Friday, December 26, 2008

Big Bummer

As you can see from the pictures above - I wrecked my car last Friday.

It has been at least 10 years since my last accident, but I was hoping to make that record a bit longer (yes, I know most people go their whole lives without one).

Here's how it happened - I was driving in the rain and ended up breaking the back tires loose just after shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear. That hasn't phased me in the past and I would normally just straighten it out without any problem. But the road wasn't straight (curved to the right), or even level (slightly uphill), so I guess I was already slightly steered to the right and the weight of the car just pulled it farther and faster than I could counter, or something like that. I wish I could replay it and really see what went wrong, but oh well.

Anyway - I ended up up jumping a curb and over a small ditch, Dukes of Hazzard style, then down an otherwise unseen muddy little access road (cue Dixie car horn).

The bottom line is that while I wasn't hot dogging or driving foolishly, I wasn't cautious enough either. It definitely could have been avoided if I had respected the wet roads a little more...

... or maybe if I had all-wheel-drive. Maybe that's the solution instead - an Audi, an Evo, or a WRX! Then I could drive with reckless abandon worry-free! (yeeee - haw!)

Now here comes the really sucky part of the story. When I called my insurance company to request a tow and to report the accident, they informed me that I don't have either tow coverage or collision coverage on that car - only liability. I was completely dumfounded. There I was, sitting in my car, on the side of the road, with my cell phone in my hand, staring blankly with my mouth open like a psyche patient gone catatonic.

"What are you talking about?" I finally managed to say. "I have the tow card right here in my hand with my policy number on it." "That's for the coverage on your other car" the lady explained.

After talking with them further, the best I can figure is that shortly after purchasing my car I had it on jackstands in the garage for about a year while I replaced the clutch, fuel injectors, and made some upgrades while I was at it. During that time I reported the car to the DMV as not being driven and also reduced my insurance coverage to the bare minimal. And when it was road-worthy again I did remember to restore my registration, but I guess I forgot to increase the insurance coverage.

So I had to pay $300 for the tow. And now I have to determine a) if the car is even repairable or if it's relished to junkyard/parts car status (the frame may be bent), and b) if it is repairable how much more will it cost me to be able to drive it again. And all out of pocket.

The one small sliver of good news is that I calculated that we have saved about $800 in insurance fees over the last 4 years. So when combining that with the $500 deductible, if the repairs cost less than $1300 then I will have actually saved money in the long haul.


caryn dahm said...

I love you so much, you crack me up. I'm so glad to see that your calculations may be an encouragement. You inspire me to take time to figure out such things. I'd just be thinking oh, crap why did I drop my additional coverage. I love your thinking things through... my big brother is still the same thoughtful, resolute and reflective man he always was -- I love it, love it, love it! Oh and sorry about your car

caryn said...

how about don't worry about Tomorrow, for Tomorrow will take care of itself.

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