What do I do now?

Submitted: Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 16:50
ThreadID: 79797 Views:4671 Replies:13 FollowUps:5
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How many of you think about insurance or other contingency plans to get your vehicle home in the event of the driver being incapable of driving home.

This may be more applicable if there is a van or camper-trailer involved too.
I have just heard of a situation where the driver is incapable of driving due to unforeseen circumstances, and the partner can’t drive with the van on the back.
They are about 1000 kms from home and face a bill of monumental proportions to get the vehicle home.
This situation is also complicated a bit because the people cannot travel with the vehicle to get it home. They have added expense to travel separate from the car.

I think with situations like this, it bears thinking about what you would do in situations like this before you head off on a trip.

Do you make sure your insurance will cover you in situations like this, or just hope that she’ll be right mate!

'Wouldn't be dead for quids'

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Reply By: Member - Mark G Gulmarrad - Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 17:00

Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 17:00

you have raised some very good points there.is this situation one that some of the good folk at EO could help out with or not?

i guess that you cant take in all the "if's & buts" when travelling , you just have to use your better judgment and think common sense i spose.
AnswerID: 422790

Follow Up By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 17:35

Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 17:35
Mark, I bought this subject up because I am a bit involved in it, and made me think about what I would do in the same circumstances.

It has made me think of what my options are, or what they may be.
I am going to check the fine print on my insurance policy.

It is just the fact that I have gone through the costings of getting the vehicle home and it is surprising how the costs add up.

I am in fact going to take the vehicle home, but it has made me think a lot about the ramifications of being out in the middle of nowhere if the unexpected happens.

I think it will pay to have a contingency plan in your mind or even on paper somewhere in the car.

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Follow Up By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Saturday, Jul 03, 2010 at 12:07

Saturday, Jul 03, 2010 at 12:07
Well I have checked up own my car insurance policy and I am covered in these situations. I am covered by my car insurance, it is free cover with the policy.

It looks like there are many differences in the policies of different companies, so for peace of mind it may be a good idea to check your policy.

There is another extra to pay for if you want to be covered for a breakdown retrieval.

But in this instance as per the initial post it is all related to a personal accident, and relocating back home.

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Reply By: D200Dug- Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 17:01

Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 17:01
Where are they ?

Can someone here help out ?

I agree that is why we have kids :-)
AnswerID: 422791

Reply By: Bruce M - Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 17:36

Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 17:36

We have friends who faced a similar (but not identical) situation a few years back. They are both around 70 years old and were travelling around Oz in their Pajero, staying at campgrounds. He suffered a stroke in a campground at Port Hedland, and was flown to Perth for treatment. She followed by air after packing up the car, which was left in the care of the campground manager. He was in hospital for months, and eventually they flew home direct to Canberra.

Fortunately they had NRMA Premium Cover. The NRMA arranged for the Pajero to be trucked back home to Canberra at no expense (I understand) to the members.

Hope this answers your question, though it doesn't help these poor folk if they don't have Premium Care - unless NRMA would allow them to sign up on the spot (at a surcharge, I expect).

Bruce M
AnswerID: 422794

Follow Up By: Member - Alex K (NSW) - Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 17:56

Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 17:56
Premium cover is great but I wasn't aware it covered medical situations too (like above). If so that's even better. I have it but assumed only good for breakdowns.

I have thought of contingency before which solely relies on a second driver or member of a convoy to drive my truck. I've often thought my clumsiness in the bush (not to mention snake bites, etc) would render me useless one day and in a remote area if you need to get medical attention quickly the only option is the way you came.

If you drive solo or with someone who can't drive (huh - what the?>?) then it's just a matter of when.

FollowupID: 693200

Reply By: vk1dx - Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 17:45

Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 17:45
This is the main reason we joined a 4WD club. Both of us have done their training. But I must admin it was driven by my cancer. My wife is an equal on the road. In the area of attitude and calmness, maybe she is more of an equal.

We are self insured for towing and have full comprehensive insurance on the car which also covers current market value plus all our add-ons.

AnswerID: 422795

Reply By: Wherehegon - Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 19:09

Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 19:09
Hi Dave I rung that Nuie or how ever its spelt (been floging it lately), while been nearly $500 cheaper then what Im paying I didnt like the ifs and buts about it so have stayed with NRMA, I had to put my wife on the policy if she wanted to drive it which was fair enough but say I went to club had one to many or was sick or what ever reason and decided I wasnt capable of driving home so my mate had to and had a dingle there is no coverage what so ever even in emergency situations. I also asked about off road situations, yes covered for off road BUT only if its by the log book specs, eg wading depth, told him I have been through bigger potholes, asked him what about if doing a river crossing got stuck and water come in cab killed computer etc BUT I have a snorkel, not covered. Asked is it locked in garage or where, told them some times its locked in garage some times in carport depends if wife is home before me or not, if I took out the cover for the garage but I decided to park in the carport for the night and got flogged, not covered..They might be fine for the majority of people but not for my needs. Definately some thing to think about when wanting cover. Good point. Regards Steve M
AnswerID: 422805

Reply By: Member - Christopher P (NSW) - Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 19:13

Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 19:13
If at anytime i hurt myself or we have a problem, usually i have a work around or a "FIX" available. Or i have the resources and knowledge to do something.

If i prang the ute and injury myself, teena has a senior first aid certificate and we have a first aid box handy, plus communications. I have basic first aid, communications, mechanical and electrical knowledge. i like to have at least a plan and 3 backups at anytime as well!!!!

So first you plan, then you plan for the worst, then best case of the worst, then plan again for everthing to go from worse to bad and run thru senario's what to do if this happens.

If mechanical, i can fix it or i can be told how to fix something.

like my previous catch phrase was, "Problem's? what problems? only solutions".
AnswerID: 422806

Follow Up By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 19:45

Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 19:45
Chris, I think you might have missed the point.
If the scenario is that you are unable to drive for some reason and you are 1000 or more k's from home.
If your injury or sickness requires you to get home ASAP after maybe a hospital stay.
What do you do about your vehicle if your other half can't drive it.
In this case I am talking about, there is even a pet involved in the scenario, and many people travel with a pet.

Even if you have a friend or relative available to get the vehicle home, it still incurs considerable cost with travel to the location and then home.
And if you haven't got anybody available to go to Oodnagalabie to pick up your vehicle, then the costs for transport start talking telephone numbers.

I understand you have knowledge and first aid knowledge and so forth, but what about more serious problems that require hospitalisation?

I am only really talking about getting all your goods and chattels back home from your disrupted holiday.

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Follow Up By: Member - Christopher P (NSW) - Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 20:22

Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 20:22
I'm lucky in that way as Teena can drive a manual. If it is more llike hospitalisation then that's another problem. We do have full comprhesive insurance on eveything, from health to car insurance, including nrma.

That's why you travel with more than one person and in a group. If the motor dies or the drive train ie gearbox. diff. no a problem because i have thought of it, big metal bar/s act as a trailer (vehicle being towed) towed to the nearest place/farm and pay them for storage/ looking after goods and chattels.

After looking at everything you have said, i will have to check to make sure that i have additional coverage to cover all of that and more.

thanks for the heads up
FollowupID: 693221

Reply By: Cruiser 2091 - Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 19:37

Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 19:37
Recently I stopped to help a couple who had broken down 300 ks east of Norseman.

Used my Hf radio to get them in touch with road service. As road service only covered the first 100ks they had to pay the extra cost to have a tilt tray truck pick them up and take them to Norseman. This extra cost amounted to $1300.

It has made me paranoid about breaking down but I don't think there is any insurance that covers this. If anyone knows of any though please let me know.
AnswerID: 422808

Reply By: Member - Josh (TAS) - Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 19:40

Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 19:40
Friends of ours had a similar situation a few years ago. Her sister and brother in-law were at big red (simpson desert) when he had a heart attack and died. They had RACV gold I think it was. Racv organised accommodation for, pick up the car and van and returned it to Vic. This was the best part though. Racv organised for our friend to fly up to be with her sister then flew them home with the body. The best service anyone could have asked for.
When we travelled around oz we saved thousands using Racv for breakdown/accident towing, accom and car rental.
I would not travel without full Racv (or equivalent) cover.

AnswerID: 422809

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 20:20

Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 20:20
A couple of years ago while in Kununurra I got to talking to a lady (maybe in her early 60s) who was temporarily stranded there. She and her husband were caravanning and he had a heart attack and was flown to Broome but she was not able to accompany him. She could not drive their vehicle while towing the van and she did not feel confident enough to drive to Broome herself. So she was waiting until a family member arrived from Adelaide to take over the driving.

I have long felt that its essential - particularly from a safety aspect - that women learn to drive the family 4wd and to tow their trailer or van if that is the normal way that couples travel AND that said women get to practice driving under all conditions ie share the driving as much as possible. Having some current first aid training and a decent kit and appropriate communications and the confidence to use them are also part of "safety first".

Having said that, a forum like this is a good way to be able to offer assistance if there is someone travelling who is in trouble.

Dave, you have raised a good point about insurance - food for thought, but I would prefer also to have as many fall-back options as possible.

Safe travels,


J and V
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Reply By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 20:47

Friday, Jul 02, 2010 at 20:47
Gday Dave
Go see your local insurance man and ask for a 48 hr cover note. My mate used to hand them out when necessary.
Your are a good man to offer Dave. Have a good trip and take it easy.
Great place to be Mt Blue Rag 27/12/2012

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Reply By: Member - John - Saturday, Jul 03, 2010 at 06:29

Saturday, Jul 03, 2010 at 06:29
RACV "Total Care" unfortunately have had to use it a couple of times, excellent service, rental car, accommodation, Patrol trucked home, would not be with out it. I am sure all the other motoring associations have a similar product.
John and Jan

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Reply By: kend88 - Saturday, Jul 03, 2010 at 09:06

Saturday, Jul 03, 2010 at 09:06
We upgrade from the standard RACQ roadside assist to Ultra, or whatever it is called now, when we go on an outback type trip. Haven't had to call on it yet, but it seems to cover all of the situations mentioned. $100/200 or so is a small price to pay if you are concerned enough about what may happen for it to spoil your trip thinking about it. I'm pretty sure between our tug insurance, can insurance and RACQ insurance we are covered for most situations.
My wife happily drives the 4wd towing our tandem van, but don't know how she would go travelling home 5,000km having to stop and back into caravan park sites, probably having to unhook. I imagine there would always be some kind soul willing to help if there were no drive thru sites available.
Having said that, as long as you were not stuck in the middle of nowhere, don't think it would be a huge drama finding somewhere to store van and tug for as long as necessary until you or family member or friend could return to retrieve it.

AnswerID: 422859

Reply By: Jude&theboys - Sunday, Jul 04, 2010 at 14:56

Sunday, Jul 04, 2010 at 14:56
I have basic roadside care only but will definetly be upgrading before any major trips (apart from melb to adelaide/loxton to see family). My biggest fear with any travelling is that it is just me and boys. The oldest is only 8, can't teach him to drive for quite a while yet. A reminder is always a good thing and I should in fact teach him to make a call from my mobile as i'm not sure he would know how. He is generally in charge of the gps so knows how to use that...hmm must teach him to find co-ordinates and make an emergency call - all the insurance in the world won't help without that.

AnswerID: 422987

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