Saturday, October 20, 2012

the estimate

I need to call my insurance provider in a few minutes, but the repair estimate on my car-- which I got today from a company called Collision Experts in Winchester-- is an eyeball-slashing $3200, with a four-day down time for repairs. This is going to be awkward: the state trooper had deliberately chosen not to report the accident because he felt the estimate would have been substantially under $1500.

The next step in the process will be, as I said, to call Progressive Insurance. They'll interview me about the accident; Collision Experts warned me that Progressive might try railroading me into using a different body shop (CE obviously has a financial motive for giving such a warning). If my brother David is right, the insurance company ought to guide me through the rest of the process and paperwork.

I also need to worry about renting a car so I can continue to get to work... this can't happen today, though: I tried the local Enterprise rental place, and they had no available cars. So I'm going to have to risk driving my car-- which is in much more of a precarious position than I had thought-- to work tomorrow. A 90-mile commute at 70 miles an hour... hmmm.

What sort of extra damage was there? you ask. Well, a lot more was visible in the light of a sunny day than was apparent last night in the rain. I have a nasty-looking pebble wedged inside the rim of my left front tire. I wondered aloud about taking it out, but the lady at Collision Experts advised against it, saying this might provoke or accelerate a leak, possibly leading to a blowout. My radiator has been bent way out of shape, like a rectangle that's leaning drunkenly to one side. One of the radiator struts has been severely bent; the front bumper and grille are both ruined; the coolant system may have problems; wheel alignment will need to be checked, as well as frame alignment; the front fender shields have been rubbed to ribbons inside the wheel wells; and then there are the sundry cosmetic problems to consider. I felt bad for the car, which I had started to think of as my war horse.

So-- call insurance today, set up a repair date for Monday, risk driving to work and back tomorrow, rent a car on Monday (luckily, I'm off that day), let the mechanics work on my destrier for four days, pick up the repaired car on Friday, pay whatever insurance deductible I have to pay... and let's hope like hell that that's it. By next Friday, life ought to have reset itself. Except that I'll be stuck with a higher monthly insurance premium. For ever. And ever.

And now, for your entertainment, here are more pictures of the damage (hover your cursor over each image to see its caption):



Aaron said...

Hoping things work out as well as can be expected under the circumstances. I'm curious to hear how Progressive handles the case, as I also have a car policy with them. Good luck!

Malcolm Pollack said...

Ouch. Sorry, Kevin.

Glad you're OK though!

Kelly said...

Ouch. But glad you're OK.

Does your insurance policy pay for a rental car under the circumstances?

Frank said...

Wow...a lot worse than the previous post indicated. Hope all goes well with the insurance company.