Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Is Your Car Insurance Company Going to Be There For You?

It happened to me on Christmas Day. It was a little after noon and we were on our way to visit my parents and deliver a car load of Christmas presents. That morning we had already had a memorable Christmas morning complete with gifts under the tree, kids joyfully ripping apart festive wrapping paper, and hot orange rolls for breakfast. As we were driving, we were looking forward to an equally enjoyable Christmas evening.
The roads were a little wet, but nothing compared to the previous day's snow storms. As we came up to a busy intersection, the car waiting to turn left across our lane was still inching forward with anticipation. When the car in front of us passed the car waiting to turn, it became apparent that the turning car was not even aware of our presence. We hit the brakes as soon as it became obvious that the turning was making their move, but it was too late. They hit us square on the driver's side front tire.
No one was hurt, but our car was completely disabled. The tire tilted at a near 45 degree angle and we were lucky there was enough momentum to help us reach the safety of the shoulder. A tow truck driver witnessed the accident and was ready to move our vehicle within minutes. The police arrived in short time, the paperwork was sorted out. We called a family member for a ride and when they arrived, we loading their car with the presents from the trunk and proceeded on to our original destination.
From there the rest of the process from making a claim to getting our car back was uneventful, exactly the way it should be. Making the claim with our local insurance agent was quick and painless. The car was towed to a local repair shop that worked with our car insurance company to conduct estimates and, after collecting our deductible, begin the repair process. They arranged to tow the car to a specialized mechanic to fix the internal damage and then brought it back to the shop to make the needed cosmetic repairs. Given the amount of damage, I was surprised to see the car again, but a little over three weeks later, my car was ready for the trip home as good as ever. Then, a short time after that, we received a check reimbursing us for the deductible since the accident was not our fault.
And as for those three weeks, they were pretty good too. The selection of rental cars during the holidays was very slim so we ended up getting upgraded to a brand new Chrysler 300 at no charge.
Having the right insurance company made what could have been a terrible way to end the holidays and start the new year into at worst, a minor inconvenience. There was no bickering over coverage amounts, our deductible was promptly refunded, our rental car was fully comped, and at the end of it all, our car drove as well as ever and with the new body work, looked that much better.
Automobile accidents are unavoidable. At some point in our lives, almost all of us will have to file an insurance claim. Make sure when the time comes for you, you have a car insurance company you can trust to make the process as painless as possible.

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