Here is the perfect example of why every motorist needs a top-line dual camera GPS-equipped black box recorder such as the terrific Vacron CDR-E07. This is what happened.
On the morning of 03 July 2017, I received this email from CARR subscriber John Stead, who was visiting Sydney from Albury.
Of course I immediately invited John to come over to my house, which is only about a five minute drive from Castle Hill. He showed up with the memory card from his Vacron black box recorder, so I put it into my computer and examined the data. The time and date stamped video clearly showed John driving slowly around a corner and his car being struck by another vehicle that was driving illegally on a painted island and not on the road.
So I backed up the data files and also converted the relevant footage to an AVI file that could be played back on any computer. John told me that he was going to send that file to his insurance company to show that there was hard evidence to show that the other driver was in the wrong. John said to me that this accident alone proved the value of the Vacron more than he could ever imagine.
After seeing the Vacron data, I made John a coffee and sat and chatted to him for a while. I told him that if he had not had this hard irrefutable time and date stamped GPS-logged video evidence, it would result in a massive dispute, as the other driver claimed that John was in the wrong. In the particular circumstance, without any video evidence, John would have had a hell of a time trying to convince his and the other driver's insurance company that he was not at fault.
I looked at John's car in my driveway and estimated that the damage to his car was in the order of at least $5,000. Yes, John's insurer would have paid for the repair, but John would be out of pocket for the $800 excess and for the next few years, he would be paying a higher CTP insurance premium and also a higher comprehensive car insurance premium. Without that black box data, even though the accident was not John's fault, if the other driver refused to admit fault and John had to claim on his own insurance policy, the accident would cost him at least $1,500 in the excess fee and increased premiums over the next couple of years.
So John drove away from my place feeling very relieved - and fortified by Ziggy's famous coffee - knowing that he literally had the other driver by the balls because of the hard evidence from his Vacron black box recorder. He just saved himself from a pile of litigation, arguments, insurance problems and increased premiums, because with that evidence, he does not even have to involve his insurance company.
Now he just needs to get a repair quote, then write a letter of demand to the other driver and demand that not only must the other driver arrange for the full repair to his car, but also pay for a rental vehicle for the entire time that John's car is off the road. This is called "Demurrage" in insurance parlance.
I know how it works because much the same happened to me some years ago. My car was rammed in the rear by another car. I was lucky in respect of the fact that it was a rear-end collision and there was therefore no doubt about the other driver being at fault. After speaking to a friend in the insurance business, he advised me to not make a claim on my own policy, but make a claim directly against the other driver and demand full repairs and also Demurrage. What happened to me is exactly what happens in just about all similar circumstances. I am telling you this, so that you will learn how to handle accidents that were not your fault.
As expected, I was phoned by the other driver's insurance company. The insurer said that they were prepared to meet the cost of repairs to my car, in order to indemnify their client. I said, "Fine, but my car is going to be off the road for around one month. I am not going to settle for being without my car because of your client's negligence. I have work to do, gigs to go to and even go shopping. Therefore I want you to provide a car of equal status to my car that I can use for the entire time that my car is off the road."
The smug bastard laughed and said, "You have to be kidding. Our client's insurance policy does not cover demurrage." That's when I hit him with the whammy. I said, "I don't give a shit what your client's arrangement is with your insurance company. My business is directly with your client and you chose to get involved, so I'm talking to you. However, if you refuse to meet every single demand that I make, I will just ignore you completely, proceed against your client and if necessary, sue him for damages and the demurrage and my inconvenience in the District Court."
The insurance guy quickly changed his tune and he arranged for an upmarket Toyota Camry from Avis to be at my disposal for the entire month that my car was off the road. The moral of this story is that if you are not at fault in an accident, you are entitled to claim literally every expense that you incur because of the inconvenience that the other person inflicted on you. Don't take any crap from an insurance company, because all car insurers are in cahoots with each other with what they call a "knock for knock" arrangement where they try and get to pay as little as possible. So don't be scared to play hardball with them in such situations.
Now I have said this many times before, but I will say it again. If you don't already have a good GPS-equipped dual camera car black box recorder such as the Vacron CDR-E07, for heaven's sake, go and get one now. Not a dashcam that will not prove how fast or slow you were driving. Not a single camera dashcam that won't prove that you were wearing your seat belt and not holding your phone. Not a unit that does not have GPS. If you want maximum protection under literally all circumstances, get one that covers all the bases. It's a resaonably cheap one-off insurance policy against literally anything bad that happens to you on the road.
I don't care whether you get such a device from CARR or anybody else. CARR is not in the business of retailing car black box recorders. However, CARR is in the business of trying to convince as many people as possible to arm themselves with the one device that will one day save their necks in accidents and road rage incidents, as well as stymie government revenue-raising scams.
One of the best things you can ever do in life is to learn from the experiences of others, so that you don't make the mistakes that they make. I convinced CARR subscriber John Stead to invest in a Vacron car black box recorder and it paid off in spades. In fact John rang me about three times on the same day that he was here, after talking to his insurance company. He told me that his insurer stated that if he had the footage from his Vacron as described, he was totally in the clear. So if you do not have such a device, for heaven's sake get one as soon as possible, because it can save you a ton of grief.