I’ve just heard from my insurer and been told that the claim I lodged on the accident with the Viggen has been denied.
They dropped a letter in the post yesterday outlining the reasons why, but I’ve asked for that letter to be faxed to me as it wasn’t in this morning’s mail delivery and I don’t want to be stewing about it all weekend. Once I know their reasons why I’ll be able to decide if it’s worth disputing the decision.
One of my colleagues at the office, who’s a former insurance officer, said that it’s not unusual for investigated claims to be denied at first. The fact that it needed to be investigated at all gives them plenty of wiggle room, I guess.
I’ll check the letter when it comes, but my gut feel is that this isn’t going to end well.
The next decision, therefore, will be whether to pull some money out of the morgage and fix the Viggen straight away or buy another cheaper car and save up the money to fix it, which is going to be a fair bit.
I’ll await this letter, chat with my mechanic and see what he’s got to say.
I feel sick.
UPDATE: The letter has come in.
Their denial of the claim is based on their belief that the course was a performance driving course rather than a driver training course. They’ve even referred to it in the opening paragraph that way:
I refer to your claim under the above policy for damage to your motor vehicle sustained in an accident on 22nd July 2007 whilst attending the Performance Driving day of a course at Baskerville Raceway.
NONE of the documentation pertaining to the event I attended called it a Performance Driving day. It was a Driver Training day. That’s what it was called on the event documentation, all of which they have a copies of. I guess they’re framing it in a way that suits their purposes.
The exclusion that they’re quoting is as follows:
Cover will not be provided if such course comes under the jurisdiction of Confederation of Australian Motorsport (CAMS) or any other motorsport governing body, or where there are no designated instructors in attendance, except where this is covered by the Club Racing Optional Endorsement.
Whilst I did have to join CAMS for the day, this was only for the event organiser’s insurance purposes. It was not a CAMS event, not a timed event, it had a speed limit on the track and the lead instructor for the event was in the car with me at the time. It was an event that was about teaching better car control, hence the exercises that were conducted prior to the lap sessions.
I do have avenues open to dispute this ruling and I’m considering those at the moment. I think that the insurers have shown their hand, however, and will exercise every available “out” they can find. As I said at the start of this whole thing, they’re not in business to give away money. But this IS one of the reasons why you pay insurance premiums.
It looks like the Viggen’s going to have to go into storage for a little while, while I figure out what to do.