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VIC My first accident

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by MickeyJ, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. Last night, just after leaving work about 5.30pm at the NE end of Melbourne CBD, I had my first accident. Was relatively minor (travelling between 30-40kph) but low-sided after taking evasive action to avoid being hit by an SUV.

    Following the Volvo SUV onto Lonsdale St. in the RH lane. He indicated and moved into the LH lane. I kept a constant speed and remained in the RH lane only to have him swerve back (without indicating) into the RH lane and almost hit me. I swerved right to avoid him but the bike dropped from under me and slid down the slope (I think his vehicle may have tapped my rear tyre as I swerved). Bike slid into a parked car in the centre causing minor bumper damage. I slid head first, flat on my back for a few metres before gently coming to a stop up against the concrete at the bottom of a parking meter (I have visions of it dinging and spilling out money LOL). I got straight up, leg and knee was a bit sore (where I'd hit the deck and the bike on top of the leg) but seeing I was in my full gear, I realised I'd escaped any real injury.

    The Volvo driver pulled over and there were a few spectators all asking if I was okay. Funnily enough, the guy who's car I hit was walking to his car and saw the whole thing. I got the details from both drivers and it was all relatively civil. The driver of the Volvo said he didn't see me and admitted he was at fault. Offered to call ambulance or drop me where I wanted to go. As it was a low-side accident and fairly slow speed, the bike slid and didn't hit anything with much force, I was able to ride it home. Mostly cosmetic damage down the RH side (fairings, bar, brake lever, mirror gone, indicators gone, banged up pipe, scraped wheels, scraped fork ends). My gear did its job but of course was shredded where I hit and slid.

    After getting home I got onto the phone to Swann Insurance only to find that they close at 6pm. They direct you to their website for claims, but as the accident involved 3 parties, I figured it would be best to write down what happened (while it was still fresh in the noggin) and call them in the morning to lodge the claim with them over the phone.

    So this morning, I took the train trip into work and got on the blower to Swann. The lady was all sympathetic and heard me out but the tone changed as soon as I said my bike had hit another car. All of a sudden it was "you have to get online and fill out a form to lodge a claim." When I asked why, she avoided answering and just kept saying that was what I needed to do.

    The online form is actually a PDF that you complete and then has a 'submit' button. I completed the form and pressed submit (put my email details in it etc.) but I've not had any response (no email response or anything). Pretty poor effort as far as I'm concerned. No I'm going to have to follow up with them to see whether they even got it! And, given the sudden change in tone from the lass on the phone, I'm worried that because the bike hit another car, they see the accident as an 'at fault' claim.

    Is this normal practice? Am I being pessimistic? Any advice?

    (BTW: I wish I'd got some witnesses details since its actually a question asked on the claim form, you know, some of those lovely people who gathered to check I was okay...)
  2. Glad you are Ok.

    Did you have gear insurance with Swann?
    In multi vehicle accidents its a up the chain situation so it is more difficult. The insurer of the parked car makes a claim on your insurance, your insurer makes a claim on the SUV drivers insurance. That is your insurers problem though.
    Have you paid an annual premium or quarterly monthly etc?
    Age, under 25 and L's may attract additional excess.

    I think, that Swann will determine fault, admission of fault by the SUV driver at the scene will not necessarily hold when he makes his claim. You may get apportioned blame if they determine that you could have been riding with more clearance to the surrounding traffic.

    In any case after an incident it is wise to analyse what you could have done to improve your chances in the situation. :)
  3. The poor effort is by you in failing to pay attention to the information you have already seen.

    The instructions do not say to ring to lodge a claim. It clearly states you need to complete and submit the electronic claim form.

    You need to allow (2) business days for confirmation that your form has been received ie. until Friday 08.08.2014.

    See above.

    Read and adhere to clear instructions to avoid unnecessary anxiety.

    If you have any queries, contact them, and if telephone operator is not able to answer a Q to your satisfaction, ask to speak to their Manager. There is no point asking the forum what is or isn't normal Swann Insurance practice. That's something you resolve by either referring to information already made available to you, or speaking to your insurer.

    Last but not least, each forum also has a description. Read these as well to know where your discussion topics belong.

    All the best,

  4. Yes, this is always a good idea :)

    I'm not clear what happened, you were following the Volvo and both of you were initially in the RH lane. Then the Volvo went RH->LH->RH at which point you think the Volvo struck your rear tyre. You were travelling at constant speed.

    How did it end up behind you? Did the other vehicle slow down. If so how did they not see you?
  5. Glad you are ok. Insurance companies take there time but following there guidelines should help with delays.
  6. Definitely have been taking some time to go over what I may have done differently to avoid the accident. Given I'm a new rider still, I'm sure there is road craft I'm yet to learn and it's accidents like this that bring into sharp focus the shoulds and should nots in everyday commuting.

    The other car ended up going past me but at the time when we both swerved, we were alongside each other. I was swerving a little more sharply and suspect he has hit me side on but only touched the rear tyre (although in hindsight, I had to bend back my chain guard before I could ride the bike so maybe he hit that side after all)

    Justus, sorry about the wrong forum posting originally, I spent 5 minutes doing searches and found several similar threads in general and thought that was most appropriate. Hopefully there won't be a next time for this learning. ;-)

    As for the claim experience, regardless of what the online page says about response to my claim, it's poor practice for any business on the web to not acknowledge receipt of a form same day, if not almost immediately. They can still take days to get back to me regarding the claim, but to take 2 days before I even know if they've got the form isn't a good experience. If they've not got it, will I then be waiting another 2 days, and so on and so forth? Stalling tactic perhaps? 2 days isn't much better than if I'd posted the form to them!

    I asked the forum, not because I'm looking for confirmation of any Swan policy or process, but to find out what actually happens in practice. Perhaps they say 2 days but they normally get back next day (based on people's experience). Maybe they say two days and take two weeks! Forgive me if I ask for what people actually have experience rather than trusting what an insurance company might say they do on their website.

    Either way, sounds like it's a bit of a waiting game regardless. Trust the process as they say in the classics.

    A further question, anyone know of anywhere decent in the SE suburbs where I should go to get repairs done? Any recommendations?
  7. Your insurers will probably have a list of approved repairers in your area. Until their assessor has seen the bike you can't do much.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Talk to Swann first and ask if they have a couple of preferred repairers. If the work isn't up to standard, at least Swann can take it up on your behalf.

    EDIT: oops, didn't see cjvfr's response. So yeah, that.
  9. So contacted Swann today and they advised that the hadn't received my form. They also confirmed that had it gone through correctly, I would have received an email acknowledgement with a reference number almost immediately. So now sent to them via email and hope to hear back soon.

    They have suggested I take the bike to Peter Stevens where I bought it, to have repairs quoted. A assessor will then be assigned and repairs authorised after all is reviewed.
  10. It's really, REALLY important to get contact details of any witnesses.
    But you might be OK. Something very similar happened to me once and I was fortunate that my insurer backed me 100%.
    If it were me, I would be very certain that the Volvo tapped my rear tyre.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  11. That's all personal opinion, but some more commonsense advice a prudent person will subscribe to whether its to insure a $395,000 R8 sports or an inexpensive Hyosung:

    The Q's you ask and information you are seeking is what you set out to find before you enter into a contract by purchasing the insurance product, not when shit happens and you need to make a claim.

  12. It's alright @Justus@Justus, you can call it a cheap Hyosung.. not pretending it's anything else. Does a good enough job for a first bike - I'll see how cheap it is to repair too :whistle:.

    Absolutely - everything I've outlined is personal opinion based on the experience I've had to date. If it weren't for customers pushing businesses for the way we preferred our interactions to be, I doubt anything would change (and if it did, it would be purely to the benefit of the business)..

    Seems like when it comes to motorcycle insurance, its a bit of a captive market which may allow companies to get away with more than they should if there were more choice. The counter argument might be that to keep premiums lower, Swann don't go for all the bells and whistles and focus on providing core value for money. You might even say 'you get what you pay for'. I went with Swann mainly as P.S. acted as the broker and 'sold' me the policy on price and general features at the same time I was purchasing the bike. My lack of knowledge, inexperience and minimal investigation prior to purchase had me walking into the contract thinking I was getting a fair deal. Lets hope a new rider reads through this thread and learns what to do and what not to do! (BTW, I'm not suggesting the insurance I have isn't a fair deal either..)

    As it turns out, the experience I've had with Swann so far has had more to do with the person I was dealing with on my first contact. Subsequent discussions have been far more constructive, informative and in line with my expectations. I've already received acknowledgment of my claim with further instructions so we'll see how the rest of the process goes.:-/

    Feel free to tune out from here on in though. Chances are the whole thread will be littered with my opinions on the process as I go through it (good, bad or indifferent). Perhaps you'll find it entertaining or for some, an example to keep in mind should they deal with a similar situation for the first time.
  13. You live and learn mate.

    It's the same story we see in these threads, well since I've been here anyway. You are not the first, and you won't be the last either. PS sell you the bike and they conveniently include the cost of 12 months insurance in your loan, so you are in effect paying interest on that premium for the full term of the loan.

    All good. Keep the thread updated (y)

    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Me showing ignorance of the law here - but does it matter? If I swerve to avoid a collision (not my fault) and I end up wrecking - isn't it the other party's fault anyway - or do they actually have to hit you for it to be their fault?
  15. Good luck trying to prove you swerved to miss someone. Far easier if they hit you but not the outcome you want really.
  16. Terrible news but at least you're ok, gotta watch out for those bloody Volvo drivers! Did you have your helmet cam running when the accident happened?
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Unfortunately no, didn't have the camera on the helmet at the time. Maybe I should make sure it's going every day commuting in, you know.. Just in case.
  18. #18 LAMS, Aug 8, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
    I had a somewhat similar incident 3 and a half years ago.
    This happened on a clear, dry night at around 8pm. I was travelling along at about 40km/hr and going in to the right turn lane. Light was green to go straight and turn right. There was a car in my left lane, going straight (meant to at least) and as I approach the right hand turn in the right turn lane, about 20m or so from the intersection, the said car proceeds to turn right to make a U turn. Half way through the turn, now perpendicular to the traffic and myself, see my headlights flash on her and stops in front of the right turn lane.
    Me being an inexperienced rider with only 2 weeks of experience, grab the front brakes and lean slightly left to avoid hitting her car. I miss the car, but, the bike goes down. She then proceeds to complete her U turn, stop on the side. I look up to see the make and model of the car and confirm she has actually stopped. At this time, she sticks her hand up to apologise (a sorry, i cut you off/ didn't see you there wave) and drives off.

    At this point, 2 kids get our of their mum's car and run across the intersection and say they saw it and asked if I needed help. I tell them I'm fine, not hurt and thank them. They run across the road, get in their mum's car and drive off.

    I pick up the bike and wheel it on the opposite of the road, where the car that caused the accident had stopped (this place is a bus stop). I call the cops to say this is what happened and she has driven off. Give them a description of the car and direction of travel. The car driver drives past about 4-5times (about 15mins in to the incident) and now has a passenger.

    She comes to a stop to see if I'm okay about 25-30mins in to the incident. I tell her cops are on their way. She decides to wait. Cops rock up after 10 more minutes, ask for what's happened and just say exchange details. They do not say who's at fault etc. just that insurance will sort it out.

    At this point, we exchange details and I go home. Then, try to call Swann Insurance to let them know what happened and found out they are closed. Lodge a claim online (can't remember if I got an auto reply straight away or not). Since, I did not have any witness details, I was deemed at fault until the other person claimed they were responsible.

    8 days after the crash, the other driver had not lodged a claim still and wouldn't return my calls or messages, so, I called the local police station and asked if I call her home phone and the number wasn't provided by her, can she say I'm harassing her? The officer tells me, if the number is publicly available and I don't call at an abnormal time or threaten her, I should be fine.
    I call her home phone, speak to her son and she them messages me to not call her home phone and that she will lodge the claim on Monday. She does this and accepts responsibility.
    Swann insurance cancel my excess and tell me that I can get my bike repaired from any qualified mechanic.

    Bottom line, Another driver caused the accident. My bike went down, but, I didn't touch her car.
    In hindsight, I should have taken witness details, because, if the driver said it wasn't her fault, I would have had to pay the excess. The cops in this case were absolutely useless. The driver admitted her fault to the cops, but, they didn't write anything down. Just asked me to call 131444 (NSW Police assistance line) and get an event number for insurance.

    @OP, in your case, the driver of the car that you ended up hitting saw the whole thing (hopefully, the SUV merging in to you as well). I'm sure he can also act as a witness. Maybe, worth confirming with him, what he saw.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  19. It is not the role of police to determine who is at fault in an insurance matter. That is for the insurer(s) to determine.

  20. Sorry to hear about your stack - I have had my first 'off', but nobody else was involved.

    One comment that I might make, is that one of the most important parts of "Road Craft" is to buffer yourself away from hazards - this includes other vehicles, head on zones etc....
    3 seconds of distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you, and maximise the distance between you and objects/vehicles next to you, or in the oncoming lane(s).

    That said, from what I have read, you situation was caused by a driver not paying attention / not seeing you. We are always taught - "Who cares whos fault it is, the rider is almost always the one who gets hurt"

    Be safe, and learn from the experience......:)
    • Like Like x 1