Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Friday, December 01, 2006

Bumps and property sales

I'm not having a good week this week as some kind person ran into the back of my car whilst I was going to work on Tuesday.

It was a typical UK commute run - raining, heavy traffic and roadworks so it was stop/start/move forward a bit/wait a bit longer/etc. Just the kind of reason why I don't like living in the UK. Anyway at one of these times when I was stopped I looked in the rear view mirror to see that the car behind had decided not to stop - crunch! My poor old car is now somewhat dinted and will need a new bumper, number plate, under-bumper panel, rear light and probably a boot lid as well. All in all it's going to be expensive but fortunately not for me or my insurance.

Of course I couldn't find the insurance policy details that evening as I'd forgotten that I'm with an internet based insurance company, Swiftcover who don't provide paper copies of the policy. I eventually found my login details, registered the claim, and yesterday arranged with the garage to get them to come and inspect the damage.

Swiftcover are not going to provide a hire car whilst it's being repaired (as I didn't select that option on the policy) but I spoke to the other guy's insurance company and they're happy to arrange one for me as it's going to end up being a fault claim against him. Insurance settlement times must have improved because Swiftcover said that they expect the claim to be settled against him in about 3 weeks. Many years ago when my father had a claim against another driver it took 3 years to settle.

The other problem I'm now having is that after the jolt my back is starting to play up again. I'm getting a lot of pain around the shoulders, the neck muscles are stiffening and I can hardly turn my head from side to side. Typing on the computer is not good either. I've had similar back problems before but after osteopath and physio who gave me accupuncture it's been OK for over a year. I'm thinking that if this doesn't settle on its own in a day or so I will have to go back for more treatment and make a claim against the other insurance for the cost - Swiftcover are again not helping me with that claim as I didn't select legal cover with my policy (bum).

On a more positive front we heard yesterday that our friends Angela and John who live near our Brittany Gite have sold one of their houses. I say one because they currently own 3 properties opposite each other in a small hamlet. They emigrated to France in 2004, bought a house which they had rennovated and settled down to enjoy their retirement. Last year they were lucky enough to buy two houses opposite them, one made of stone and one made of cob, and had the stone house rennovated by Bob the Builder (who's currently doing some building work for us).

Their plan is to sell the stone house and the house they're in now then rennovate and move into the cob house. The French property market seems to have slowed down this year as the agents report a reduction in the number of buyers both local and from the UK. John and Angela hadn't had any offers on either property until Monday when an English couple came round the stone house, loved it, and agreed a sale pretty much there and then. They've still got their original 3 Brittany bedroom house for sale so if you fancy a holiday home of your own in a lovely part of rural France, drop their agent a line (and I want a commission charge for the referral!)

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