37 Things I Noticed After Having a Fender-Bender

My trusty CR-V (the “Excelsior,” because I name my cars after spaceships) recently got dinged in the back.  The damage isn’t too terrible but it’s in a lousy spot.  Thus, I had to deal with my insurance company (Progressive) and rent a car.  Along the way, I noticed a few things:

  1. ding

    #5. *Angry Bear Noises*

    The lady that hit me seemed to be pretty impatient while I got Progressive on the phone.  MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T CAUSE AN ACCIDENT IF YOU’RE IN A HURRY, LADY.

  2. I didn’t even think about calling the police. This was a low speed accident and not worth their time.
  3. She eventually gave me her info and drove off in a huff because “I have kids in the car.”  I don’t know about y’all but I tend to drive extra-careful whenever I have passengers…just saying.
  4. Insurance company Ding #1: To be fair, I was getting impatient with Progressive too.  Pick up the phone, guys!
  5. It wasn’t a bad dent, but in just the right spot for water to get into the hatch.
  6. I’ll get a call back in 24 hours. Cool.
  7. Ding #2: The claims rep was supposed to call me ‘within 24 hours.’  2 days later and still no call.
  8. I posted an angry tweet about that lack of communication and got a response within a few hours. Modern times and all that.
  9. Lady’s insurance is taking full responsibility (as well they should) Woo-hoo!
  10. Stuffed a plastic bag into the hole to keep water out. Lucky it hasn’t been raining lately.
  11. I was initially going to pick a shop to take it, but decided to punt and the insurance guys handle it. I have other things to worry about.
  12. Ding #3: The last time this happened, I got to pick a rental.  This go-round they threw me into a Toyota Corolla. :/
  13. I got everything I needed from the CR-V…except for the garage door opener. >.<
  14. The heck with giving me both car keys on a key ring that I can’t remove them from?
  15. It’s a little bit of an adjustment going from a small SUV to a car, but I’m (mostly) handling it. Lucky for me I don’t have any long trips coming up.
  16. When did car air conditioners get so complicated?
  17. tennycar

    15. Me in the rental

    This is a newer vehicle, yet the backup camera looks terrible compared to my 2012 CR-V.

  18. Having an in-car touch screen does not work very well. At the risk of getting technical: The user interface is poop.
  19. Ding #4: The repair guy was supposed to call me ‘tomorrow’  Didn’t happen.
  20. Yeah, it’s probably time to start looking for a new insurance company.
  21. Thing I miss most about my CR-V? Legroom.
  22. I’ve given up on getting any calls from my insurance company at this point, just going to check their website every so often.
  23. If you are going to tell somebody you are going to call them and you don’t, that is rude and unprofessional.
  24. Unless you’re a recruiter, then it’s par for the course. (obligatory job-related item)
  25. Auto headlights should NEVER turn on the high beams…just sayin’
  26. Had a funny moment when it rained and I tried to turn on the rear wiper that wasn’t there.
  27. Also, the ‘beep’ it makes when I turn on the alarm can barely be heard.
  28. The day before the repair is due to be completed, the app says “2 days left until repaired.” Huh?
  29. (Finally) Got a call that afternoon saying it will be ready when scheduled, woo-hoo!
  30. 4pm and the app now says ‘Repairs complete.’ Maybe I’ll get lucky and get my ride back a day early?’
  31. Ding #5: Of course they call me 15 minutes before they close (and I’m already at home from work) to schedule the pickup the next day, grr.
  32. Since the lady’s insurance is taking full responsibility, this little adventure isn’t going to cost me any money, just a little time and aggravation.
  33. I also got a blog post out of the deal, too 😀


    35. Looking good!

  34. Ding #6: Scheduled the appointment for 1230, get there at 1231 and I have to wait 😛
  35. Holy cats, the Excelsior looks good when it’s cleaned up.
  36. Feels good to be in my own vehicle again. I had to re-learn some habits, like having cruise control settings on my steering wheel instead of on a stick thingie.
  37. Time to shop for new car insurance!

ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: Mad as Hell at Insurance Company

My car after being repaird

Looks nice, but it'll be an oven come August

This is a follow up to my original post, click here to read it.

3/21/2012 UPDATE :  After taking it to a real mechanic, it turns out that the A/C wasn’t working because there was a bad hose that had to be replaced. While they don’t believe it was caused by the accident, it means that Progressive’s grease monkeys misdiagnosed a problem TWO TIMES.  I will definitely be shopping for a new insurance provider now.

For the most part, my experience with Progressive has been fairly positive, except for a few bumps in the road: they had me send my car to the wrong repair shop, the repair shop they did send it to incorrectly diagnosed the alternator as being bad when the battery was the issue, it wasn’t ready on the day I was told it was going to be ready, and despite not being found at fault, I am out $500 for my deductible, but that’s a philosophical issue I’ll discuss some other time.

Now, call me crazy (you wouldn’t be the first) but I thought part of the point of having insurance was so that your vehicle would be restored back to the state it was in before it was involved in an accident. Except for running a bit noisy due to an issue with the manifold, everything in my car had been working just fine before I had my little accident a few weeks ago. Indeed, upon getting my vehicle back, I was satisfied to find that it seemed to run as well as it did before. I also checked to see if a new battery had been installed, and yes, it had been.  I had grown suspicious after realizing that my radio presets hadn’t gone away as has been the case in the past when I have replaced batteries.

So everything was fine and dandy until I hop in my car to go somewhere on Sunday. It was warm out, about 80 degrees, so I figured I’d turn on the air conditioner to give it a test run. Air came out of the air conditioner but it was not much cooler than the air outside. I left the air conditioner on for the duration of the short trip and there wasn’t much happening. Now I’m worried, because if the battery went bad due to the accident, who’s to say that something else didn’t go wrong somewhere within all the coils, tubes and who-knows-what-else that make up the air conditioning system?

I don’t go running to Progressive just yet, though. Monday was also going to be a warm day, so I figured I’d give it another test run before calling them. I started up my car during my lunch break, at about 1 in the afternoon on another warm day and I ran it for about ten minutes with the air conditioner set to maximum. It seemed as if it was trying, but the air coming out was not cooler than the air outside. As it was a warm day, it was easy to tell that it was not working.

I now knew for sure that the air conditioner wasn’t working, so it was time to contact Progressive and get it looked at. I scheduled an appointment to drop off my car this morning and pick up a rental. The temperatures on Thursday morning were pretty cool, in the mid-60s; thus, I wasn’t entirely sure that the cool air coming into my car at the time wasn’t just the product of the outside air combined my not-quite-warmed-up car, but I was now certain that my air conditioner wasn’t working as well as it had been before.

I arrived at the claims center and let the person there know what was happening. The woman said that they were going to have someone check it out and then let me know how we were going to proceed. I said okay and waited for her to return. Not even fifteen minutes later, she came back and let me know that they were not going to look at it. Apparently I had given the impression that my air conditioner was completely out, and since the air coming out was just a little bit cool (which may have been due to the outside temperature) I was going to have to get it fixed myself. She cheerfully let me know that it probably just needed refrigerant and that any mechanic could probably fix it.

But it was WORKING JUST FINE before the accident, I said. She ignored that statement, gave me my key back, and bade me farewell.

I am not very happy with Progressive right now. I now have to take time and money to have a real mechanic check my car’s air conditioner. If he finds something wrong, I then have to convince Progressive that there was no problem with it before the accident, then drop it off, get another rental, and essentially go through the same thing I did this morning. As I type this, I am getting ready to talk to my claims rep and let them know how I feel about this development, but right now I am all but ready to dump them.

Half an hour later…

So I spoke with a second agent (the one that I’ve been working with is not in the office and I won’t hold that against her) who told me that I needed to have it looked at by a mechanic…


Apparently, they don’t have mechanics at the claim centers. So some paper-pusher turned on my AC, felt cool air coming out (remember, it is a cool morning today) and used her 1337 paper-pusher skills to deduct that I had a Freon leak somewhere.  Aw, HELL NO.

Agent #2 is going to look into it and I now get to wait for his phone call.

Another thirty minutes later…

Agent #2 said that he was very sorry and let me know that yes, a mechanic did have a look at my car this morning  (as you can see above, I was not told that) and he was the one that said the AC was fine except for being low on Freon.  I told the guy that I was skeptical because the last shop couldn’t even properly diagnose a bad battery.  So now I need to take my car to a (hopefully competent) mechanic to look at my air conditioner.

So in the best case scenario, I get to pay to get my AC recharged with Freon, which I may have had to have done anyway.  Worst case scenario is that I get to deal with Progressive again and have their grease monkeys bang on it with giant wrenches.

I know that sounds backwards, but I think I’m going to be shopping for a new insurance company now.



Just after the accident


Well, there goes that bragging right.  Up until Monday, I was one the few people in my circle of friends to have never been involved in a car accident.  That proud status changed after I was involved in a fender-bender this past Monday.  I hit another car that was pulling out of a parking lot just down the road from my apartment. I then spent the next three hours in the misty afternoon directing traffic, and talking with the lady I hit, the police, the people at my insurance company, the folks at the rental car company, the tow truck guy and most of my immediate family.

It was my day off too  :/

The good thing is that nobody got hurt, but both of our vehicles are a bit worse for wear.  I hit the other vechicle square in the driver’s side wheel (as you can see in the pic), which is going to cost a few beans to fix, and while the body damage on the Reliant is limited to the front bumper, it wouldn’t start at all, so there’s that.  The lady I hit was actually pretty cool about it, as was I, so I at least didn’t have to deal with some mad-as-hell person jumping and screaming at me.  Before the fire department and police showed up to direct traffic, I was directing people to get out of my lane with my Flashlight of Smiting.  Even though we didn’t hit hard enough for either of our airbags to deploy, I was a bit discombobulated after the fact.

Dealing with my insurance company (Progressive) wasn’t too bad, not too long after everything was hauled away, I was picked up by the rental car company and am now riding about in a Hyundai Santa Fe.  I was considering a small SUV before this and now that I have had a chance to drive one, I am sold on the vehicle type.  I may not get a Santa Fe for my next vehicle, but will definitely consider something like it once all this hash is settled.

If there is one thing that does bother me about the whole thing, its that there were NO witnesses.  The accident happened just in front of a bus stop, and of course, those folks hopped onto the next bus that stopped by.  I don’t blame them, I’m sure they had work or other places to be, but the fact that no one that driving around stopped AT ALL kinda sucked.  I’ve witnessed an accident myself, and I made sure I stuck around to see if they needed assistance or witnesses.

Now I get to wait for the insurance guys and repair guys to get everything figured out.  I’ll probably be out some cash when its all said and done, but in the bigger scheme of things, everything turned out as well as could be.