Accident

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This logo supposedly adds $10k to the price of any car that wears it.  My car has this logo stamped in 9 different places.  Overkill?Friday afternoon I received a call from the auto body shop letting me know that the car was ready. I had to pay the deductible over the phone, as I wasn’t going to be able to get there before they closed for the weekend.

For a while there, I thought I might get away without paying anything, since I hadn’t receive anything from Allstate since the week of the accident. But they got me. Oh well… It hurts this month’s budget quite a bit, but I still had it in the back of my mind, so I can’t really call it an unexpected expense.

The car looks… darker. I’m not sure if it was just the light or what, but it looks to be a couple of shades darker than it was. It’s also not as smooth a coat as it was. You know, when you look at it at different angles, there are a few uneven areas, but from a distance, it looks just fine.

The new roof, with a new back window, is great. The back window hasn’t been that clear since the day I bought it.

The new wheels, that supposedly don’t match because BMW no longer makes the 5 spoke wheels I had, look like perfect matches to me.

The damaged areas also look great.

There looked to be a fresh scratch, rather deep too, in the passenger side door (the side that wasn’t involved in the accident at all), but that was the only noticeable blemish. Considering the improvement everywhere else, we decided to ignore it. (I say that now, but my focus will zero in on that scratch for years to come, I’m sure.)

Another downside was that the radio is locked again. A few years ago, I changed the battery myself and it initiated the antitheft “lock” on the radio. Now the radio asks you to enter a password. I don’t have that password.

The last time this happened, we brought it to a BMW dealership and they reset it — but never gave me the code. Sigh… Looks like I’ll be taking it in again. Argh.

In the end, the whole experience wasn’t that bad. I can’t really bash Allstate, and considering the final bill was double their estimate, I almost have to praise them. That is, unless they double my rates when I’m up for renewal later next month.

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This badge supposedly adds $10k to the price of any car that wears it.  My car has this logo stamped in 9 different places. Can you say overkill?I called the folks at the autobody shop this morning about how the car repairs were going and when it might be ready to be picked up. Next Friday (June 15th) is the tentative date — so the accident will have essentially taken the car off the road for a month.

That’s about what I had expected.

Apparently we tore a hole in the floor of the car which still needs to be stitched up, but the body work is done and the car had a primer coat put on yesterday. I’m looking forward to seeing how it comes out.

And then driving it to see if it feels the same. You hear so many horror stories from people claiming that their cars never drove the same after an accident. I’d like to experience that firsthand and then make my own judgement.

Also, from the Allstate side of things, I still haven’t had to pay my deductible. I’m not sure why, I’m not even sure how that’s supposed to work. In the mail, I’ve received a couple of things from them basically confirming that a claim was indeed filed and that a check was issued — but no “bill”.

Not sure if this is the norm, but I’ve got $500 ready and off to the side for when the time comes.

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Allstate LogoYou’re in good hands will Allstate.

Well, I’m not going to go that far just yet.

We’re up to 5 phone calls so far since I originally filed my claim online on Saturday after the accident. I received a call from a pleasant woman that afternoon confirming the information I’d submitted online — or more accurately, I had to regurgitate all of the info again.

On Wednesday, I received a call from “Joe” at Allstate and went through it all again. Where was the accident? How fast were you going? Did you get a plate number? Where is the car now? I’m not sure if it’s that they’re disorganized, or if they’re going to sit and compare my answers from the recordings they have before determining what to do.

Yesterday morning, rinse and repeat, but this time it was “Angela” from Allstate. One thing I do have to mention is that the staff they have in their call centers are all very pleasant. They all spoke the Queen’s English (which is unusually rare these days), so at no point did I feel the need to hang up and call them back hoping for a better agent. I was never on hold for more than 20 seconds, and they didn’t sound as if they were brain dead zombies reading from a script.

The in the afternoon, the adjuster called. He was “Mike” from Allstate, though he’s likely a hired gun who works for a ton of insurance companies. Again, very upbeat and pleasant guy. Not being from the area, I asked where he’d take a BMW in that condition and he suggested a “Johnson Autobody” and gave me the number. I told him, “Sure, that sounds fine,” and took down the contact info.

In the meantime, he said he’d call them to give them the heads up and that I should call them later on in the afternoon to authorize them to pick the car up. Wow — this is sounding too easy.

Not 5 minutes later, my phone rings again, this time it’s Wayne from Johnson Autobody. Very nice guy. He went through everything that was going to happen — and all around seemed like a really great guy — over the phone. After explaining the brief history of the company, he gave me three contacts to call at the autobody place in case I had any questions at all.

Certainly not the stereotypical call you’d get from an autobody — no loud torque wrenches in the background, no loud music blaring, no gum smacking, and again, he spoke proper English — very VERY professional! I was starting to think this whole thing might not be as stressful as I’d originally thought.

Received another call from the adjuster, Mike, with the estimate (ouch!). I told him I’d already spoken with Wayne and things were good to go — he offered to leave the check with the car at the Citgo so the Autobody could pick them both up. His job was done.

I didn’t leave the keys with the Citgo after the accident, even though it wasn’t drivable, but I wasn’t too keen on leaving my keys there so I made the journey out to Johnson Autobody to drop them off. Looks a bit like the picture they have on their website — it’s tucked behind another auto place, so it’s a bit tough to see from the road, but once I stepped into the office, what little remaining apprehension I had over the whole thing quickly evaporated.

I wish this place were closer to home — I think I may have finally found a mechanic’s place that I like; this whole thing is going to turn out okay.

I’ll report again when the car is ready to come home with how they did.

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BMW Z3 Damage

This weekend my wife and I were involved in an accident on the highway.

Cruising along with the top down in my ego-tag at highway speed yesterday morning, the car in front of us kicked a large truck tire re-tread into the air which struck the hood of our car.

Evidently swerving at high speed doesn’t quite work like it does in the movies. We spun around a few times across three lanes and ended up facing the wrong direction and tangled up in the three steel cord style of guardrail.

The great news, at first, having gone from 70 mph to zero in the span of less than two seconds, was that we were both okay. Not a scratch between us.

I have to credit BMW — the outcome should have been worse. In fact, I’d bet if we’d been in one of our other vehicles, it would have been worse.

Who’d have thought a convertible would be safe?

After the fact, the news got even better.

As we stood on the side of the highway watching a wrecker tug our car down from the tangled mess of guardrails and torn up asphalt and onto a flatbed it hit me: the last remaining relic of my time as a frivolous spender was gone.

And you know what? That felt good.

Sure, I’d just trashed a $50k car, that at one time meant so much to me, and one that I’d worked so hard to pay for — but since I started to control my spending, I’d realized that it was quite possibly my biggest financial mistake.

Even seconds before that tire tread was thrown into the air, the car was no longer the status symbol I’d originally thought it was, but more a symbol of personal embarrassment — a blatant sign of my former financial irresponsibility. As a result, in recent years, it rarely left the garage.

All in all, a good day in my financial quest.

On a side note, I feel I should give kudos to Drew Loethscher, Victor the tow truck driver, and the rest of the folks at Tolland Citgo in Connecticut. They towed the car and were very welcoming considering the situation. Definitely not the stereotypical gas station/towing company experience.

And so far so good on the Allstate front. I filed a claim online yesterday and a friendly claims rep called yesterday afternoon; though she apparently didn’t read anything that I had originally submitted.

Somehow, I think I’ll be explaining the situation at least 10 more times to them — though the police report could answer and verify everything I’ve already told them.

Here’s to hoping that everything works out on that end I won’t be added to the already long list of very dissatisfied Allstate auto insurance customers.

Can You Dig It?

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