The Royal Dutch Touring Club (ANWB) announced this week that, from September 6 onwards, it will no longer offer insurance packages for fatbikes in the Netherlands, largely due to the high rates of theft among these bike models, especially in Amsterdam

Fatbikes increasingly popular in the Netherlands

The Dutch travellers’ association and insurance company provides support for travellers across practically all modes of transportation, offering travel advice and various insurance policies – including packages for bikes and scooters. These policies are particularly attractive to cyclists with bikes with a higher price tag, such as e-bikes, racing bikes, cargo bikes, and the increasingly popular fatbike. 

Fatbikes are, as the name suggests, bicycles ideal for off-road use, with thicker frames and tyres than normal. While the bikes were initially designed for soft and unstable terrain, they have become increasingly common in the Netherlands in recent years, and can regularly be seen on roads across many Dutch cities and towns. 

ANWB: 90 percent of fatbikes in Amsterdam are stolen

While more and more people might be looking to invest in their very own fatbike – most brands have price tags of well over 1.000 euros – the ANWB has announced that it is no longer insuring fatbikes. From September 6, customers will no longer be able to take out insurance for their fatbike, while the 10.000 people who are already insured by the ANWB will not be able to renew their policy when it expires. 

The ANWB has explained that the decision is the result of “extremely high theft rates” among fatbikes, especially in cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht. Talking to RTL Nieuws, a spokesperson for the travellers’ association said “nine out of 10” fatbikes are stolen, while the ANWB’s Klaas Kregel told the AD that “in Amsterdam, more than 90 percent of fatbikes are stolen.”

In addition to high levels of theft, the ANWB, said many fatbike owners make adjustments to their bicycles in order to increase their maximum speed, which leads to unsafe situations on roads and bike lanes. 

Dutch insurers reconsidering bike insurance policies

By no longer insuring fatbikes in the Netherlands, the ANWB hopes to keep insurance costs down for other customers. According to the company, the cost of payouts for damage and theft are eight times higher than insurance premiums: “That is no longer sustainable.”

The ANWB is not the only Dutch insurance company taking action; Kingpolis has a similar rule for fatbikes, while Interpolis and Centraal Beheer are also considering a ban on insurance packages for fatbikes. The ANWB is also looking into options for a new type of insurance policy for these kinds of bikes.

Thumb: Ronald Wilfred Jansen via Shutterstock.com.

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