Car accidents are unfortunately a common occurence. Even if you are the best driver in the world, there is no guarantee that the people around you will be good drivers or even if they will tell the truth in the event of an accident.
In March of 2019, I was involved in a car accident which was not my fault. At the time I was really shaken up but the accident is still crystal clear to me. I was exiting a car park – although I was going around a bend, and I was hit in the front passenger wing by a car who pulled out of their space without looking.
I’m not going to bore you all the boring details, but a week ago my car insurance company told me that after 10 months they’d agreed to settle it 50:50 because neither of us had any evidence to the contrary and it was my word against his. I understand why they’ve done this – it’s one person’s version against another and to take it to court would only end up with the insurance company further out of pocket, but I was still a little disappointed. I just assumed that he said I was not looking when coming around the corner, but imagine my shock when yesterday I received a letter saying that his version of events was that I hit a parked car!
The moment I was hit, I took a picture of his car as I thought he was about to drive off. I even told my insurance company about this picture in the original paperwork that I filed, which clearly shows he wasn’t in a space, and his brake lights were on, showing he wasn’t stationary as he claimed, but they never asked for the photo. Now I know his version of the story, I am going to fight, but I fear if they have already offered the 50:50 that it might be too late. I will update this post once I have spoken to the insurers again, but in the meantime, here is what I have learnt about finances, but also about people!
Get a dashcam
If I had had a dashcam at the time of the car accident, this whole situation would have been avoided. It wouldn’t have prevented any car accidents from taking place, but I could have produced the video right at the start and this would not have gone on so long. I will now be getting one, and I can’t offer recommendations as I don’t have one as yet, but I’ve asked around and it looks like Nextbase dashcams are the ones to get, and this model has come highly recommended. Once I have a dashcam and can offer a review, I will again, update this post.
Dashcams are priced from as little as £20, right up to several hundred pounds so there is one to suit every budget. Shop around and find one that works for you – and perhaps even use a cashback site to save yourself a little bit of money once you have decided on a make and model. One of my big regrets is not having one previously, as having one would have saved me time and money in this instance. Hopefully once I have it I will never need it, but it will be good to have some reassurance.
Protecting your no claims is a great investment
I always thought protecting your no claims discount was a gimmick. Fortunately, mine was protected as part of my policy (which I didn’t even realise), but now I will be protecting it every year. It is a small price to pay for that extra piece of mind. I still have to declare that I was involved in an accident which has currently gone down as partly my fault for the next five years, and this in turn will increase my premiums, but my no claims is protected for that accident. Going forward I truly believe it will be a great investment and will always be paying the little supplement to protect it, not because I am expecting to be in any more car accidents, but because I’ve learnt that people lie and it’s not worth the stress.
Never assume anything
As I mentioned above, I assumed that his version of the story was that as I was coming around the corner I didn’t see him. I assumed that it was a case of he saw the situation differently to me – like when there are two sides to a story. It never occurred to me to assume he would tell a bare faced lie – its like he is talking about totally different car accidents! If I had asked my insurance company months ago what his version was, I could have offered up the evidence ages ago. I would have fought it from a different perspective and I would have known the full story when they said they wanted to do a 50:50 settle. I also assumed that the insurance company would have requested all evidence and read my paperwork in full – this is clearly not the case. Again, if I’d known, I’d have been on the phone more regularly and chased it up more.
Comparison sites don’t compare customer service
I found my current car insurance provider by using a comparison site. At the time, it was the cheapest policy which was also 5* Defaqto rated. What they don’t however share with you is customer service reviews. Whilst the majority of the reviews online about my current provider are pretty good, I wish I had shopped around a little more. Also, someone having a good experience from an insurer when they bought a policy is very different to that of someone who has been involved in an accident and had to make a claim – so it is worth bearing that in mind when reading reviews or taking recommendations from other people.