This is one of those times where I give you my blessing to have no compassion whatsoever, because I am writing just so you can say, "Well my life totally sucks, but man -- at least I'm not that chump." And really I have no one to blame but myself for a story that came so close, so freaking close, to having a happy ending. Until at the end, when it didn't.
A Friday or so ago, I came back to my car after work to discover that the hood didn't look fully closed. On further inspection, I noticed that the "Honda" emblem on the front of the hood was indented. Had it always been that way? I'm not the most observant guy, but I'm pretty sure Honda isn't going for that "bashed in look" with its emblems.
That's when I realized there was damage to my car, and as you know if you have insurance, or have ever had insurance, when something bad happens it's completely your fault -- or if it isn't, then it's only your problem. Basically, if someone backs into your car while it's parked on the street, then jumps out of their car and dances the jig on it in stiletto heels, your rates will go up because you are deemed a "high risk for parking in neighborhoods where stiletto heels-wearing drivers are prone to break out in dance".
But when I took my car to the body shop, they looked at it and based on the angle of the indentation and the accompanying damage around the hood, they concluded it was more likely "vandalism" (e.g., someone kicking the emblem in with their shoe) than a "collision" (e.g., a car backing into my front end). This is good news, they explained to me, because vandalism is a "comprehensive" claim and your rates can't go up as a result of the claim. This was especially good news since the estimated repair cost was over $1000.00.
Then I got more good news. My policy had just a $100.00 deductible for comprehensive claims. Holy cow! $100.00 and no rate hike sounded a heck of a lot better than the "$500.00 deductible, oh and we're going to need to raise your rates" that I had envisioned.
Then the sprinkling of good news turned into a downpour. "Undoubtedly you'll need a car while yours is in the shop," my insurance agent continued. "Your policy provides for a rental car, fully paid for by us." Whatever more than holy cow is! One moment I'm wondering whether I'm better off paying for over $1,000.00 of damage myself just to avoid a rate hike, and the next moment I'm sitting pretty with a $100 deductible, no rate change, and a fully paid for rental car.
So I got the rental car, which I was told was low on gas, and took it down to the gas station. After filling the tank, I somehow misjudged the right turn, went onto the island and crashed into the pump, damaging the rental car probably more than my own car is damaged. And it's a collision. And of course it's going to be reported to my insurance company.