“Math is hard” – said Barbie

The Boy was in a minor car accident last Sunday.  An oncoming truck came towards him (left of center), and he swerved right to avoid being hit, went off the road and scraped up the side of the car on a sign post. He wasn’t hurt, kept going to meet up with his sister, and gave me a ring late Sunday night with details.

After returning home on Monday, i took a look at the damage.  Right front quarter panel, passenger door, and right rear quarter panel were badly crunched, and the front head light would need replacing.  Given that he’s a 19 year old boy (highest insurance bracket), and i’ve already got a very high insurance deductible for my fleet of four shitmobiles, i figured i’d just pay to get it repaired – and not file an insurance claim.

The next day, The Boy took the car into a local body shop*, and got a repair estimate of $2100.  That’s even using recycled parts!  OK.  Decided to file the claim, paying only the $500 deductible.  When i told the insurance rep that i’d already gotten an estimate, she informed me that the shop we’d chosen wasn’t on the “pre-approved” list.  We could either take the car to an “approved” shop for an estimate, or have one of their adjusters come out to write the estimate for the damage.  They’d then cut a check for that amount, minus the $500 deductible, and i would be free to get the work done wherever i wanted to…

Adjuster came out Friday while i was at work.  The Boy called me late in the afternoon with an update.  He was headed out, saw the paperwork stuck to his car, and opened it up to see what the estimate was.  A check for $2300 fell out.  Looking over the estimate, this is what the insurance adjuster would be paying AFTER my deductible.

So, we’ll get the car fixed this week at the body shop that gave us the $2100 estimate.  i pocket $200 – which will likely just offset the increase in my insurance rates as a result of filing the claim.  This stuff is a big ol’ mystery to me… The Boy offered to turn this into more cash, by wrecking some of my other cars, i’m pretty sure that’s a bad plan. 

Beats me, man…

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* He’d had work done on his prior car, aka “Shamu”.  The place was good, but about one step up from a chop shop.  Easy on the wallet.  i do believe, however, that duct tape was involved…