Last week, I was involved in a car accident.
I had gone into the city to collect my eldest son and two of his friends, who had been at a school function. It apparently involved dinner, comedians and dressing up. Sometimes I wish I was still at school! Anyhow, we were on our way home at around 10:30pm when it happened. It was a clear, crisp, Brisbane evening. Traffic was light. We were having a laugh and talking about the boys’ night out. We were heading home on a relatively major road when a car ran a red light at an intersection and ploughed directly into my door.
Bad things happen quickly. I never saw it coming. In these days of ABS brakes, there’s no squealing of tyres, so I have no idea if the other driver even braked. He did thoughtfully toot his horn about 1 millisecond before he hit us. All I remember was a huge “bang” and then we stopped. And all was quiet.
Luckily, the damage to us was minimal. My 3 passengers were all good. In fact, I think they enjoyed the experience. They were posting their story on social media within minutes and it was amazing how quickly word spread from them, to their friends, to their friends’ parents. I got away with just a cracked rib or two. I count us all very lucky.
The lesson from the whole episode is that I was reminded of the value of insurance. You hope you never need it, but when you do, whether or not you’ve got a good policy will become apparent very quickly. So always spend that extra bit of time to understand that insurance policy. Whether it be car, boat, house, life or income protection – it doesn’t matter. Review them well and understand how they work, what they do (and don’t) pay out for and when.
The other key lesson was just how great our emergency services personnel are. Our first responders were 3 gentlemen from the armed services, who just happened to be walking past at the time. They were great help and called emergency services straight away. Over the next hour I met 2 policemen, 3 ambulance officers, a few firemen and one charming tow truck driver. All of them were professional, calm and reassuring. They made a messy situation much more bearable and I cannot thank them enough.
My poor car, a Subaru Liberty with a few bells and whistles that I cherished dearly, was a total write-off. I loved that car, but at least it did its job, lived up to its fantastic safety rating and no-one was hurt. It’s only a car. Our insurer, AAMI was also very good. I rang them straight away after the accident. Got to talk to a real person immediately. They sorted all the details out within a few days and I expect to have a full payout within 2 weeks of the accident.
By the way, I mentioned earlier that the boys in the car with me had been at a dress-up party. Just so happened one of them was dressed as Jesus and one as God. I’m not a particularly religious person, but I think it helped. It sure gave the emergency services personnel a laugh.
Now to find a replacement car. Anyone know a good car salesman?