Aaaggghh!!! Allianz!!!!!

I happen to be a marketer and when I first heard Allianz insurance's "ahhh..." campaign (interestingly they refer to it as the "one word for insurance" campaign) I thought it was a bit risky and that it could easily backfire on them. A lot of the "ahhh..." in the ads come out more with anger than their intended anxiety.

I'd conveniently forgotten at that point in time that our Cyclecover contents and bike cover is underwritten by Allianz. Even if I'd remembered, I would hardly have imagined at that time that I'd be a case in point.

And yet, here I am.

My lovely Jens was damaged while overseas. I lodged a claim as soon I could get the two quotes needed on our return to Australia.

Damage to frame
Doesn't look like much, and it isn't major damage, I know, but I'm not riding it like this!

Both bike shops quoted on replacement of the frame, mainly because I have a Trek with a lifetime manufacturer's warranty. Some insurers repair frames now, even carbon frames, but repairing a frame voids the manufacturer's warranty. I wasn't worried about that. It's pretty obvious that a repaired frame minus warranty isn't the same as a new frame with warranty.

Not so obvious to Allianz.

I wrote a polite email outlining my concern about my lifetime warranty and asked some questions about the nature of the repair and got a phone call back from their assessor (who by the way is a third party representative rather than an Allianz employee).

I'm paraphrasing here of course but the overall gist was, "Allianz are going to repair the frame... you'll get a five year guarantee on the repair... you can contact the repairer to find out what that entails.... you can put your concerns into writing if you like."

I did speak to the repairer in quite a bit of detail. He allayed a lot of my concerns about the repair but still didn't answer the questions I had. Email number two, to the assessor again.

Phone call number two, from an Allianz rep.

"Your manufacturer's warranty is already void, because your frame has been damaged."

Um. Yep. That's why I lodged a claim. I have insurance for this. Your PDS says you repair or replace so that the item is in the same condition as it was when it was new. Mine had a manufacturer's warranty.

"You can put your concerns into an email to be considered by our internal disputes area."

Email number three. This time directly to Allianz.

At last, I got something in writing. But this time to tell me that they weren't going to organise to repair my frame, they were going to pay me out for the cost of the repair and incidentals, and I could do whatever I like.

Well, that sounds reasonable. Drop all of your service because I asked a few questions and wondered why, when I was asked to put my concerns into writing, I got nothing back in the same manner.

Back to Cyclecover (who I felt I should have been dealing with all along, incidentally). The phone call was uncomfortable. They offered to get Allianz to organise the repair on my behalf rather than leaving me high and dry.


Hold on. What about all my other questions? I still don't have a clear answer on the repair warranty, and I still don't feel all that confident that I'm not entitled to a new frame. In retrospect, I felt a little bit bullied into accepting the repair without these questions answered to my satisfaction.

I've decided to move on. I've got my repaired bike back. It doesn't feel any different to what it did before the damage, if you ask me. So overall I'm satisfied with the work done.

I'm not satisfied with the treatment I received from either insurance company. The only person I could recommend from this whole experience would be Raoul who repaired my bike.

So my aaahh...lianz is definitely an Aaagghhhh! Allianz!! And sure, I've got one word, but it isn't all that complimentary.

Don't say I didn't warn you.


  1. So - are you switching insurance providers as a result?