Re­pair bill after ‘bus scrapes car’

The Dominion Post - - News - DAMIAN GE­ORGE

Rewi McIn­tyre has been lumped with a $700 re­pair bill after he says his car was hit by a Go Wellington bus, with op­er­a­tor NZ Bus say­ing there is no way to prove it was one of the com­pany’s driv­ers at fault.

The Wellington man claims his Subaru Legacy was scraped by a pass­ing bus while parked legally on Pirie St, near the Mt Vic­to­ria bus tun­nel, on March 25 or 26.

McIn­tyre said his ve­hi­cle was parked about 11 me­tres from the bus tun­nel stop, and yel­low paint marks left on his car clearly im­pli­cated NZ Bus.

But NZ Bus said the lack of de­tail on the in­ci­dent meant it could not sub­mit a claim to its in­sur­ance com­pany, leav­ing McIn­tyre to foot the re­sult­ing re­pair bill.

‘‘Without any spe­cific iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, such as reg­is­tra­tion num­ber or bus num­ber, it can­not be proved that it was one of our buses that caused the dam­ages ... es­pe­cially if the driver failed to re­port the in­ci­dent due to not be­ing aware of the in­ci­dent and, there­fore, [be­ing] un­able to con­firm [their] ver­sion of [the] event,’’ the com­pany wrote in re­sponse to McIn­tyre’s in­ci­dent re­port.

NZ Bus chief ex­ec­u­tive Zane Full­james said he was not aware of the al­leged in­ci­dent but all dam­age claims were dealt with by its in­surer, NZI In­sur­ance.

He could not con­firm whether any of the com­pany’s buses had been dam­aged around the time of the in­ci­dent.

McIn­tyre said in his in­ci­dent re­port that it ap­peared a bus had sideswiped his car above right-front wheel arch.

‘‘I was not in my car at the time but when I came back to drive my car to work on Mon­day morn­ing, I no­ticed the scrape marks.’’

He said a bus driver was clearly the at fault. But without any hard ev­i­dence, McIn­tyre will need to pay the $708 pan­el­beater bill for re­mov­ing two pan­els, strip­ping the car down and re­paint­ing it.

It was ob­vi­ous the dam­age was caused by a bus, he said. ‘‘How many yel­low cars do you see driv­ing round the city?’’

NZI In­sur­ance told McIn­tyre that NZ Bus had sub­mit­ted a ‘‘no knowl­edge’’ claim in re­gards to the re­ported dam­age, so it could not pro­vide fur­ther in­for­ma­tion.

The in­surer asked McIn­tyre’s in­sur­ance com­pany, Trade Me In­sur­ance, to con­tact the com­pany to dis­cuss li­a­bil­ity.

McIn­tyre was ad­vised by his in­sur­ance com­pany to with­draw his claim, as it would not be worth the ef­fort once he had paid the $500 ex­cess and lost his no-claims bonus.

Rewi McIn­tyre said yel­low paint marks left on the car clearly im­pli­cated a Go Wellington bus.

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