Saving thousand(s) on insurance!

Today my insurance company reimbursed the $1,000 deductible from a recent accident – as a result of determining the other driver was at fault. How did this happen? I provided video evidence from the Tesla dashcam – a free feature available on all new Tesla’s – without which, it would have been impossible to prove the other driver was at fault.

Last October, I suffered the depressing event of my Tesla being hit in a parking lot. Immediately after being hit, the other driver apologized, verbally claimed responsibility, and provided all of the needed insurance documentation. I immediately filed an insurance claim with the other driver’s insurance.

A few days later, the other driver’s insurance notified me that they considered it an “equal fault” accident. I was surprised, as my instincts told me that I was not at fault.

What happened: we were in a parking lot, and we were both pulling out of our spots from opposite sides of the lot, when we hit – the previous sentence does describe an “equal fault” situation based on research I did after the accident – but there was more to it – I knew I had seen the other car pulling out before it hit me, so I quickly stopped, and honked, but the other driver continued to pull back and hit me. I then realized my Tesla had recorded it all – and the recording showed something else – I could not believe I would have started to pull out without first ensuring the “coast was clear” – and the Tesla dashcam recording showed this as well – I started to pull out first – the other driver must not have seen me pulling out, and the dashcam showed my stopping before I was hit!

Here you can see the dashcam footage from the Tesla – you can see my starting to pull out first, and it may be hard to detect, but I do stop before the other driver hits me – and unfortunately, it does not record my honking my horn!

All Tesla’s (even the base model) come with a built in “dashcam” – actually, its using the autopilot cameras to record (if you choose to turn it on) the surroundings – there is one camera recording everything in front of you, a side camera on each side recording what you see in your two side mirror, and a fourth camera recording everything directly behind you!

With the recordings, I could challenge what would otherwise been impossible to prove – that I had right of way since I started to pull out first, and that I stopped before the other car hit my car- not that it mattered but the recording showed that the other driver hit me, must have gotten scared thought they had changed their gear to forward, but instead re-accelerated backwards into my car!

How much did this save me? With a equal fault accident, I would be responsible for my deductible, which is $1,000, but as we all know insurance premiums go up when you have an accident that is your fault – in this case, I have saved an unknown amount of increases in insurance premiums had I been held responsible.

Final thought – yes $1000+ in savings is nice, but I will say I have seen numerous stories of far more severe situations where the dashcam feature is helpful – imagine a carjacking, or a major accident where you may be blamed and face a criminal charge – these things happen, and having these recordings could easily be the difference as to whether the truth is what your judged by.