Car insurance, who needs it?!

This morning the documents for my new car insurance arrived. I suddenly remembered that I’d forgotten about a claim I’d made which had been recovered in full from the other party in June last year.

So, mindful of this I phoned up the company (Bell Direct) this evening and told them the complete details, namely:-

I was driving southbound on the M1 near Nottingham in the middle lane, passing traffic on my left doing about 75mph. A white mid-80’s Mazda 323 goes past me in the “fast” lane about 10 mph faster than I was going. When the car had got about 10 yards in front of me I notice that it’s slowly drifting into the central reservation, over the rumble bars and finally, after about 10 seconds or so into the barrier.

The car then swirved across the road, over corrected, swirved again and fell on its side. At this point I had already started slowing down. However, seeing that the car is about to hit the central reservation again, a lot harder and whilst spinning, I know it’s going to slow a lot faster than I can and it will be bouncing across towards me. After seeing the whole newtonian physics of the situation and simulating it in my head I put my foot on the accelerator and headed for where the car was about to not be. (It’s amazing how slowly events happen during a situation like this.)

Anyway, by the time I was level with the car, it had just hit the barrier with the driver’s roof pillar and was starting to bounce back towards me at high speed, spinning rapidly.. it must have past behind my vehicle missing by inches.

Anyway, bits of the spinning vehicle or stones thrown up by it hit my car causing a large number of stone chips and one small dent with a paint gauge on the rear driver’s side door. Cost of the repair, £850.

Anyway.. Bell Direct thank me for the information and then after putting me on hold for about a minute tell me that the premium would be increased by £71 because “statistically, people who have had a no-fault claim are likely to have a fault claim within 3 years!”

I told them where to go.. they told me where to send their welcome pack.

I then tried to call Direct Line insurance to renew my current insurance, but I got a very kurt response as soon as I got connected, “Our systems are down for an upgrade, call back in a few hours. *click*” Very nice and polite, I must say.


I’ve managed to get through to Direct Line and have renewed my policy. All I have to do now is send back the stuff to Bell Direct.


Bike Story.

Well, apparently, the bike shop had the brake/gear levers in yesterday.. but he couldn’t fit them ‘cos he didn’t have any fitters.

Today I took it in.. it’s there now, being repaired and pampered as we speak.

I do hope he hasn’t found anything more he can say is broken and needs to charge me for. The problem with the gear changer was exaserbated by the bike shop not replacing the cable which meant I couldn’t even soldier on with a partly working gear train and had to get a replacement.

I’m not going to that bike shop again.

Bike update.

Well, my bike now has a working set of gear levers! Yippee!

However, (a) they need adjusting as they don’t change up properly (change up twice and down once to go up a gear) but the adjuster is already at its limit in the directoion it needs adjusting. (b) The adjusted brakes at the back are binding badly and, again, the adjuster’s at the end of its adjustment. (c) I have no chain guard as the bracket on my bike is “the wrong type” due to the bike having been manufactured over 10 years ago (even though I bought it “new” less than 2 years ago). This means that Raleigh will need to send a new bracket but can’t guarantee delivery in less than 6 months! (I’m wondering why the bike shop couldn’t have just drilled a hole on the guard in the right place for the current bracket.) The old guard is too broken to be replaced back onto the bike.