



I was going to say the same thing. Locking a bike to itself, such that it can't be ridden off, isn't going to be perfect, but it at least prevents someone that might be tempted to just hop on and ride off into the sunset. I heard from an insurance agent once that supposedly 1/3 of all cars that are stolen are taken just because the thief needed to get a ride somewhere. This is probably outdated by a few decades at this point, but back in the day, when cars were more-easily hotwired, I can see this having been the case. A completely unlocked bike is practically an open invitation for someone to hop on and take it a few blocks away to where they need to go rather than walk. That kind of thinking is hard to comprehend for those of us that don't steal things and think it's wrong, but not everyone thinks that way.
A lot of bike theft is opportunistic bike theft and not part or parcel of any interest in permanent material gain from possession or fencing of the stolen bike, with easy targets being more subject to theft than hardened targets.

A lot of bike thefts in Scandinavia seem to be done as matter of only taking temporary possession of the stolen bike for use (as a means of faster transport at a particular moment) and then tossing/abandoning the bike after momentary use. This kind of thing can account for a huge proportion of the bike thefts that happen around schools and recreational/entertainment facilities.

Whether having a bike unlocked in a locked bicycle/storage room is to be considered reasonably safeguarded can vary. Unlocked bicycle in a shared, locked bike room may well be considered reasonably safeguarded in an expensive 50-unit doorman coop building on the UES of Manhattan or in a mid-range 50-unit Stockholm coop building full of young, middle income, university-educated professionals with pre-teen kids; but then it may not be considered so in a 30-unit building in a poor section of New Orleans or some other place.
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Old Jun 27, 20, 7:35 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
A lot of bike theft is opportunistic bike theft and not part or parcel of any interest in permanent material gain from possession or fencing of the stolen bike, with easy targets being more subject to theft than hardened targets.
Not in OP's case, if OP is really living in San Francisco. In San Francisco, bike theft is a major problem:

https://www.kqed.org/news/11708992/1...an-francisco-2

https://www.sanfranciscopolice.org/s...ent-bike-theft

https://sfbike.org/resources/theft-locking/
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Old Jun 27, 20, 10:45 pm
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Complain. If you don't get anywhere, you could consider suing them in small claims court. They might cave rather than having to waste time and money defending this -- and potentially face bad PR. **NOT LEGAL ADVICE**
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Old Jun 27, 20, 11:01 pm
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Originally Posted by nexusCFX View Post
Also agree with the posters above. If this was say, your locked personal garage at a house and they broke the lock and broke in then I expect AMEX would have approved.
​​​​​​My friend left a brand new driver on the golf course and when he went back (a few holes later) it was gone. Amex covered that, so why not a bike in a restricted, if not secure, area.

It's ultimately up to the processor, and maybe with Covid 19 they are being more stringent to save money. Maybe OP has a bunch of claims and Amex is taking that into consideration (not my business, just a theory). But either way I feel like Amex a few years ago would have covered it.
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Old Jun 27, 20, 11:24 pm
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In the absence of anything fixed to lock the bike to in this garage, I would have rolled the bike inside the building and into my apartment behind a locked door, and then I would regard the bike as ďreasonably safeguarded.Ē
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Old Jun 28, 20, 12:12 am
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Originally Posted by Gig103 View Post
​​​​​​My friend left a brand new driver on the golf course and when he went back (a few holes later) it was gone. Amex covered that, so why not a bike in a restricted, if not secure, area.
The difference is misplace vs stolen.
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Old Jun 28, 20, 12:37 am
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Originally Posted by LAX_Esq View Post
Complain. If you don't get anywhere, you could consider suing them in small claims court. They might cave rather than having to waste time and money defending this -- and potentially face bad PR. **NOT LEGAL ADVICE**
Sue Amex on what grounds?
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Old Jun 28, 20, 12:43 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Sue Amex on what grounds?
Breach of contract (and whatever other related causes of action you'd sue an insurer for if they fail to pay out when they're supposed to).
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