Thursday, May 31, 2007

Ganges at Haridware - Blog Title Picture

The Blog title picture was taken by me at Haridware (One of the holiest places in India) at night. I was across the river Ganges and the line of lighted shops caught my eye. Took a lot more snaps. A couple of them here. I still have not purchased a tripod!!!
Thank God! I had a steady hand.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Car Accident - India - What to do?

It seems to be a period of unwanted tension & loss.

I had a recent car accident with an ambassador - tourist. At the Nungambakkam signal @ abt 10 kms per hr during rush hour traffic. The tourist car was at fault and his minor scratch on his car due to his rash driving translated in heavily scratched & dented left panel and mud guard for me. The reckless driver's sudden lane change without signalling and aggressive driving tactics left me very little choice to escape.

I went to the Police station and everything / reports were given in my favor. But I did not take a written statement from the driver stating his fault. That turned out to be my mistake.

I was unable to collect on 3rd party insurance due to this small fact. (In US, it is treated differently where the police statement is the final word.)

Car Accident - Not my fault!

Lessons Learnt:
1. Call the cops for report
2. Inform sequence which led to the crash.
3. Show proof.
4. Take photos with you mobile camera of angle of crash, your car and his car
5. At police station, you provide your
(i) Driving license
(ii) Insurance
(iii) Registration
6. Signed statement from police of what happened. / FIR ( If you opt for FIR, the police will detain your car at the police station quoting that it has to compulsorily go for a brake test. Unless your car is damaged beyond use, do not go for this option. It is a test of endurance and you will end up going back and forth between police station. RTO Office and other places as instructed. This could be a point of collection also. You may end up losing more.)
7. Take an original copy of the report from the police.
8. Get a signed letter from the defaulted party that it is his fault and that his insurance company is responsible (I did not do this step alone)
9. Get a copy of his DL, Insurance certificate & Registration.
10. Call his insurance company and submit the data collected. (Take a personal copy first)
11. His insurance company will pay after verification.
12. You can give your car to the service center for evaluvation of damage.
13. Work to an amicable figure which is accepted by the insurance personnel and also the repair person.
14. Your No claim Bonus is intact!!!

In US, if you make a 3rd party claim through your insurance, they in turn will collect moneys from the offending party's insurance and your insurance stays intact. This facility is not available in India!!

My insurance company in India also quoted something like knock for knock policy. In a group of insurance companies, this translates to each insurance company paying for their insured car.
But in the consumer angle, you can still collect from the offending party insurance. (Though in the payment process, external to you, will be made by your company only)

Without a driver attestation owing responsibility for the car accident, you will be left in a lurch and you will have to file a legal case with a lawyer/attorney. That will translate to 5-10 years for settlement. That also translates you to many trips to the court and loss of work time.

Why should "we" the non defaulting party bear the loss?

When are the Indian Insurance companies going to adapt some of the right ethics from their counter parts in US?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Magic Lamps

I was walking to my car the other day and was thinking, it has been a long time since anything mystical has happened around me. What if this street lamp, turns off by itself the moment I stepped under it? I mentioned it to my wife too. And the lamp...

It did! Just that one turned off. (I heard a click)

My wife was surprised too.

About 2 days back, we were walking to the beach and this lamp was not burning, and a wishful thought what if it turned on the moment I stepped under it.

(Click!) It did again! It turned on!

My wife was again surprised.

No wonder, she calls me her Harry Potter!

I am waiting for the last potter series, the Deathly Hallow. And hope that the main characters do not die... We, who take after the characters in our portrait, will like to win over evil always.