Cycle Claims Management was launched in 2002 and was open to any bike shop. Soon after the news of its launch was carried on BikeBiz.com, the Association of Cycle Traders secured a deal for its members to offer the service exclusively.
Fetch is the new face for Cycle Claims Management and is an extensive overhaul of the front-end for the service. The first stage of the insurance replacement process can now be carried out by consumers online.
Mark Brown of the ACT said Fetch allows bike shops - marketed by Fetch as 'Cycle Recovery Centres' - to retain more customers whose cycle insurance replacement claim would have previously been fulfilled direct by an insurance company.
"By retaining more customers IBDs can increase sales and promotion through the Fetch brand," he said.
"There are over 350 IBDs already participating in Fetch and ACT is keen to broaden participation to include as many retailers as possible to create a truly nationwide industry-representative brand."
Participation in Fetch is open to any bike shop, whether a member of ACT or not.
The bike brands endorsing the scheme are Marin, Giant, Trek, Mongoose, GT, Specialized and Brompton. However, 'Cycle Recovery Centres' can supply any brand of bike to consumers sent their way by Fetch.
The simple idea behind Fetch is to offer customers a choice in terms of how and where their insurance claim is fulfilled," said Brown.
"This lets them benefit from the skills, services and range of products independent bicycle dealers have to offer. This isnt a new idea however it is the first time that we, as a sector, have promoted ourselves as a viable alternative for insurance replacement claims. This is where the Fetch brand has most to offer because it gives IBDs a clear positioning through which they can promote a genuine value-added service to customers and benefit as a result, through increased customer retention and sales.
Brown acknowledges the stiff competition from Halfords and a few IBDs who specialise in insurance replacements:
Im very aware this is a complex area, with some big players including Halfords wanting to protect a highly profitable business which is currently undermining independent bike shops.
"However, I am confident that Fetch will gain in popularity amongst customers and receive the support of more bike suppliers keen to support their dealers in this area and protect their brands.
Fetch allows bike shops to offer an insurance replacements service by outsourcing all of the administration and specialist insurance claims handling to LawShield UK of Warrington.
"This enables IBDs to offer the service without the costly barriers to entry which have traditionally restricted the potential this market offers," said Brown.
Fetch will soon be advertised in the specialist cycling press.