MARCHing Downunder started with a BANG !

The mighty MARCHers have been busy since our last post from the Atlantic Coast Ultra – busy preparing to move the MARCH to the other side of the world ! To the home of adventure racing, Nelson, New Zealand !!

But we’ve been hit by a new last minute CHallenge….

4 days from departure, and 23 minutes from delivering his beautiful 1971 VW Karmann Ghia convertible to the shipper, Camo hit a Ford Transit van head on. A 40 year old classic might lack modern safety features but somehow Camo walked away – or at least crawled out the back window – momentarily forgetting he was driving a convertible and could have just hinged the roof back…!!

But, we MARCH on !

One of 9 cars in Camo’s collection the Ghia is a very special car. Voted best Ghia in the UK by Volksworld it was also the main character’s car in the Minette Walters movie the Sculptress. The subject of endless expense and loving craftsmanship by the best car guys in the UK she’s going to need a great deal more work now ! Beyond repair to most – a new CHallenge for Camo.

But there are even more CHallenges ahead….

The insurance company, Sureterm Direct, declined cover during a desperate call from the side of a broken road. They say Camo cancelled it 10 days ago ?!

They declined cover and they declined to assist. With his car stranded in the middle of the road, and in the middle of nowhere, his insurers weren’t there for him. Minutes after a head on collision, which most can’t believe he walked away from, he found the true worth of the premiums he had been paying over many years, for so many cars. They were worthless. As worthless as the customer service he was barely receiving.

10 days ago Camo did call his insurance company and he cancelled cover on his ’66 Mustang Convertible that he had just shipped. Someone has made a grave error – one with serious consequences. The Police must now consider a prosecution for driving without insurance. And Camo also faces the prospect of paying for his car and the Transit van himself – along with every other possible addition, no doubt. Nasty possibilities, nasty times. And nasty timing with the stress of packing up house and family to move to the other side of the world!

But we MARCH on !

A call to the RAC delivered some sense of worth and a little faith in the value of the policies Camo pays for. Whilst not covered for accident recovery the RAC could not have been more helpful. More pleasant. More reassuring.

Absolutely they could send a recovery vehicle. Sure there would be a cost, but if Camo chose to use their repair garage they would waive it. But cost wasn’t a detail they felt the need to force on a recent accident victim. Without mention of needing a credit card number the recovery truck was dispatched. With 2 follow calls to update its progress. And a courtesy call in the evening to check Camo was ok and to check he was happy with their service.

Two faceless corporates. Facing two very different ways.

There is much now to do. The Ghia will need specialist craftsmen and funds beyond current reserves.

Sureterm Direct must hear our voice and review it’s stance. They canceled the wrong policy. They must come to accept that.

We must now push HARDER to meet the CHallenges. The battle has begun but we will MARCH on. Camo needs answers to his questions:

“Why did you leave me on the side of the road by myself after all these years of payment Sureterm?”

“Why didn’t you consider my vulnerability – my need for assistance – after a head on collision?”

“Why didn’t you see from the number of years and the number of cars I had paid premiums for that something could be amiss? Why didn’t you accept the possibility of my explanation and provide interim cover until the issue was resolved? To at least help recover my vehicle?”

“What will you do now? Will you accept your error?”

We must MARCH on.

As Camo says:

“I applaud the RAC. I shall reward the RAC.

Sureterm Direct and I have a few more rounds to do…!”


Postscript – 13 December 2013

In a curious convergence of dates and times 4 days after the accident (the accident happening 4 days before departure) Camo received confirmation that Sureterm had reinstated the insurance!

BOOM !! Result.


Because 4 hours before departing the UK to emigrate to NZ to start MARCHing Downunder Sureterm confirmed they had found the audio tapes and Camo was indeed right. He had asked them to cancel the Mustang insurance and they had made an error. They had cancelled the wrong policy!

Difficult times suddenly less difficult.

Still loses and sadness as the Ghia will not be repaired for whatever small sum the insurance company offers. But the criminal prosecution evaporates (kindly confirmed by the investigating PC by email from his holiday – Police Constable Astley – a delight and exemplar to all policemen) and the other party will be compensated. Camo will be insulated from the broad range of possible claims he may have faced.

To MARCH is to battle onward. And this battle is being won!





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