Who is liable for the theft of the debit card – bank or customer

Tuesday, 20.05.14, written by editor

EC cards are today the constant companion of all paying customers. If money or credit cards are stolen, the owner must act quickly and have them blocked. If necessary, he himself must be liable for the damage incurred after the theft of the debit card. This confirms now a current judgment of the Munich district court.



Wer haftet beim Verlust der EC-Karte
Loss of credit or debit card can be expensive

Anyone who suffers damage after the theft of the debit card quickly asks who is liable for it. A series of judgments in recent years shows that the person being stolen must pay for the financial loss, if he appears to be responsible for it. This may be the case if a third-party billing is made very quickly after the cardholder’s last withdrawal. For the banks, this means that the defendant must have kept his PIN together with the debit card or observed when entering the PIN. Otherwise, the chances of guessing the PIN in three attempts would be 1 to 3,333, the Stiftung Warentest reports.

If the debit card is stolen: when is the bank liable?

According to the current judgment of the Munich District Court (Ref .: 121 C 10360/12), therefore, the stolen pensioner is left with the costs incurred by the theft. The perpetrators were able to deduct 2,000 euros from their account within a short time before the woman had her money card blocked. The 76-year-old said in court, not to have jointly kept PIN and debit card. However, the burden of proof that he did not do so lies with her and can scarcely be proven in this case.

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Stated cash card: who is liable for gross negligence?

The pensioner is not alone with the financial loss after theft of Girocard. Banks are not liable even for the financial loss in the event of loss of the cash card, if Beklauten can be charged with grossly negligent behavior. Various national courts see this fulfilled if the debit card is left behind in an unattended car, for example. Even those who put the money or credit card into their jacket pocket instead of their purse act negligently. If somebody observes when entering his PIN, he also has to pay for the costs incurred after the theft of the girocard.

How safe are EC and credit cards?

Even though the Munich district court has absolved the bank of the stolen pensioner of their liability – it remains questionable how safe money and credit cards and cashless payments really are. Banks indicate that EC cards are sufficiently protected by PIN, Triple DES encryption and magnetic stripe. However, the fraudsters are becoming increasingly sophisticated. The so-called skimming allowed them in recent years to read electronic data from debit cards. In 2012, for example, 521 ATMs were attacked 872 times in Germany.

Victims of a debit card should inform their bank as soon as possible or block their card with a 24-hour hotline. The phone number for blocking all cards, including EC and Maestro cards, is +49 116 116.

Author: Jessica D’Ovidio



editorial staff

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Is own insurance for the bike useful? 

  • Bike insurance pays off with expensive wheels
  • Many home insurance insurers also offer good theft protection
  • Find the best protection for your bike now

To the tariff comparison

Secure bicycle with household or bicycle insurance?

Hundreds of thousands of bicycles are reported stolen each year by their owners. Only one in ten cases is cleared up. Many cyclists therefore catch a bicycle insurance in the eye, which pays in case of theft and so relieves the loss of the wheel. However, hedging is often expensive. Cheaper is a good home insurance, which makes for bicycle theft.

What services does a bicycle insurance offer?

With a bicycle insurance, cyclists secure their bikes comprehensively. The insurance looks depending on the provider

✓ a theft protection,
✓ Benefits of vandalism,
✓ accident and fall damage and
✓ in case of theft of bicycle parts.

Important for e-bikes : the insurance coverage also works against moisture and electronic damage. However, the insurer can prescribe the dealer who should take care of the damage.

The respective reimbursement amount of the insurance depends on the value of the bicycle. The more the bike costs, the higher the price for the hedge. For the protection of a racing bike worth € 1,500, for example, owners pay up to € 528 per year , shows a comparison of Stiftung Warentest from the summer of 2017.

Attention: The bicycle insurance is only valid for the insured bike. If several bicycles are to be insured against theft and the like, a separate contract is necessary.

Over 300,000 bicycles were made in 2017
stolen reported.

What does a good home contents insurance make in comparison?

Many home insurance policies have improved in recent years in benefits and now pay for bicycle theft . However, part of the insurance coverage only applies at certain times of the day. For example, if the contract provides for a so-called night clause , thefts are uninsured between 10 pm and 6 am, for example. However, this clause is rarely used. Nevertheless, it is advisable to take a look at the exact terms of insurance to avoid unpleasant surprises.

The amount of the reimbursement is based on the sum insured , which was agreed for the entire household contents. Depending on the insurer, customers receive between one and five percent of this sum. For example, if insured persons insure their institution for 50,000 euros , a good insurance will reimburse at least 500 euros for the stolen bicycle . The protection generally applies to all wheels of the policyholder.

Incidentally, according to the latest police crime statistics, Berlin is the city ​​with the most reported bicycle theft . There more than 30,000 offenses were reported in 2017. Followed by Hamburg (14,500 thefts), Leipzig (10,000 cases) and Cologne (8,200 stolen wheels).

How much does a bicycle insurance cost compared to household insurance?

The investigation of the Stiftung Warentest for bicycle insurance shows that the costs for theft protection vary considerably . A bike worth 500 euros can protect bike owners from as little as € 46 a year from thieves. The most expensive tariff, however, costs 132 euros.

Important: Some providers do not insure older wheels. The maximum bicycle age varies between one month and unlimited in the insurance examined by Stiftung Warentest.

The costs of home insurance depend on the agreed services and the place of residence. In regions where bicycles are most often stolen, insurance coverage is more expensive than in areas with low theft rates.

Tip: Hedging through home contents insurance is often cheaper than using a separate bicycle insurance. According to Stiftung Warentest, the extra protection for a 1,000-euro bike often costs only around three euros per month.

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Differences between household and bicycle insurance at a glance

  bike insurance Household
Amount of the refund Value of the bicycle 1 to 5 percent of the sum insured
Services at Theft, vandalism, accident and fall damage, parts theft Theft, damage caused by tap water, fire and storm
What is insured? Only the bike All wheels of the insured as well as his entire household contents
Several wheels insured? No Yes
Costs depend on Value of the wheel Place of residence and sum insured

For whom is a bicycle insurance useful?

If cyclists want to know their bike well not only in the event of theft, but also in case of accidents , a separate bicycle insurance makes sense. The same applies if the new bike is particularly expensive . Here the benefits of home contents insurance can reach their limits.

Cyclists, who are especially concerned with protection against theft of bicycles, do not need their own insurance. A high-performance home insurance is sufficient, so they get reimbursed in case of emergency, the cost of the stolen bike. At the same time not only the bike, but also all household items are secured like electronic devices and valuables. For example, if they are stolen from the home or house or destroyed by a fire, the insurance provides important financial support.

Which insurer interested in bicycle theft optimally protects at a low price, you can quickly find out with the free comparison calculator.

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