Saturday, 6 November 2010

Car damage

Rear impact zone marked up
There has been some progress with the car incident. I was instructed to take the vehicle to an insurance-approved garage where they would assess the damage and produce an estimate for repair for the insurer.

Now this is a vehicle that has more than 140,000 miles on the clock, and although we have maintained the mechanical workings in top condition, the bodywork has not received the same level of care and attention. If I were not comprehensively insured, then I might rub down and touch up a tiny area of damage over the wheel arch, but otherwise it's perfectly fine to drive for another 140,000. The worst case scenario would have been if the damage had been sufficient to make it undriveable and uneconomic to repair, because its value to me as a truly reliable runner would not be reflected in the insurer's book value.

Grid highlighting dents and creases in bodyworkAnyway, I had a most enjoyable time at the garage, watching the process of estimating the damage. First of all, the assessor showed off his encyclopedic knowledge of cars, as might be expected from one who has chosen this particular career path. He pointed out creases and dents that I hadn't even seen, and then marked the side of the car where all the damage was and took lots of photos, while I took photos of him. Then he got out a plain grid that showed any distortion when reflected by the car panel. Seeing my interest, he asked if I'd like a copy of the report which would contain all of the best pictures - well, I jumped at the chance. After it was all done, he cleaned off all the markings, and politely declined my invitation to clean the rest of the car.

The emailed report makes interesting reading too. It lists and estimates the time required to address around 40 separate operations, and estimates the whole job at just under £1500. I won't pay any of it, because the insurance company has accepted that I wasn't at fault and will claim it all back from the other driver's insurance. Still, this seems to me to be an enormous amount for a car that isn't new, and quite frankly doesn't really need all this attention, given that it's perfectly sound mechanically. The trouble is that once you're in the system, it's difficult to dictate what does and doesn't get fixed. It's this type of job that must raise all our insurance premiums.

Anyway, I always like to see how things work, whether it's painting a house or dealing with insured car repairs or servicing the boiler. I like to see inside other people's lives, which is one reason why I enjoyed some of my previous jobs, and why I look forward to poking about in patient's diets when I eventually qualify as a dietitian.

Cleaning the markings off the car

1 comment:

aims said...

The Man was driving my car after his burnt down in the driveway. Sure enough we had one of our famous winter storms and he couldn't stop on the ice and caught the driver's fender on the vehicle in front.

Because of the age of my car the insurance company wrote it off - never mind that it too is a very durable and well running vehicle. They claimed it would cost about the same amount as yours and refused to do it.

The day after I signed the papers over to them I received a call from the wreckers. They wanted to know if I knew someone who wanted the car for free.

Meanwhile we had already purchased another vehicle to replace mine (which The Man proceeded to take possession of).

With a vehicle waiting for me once The Man found a new one of his own I wondered what I would do with two of them. It didn't stop me from asking for my own car back and it cost less than half the quoted price from the insurance company to fix it and have it certified. Once a car is deemed salvage it must be certified - all over the vehicle - before it can go back on the road and have insurance again.

So - absolutely everything in the car works and I've had it back on the road about 2 weeks now.

The Man just bought a new vehicle yesterday.

Now I'm wondering again - what am I going to do with the choice of 2 vehicles to drive?