Tuesday, October 23, 2012

the insurance adventure continues

I dedicate this post to Aaron, who in a recent comment said he was curious as to how Progressive handles claims.

The claims adjuster (heretofore referred to, rather neutrally, as "the assessor") arrived today. He turned out to be a she, and she was very cheerful and polite. She circled my quasi-wreck with her digicam, taking pictures of minutiae-- all the little dings and scratches and buckling that aren't immediately visible upon cursory inspection. She agreed that it's probably better to leave that evil pebble wedged inside the rim; she also told me that her estimate would likely be more of a "best-case scenario" whereas the body shop's estimate was more of a "worst-case scenario." In the end, though, her estimate proved not to be that different from the shop's: she came out at $2800 as opposed to Collision Experts' $3200. She said that that difference mostly had to do with a disagreement on how to assess the damage to my radiator: whereas the body shop felt the entire frame assembly needed to be replaced, the adjuster's feeling was that only some of the frame was beyond salvage.

She finished her inspection, told me to wait ten or fifteen minutes while she wrote everything up, then appeared at my apartment's doorstep with a fully itemized list in hand. She walked me through her list, explained what needed to happen next, and that was that. All in all, the whole thing took less than an hour, and wasn't as painful an experience as I had thought it might be.

There's still the matter of the $250 deductible, though: I won't be able to pay it until my next paycheck, which won't be until early November. The adjuster warned me that many body shops refuse to release the owner's car until they've received their deductible, which means another week without a ride unless I rent that whole week. I'm hoping, though, that this body shop will release my car to me if I give them my best, most heartfelt doe-eyed-fat-boy look.

So what's next? you ask. Well, here's the procedure:

1. I need to scan, convert to PDF, and email a copy Progressive's multi-page estimate (and a company check) to the body shop.

2. The body shop will tell me when parts for my car have arrived. While I wait, I'm going to have to risk driving to work, at least once or twice, in my precarious vehicle.

3. 24 hours before I drive my wreck up to the body shop, I need to call my agent at Progressive and let him know that I'm taking the car to the shop. My agent will, meanwhile, gather the body shop's contact info and get ready to dialogue with the shop folks.

4. I'll drive the car to the shop, rent a car on site (probably Enterprise), and tool on home in my sure-to-be lovely, flower-scented rental.

5. On the day the car is repaired and ready to go (I've been warned that repair time might be longer if it turns out the car has further problems and/or needs more parts; Progressive will send out an inspector to confirm the shop's claims), I'll drive up to Winchester, drop off my rental, get a quick ride to the body shop, and drive off with my newly convalesced steed. In theory, if the doe-eyes thing works, I won't pay my deductible until the following week, after I've been paid by YB.

And that, im'sh'al-Lah, ought to be that.


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