Sunday, January 27, 2013

Off to the repair shop

We came home from church this morning to find Randy loading up the girls explorer on his flatbed.  The insurance totaled it out, but did not salvage it out.  She needs a new fender, bumper, tie rod, spindle and radiator.  Then she will be good as new.

Progressive let us keep the vehicle and paid us well for the damage.  If we use used body parts, we think we can have it all done for about what the check was for.

Progressive was the insurance company, and it was the first time EVER that I had a claim with them.  It was also the first time EVER I have NOT had to fight to get what a vehicle was worth.  It was also the first time an adjuster sat down to explain the process to us.  On this vehicle, the blue book said it could be worth anywhere from $800 to $2600.  But, it had some extras on it, so that added to the amount.  And, prior to this, it had no body damage, another plus.  It also had good tires, another bonus. And, the shocker to me--the inside was clean and well maintained.  Did you know, they pay you more for your vehicle after an accident if it is kept clean???  The end result was, they paid more than the blue book price.  We had a $500 deductible on it, so after the math was done, we got to keep it and the girls can get it repaired.  It is built like a tank, all metal, and I'd rather they drive it than a plastic compact car.

(So, having learned a clean vehicle is worth more, I cleaned out my suburban as well, and even found some money in it!)  A clean vehicle is also a safer vehicle as there are less objects to fly around in the event of an accident.  Many people have been in accidents and were not injured by the impact of the car, but rather by the impact of flying objects unsecured in the car.

So, we got to keep the vehicle, have the money to repair it, and it is still insurable.

I am glad we had full coverage on it.  If we had liability only, the girls would have had nothing left, and since they inherited this SUV from their father when he died, it also has some meaning to them.

It has been a big help to me having daughter #3 do some of the driving.  She has been able to haul her sisters to events, dentist visits and such when I have been doing childcare or volunteer work and the husband has been at work.  The girls have been splitting the insurance payment on it, and Emily pays for the gas as she does the driving.  So, it has been very affordable, as well as teaching the girls some responsibility, as well as auto maintenance.

After talking with the adjuster, they have now learned more about how auto insurance works, the importance of keeping a vehicle cleaned and well maintained, and the reason we have insurance, and the differences in the various types of coverage and deductibles.  A good lesson for homeschoolers learning to drive would be to go and visit your insurance person.  We did at the time, and then also had this visit with the adjuster a year later who explained his end of the insurance business.

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