The Hail Story

Two weeks ago Tuesday, there was a hail storm in the Indianapolis area. While our house barely even got rain, neighborhoods south of us got pounded with baseball-sized hail. Josh's commute that day took him right through the hailstorm- he was helplessly stuck in traffic as our 2004 Civic was dented all over. Thankfully, he got home safely, but the damage to the car was poorly timed, since we were leaving for Georgia early Thursday morning. Josh called the insurance company as soon as he got home, and they instructed us to go to a local dealership for an estimate of the damage.

At the end of Wednesday, with a million other things I had to do to get ready for leaving the next day, I go to the prescribed dealership and, go figure, they're busy and can't check out our car that day. I was annoyed they didn't let us make an appointment ahead of time (Josh specifically asked) and Josh was annoyed we couldn't get this taken care of before leaving for five days. But, alas, we had to leave our poor, damaged car at home.

While we're on our trip, Josh gets a call instructing him that the hail storm caused enough damage to be considered a "catastrophe," so our insurance company was setting up tents to do their own estimation, and we needed to report to one of those. During his lunch break Wednesday, Josh took the Civic to the tent. I sent him an email after lunchtime saying, "how's the car?" and he replied with "Damage = very yes" - which I got during a very serious meeting, and almost burst out laughing. That's what I get for bringing my Peek into a meeting, I guess.

I finally got a longer version of the estimate. There was enough damage on the top, hood and trunk of the car to warrant replacing them, plus dents that had to be popped out on every body panel of the car, plus some trim pieces. The insurance company handed Josh a check on the spot for the repair costs, and coincidentally, by our figuring, it came to $100 shy of the 70% value of the car (at which it would be totaled).

So, a week ago, we had a $5,000 check, a damaged car, and some decisions to make. Did we want to put so much money into a car just to improve its appearance? Did we want to drive a dented car and save the money? Even if we fixed the dents, would some still rust, giving us more headaches down the road? We wanted to explore our options, so, that night, we went to a couple dealerships to see what we could get in trade-in for the car, and had our eye on a car we've wanted fro a while- a station wagon.

Long story short, we ended up coming home Wednesday night without our dented Civic, and with a new-to-us car, a Volvo station wagon. The cost of the new car? The insurance check + our deductible + the damaged Civic's trade-in value + sales tax. When figuring out a target price, we forgot to take into account sales tax, but it really turned out alright in the end. And I LOVE the new car. Which will be MINE tomorrow when I start driving it to work. (Josh drove it for a week to make sure everything was OK with it. I'm oblivious to stuff like that) This is easily the nicest car I've ever owned, with leather seats and windshield wipers on the headlights and power everything. I'm in awe.

As was pointed out by a friend, this is the first time in my life (excepting a couple years from about ages 5-8) when I or my family didn't own a Civic. The end of an era.

I didn't take this picture, but ours looks exactly like this- same year, color, etc. Josh doesn't like the color, but I do.


Beth @ The Natural Mommy said...

WHY would you need WINDSHIELD WIPERS on the HEADLIGHTS? Lol. Seriously, tho, it looks like an awesome car! Yay, hail!

Joanna said...

Oh, it gets better. There's a back windshield wiper. It's got built-in booster seats, too. And heated front seats that tilt every direction, it seems. And climate controls for both the driver & passenger. and a little MPG display reminding you of your fuel efficiency. And a "grocery bag holder" in the back area.

I guess I'll just have to bring it up & show you all the gadgets.

fullfreezer said...

Ooo, heated seats. Our new (well, over a year old now) car has heated seats. 9 years ago when we got our minivan it came with heated side rearview mirrors. When I heard that, I initially thought 'Why on earth would you want to heat your rear view mirrors?' Now i wouldn't have a car without them. It's so nice in the long, long winters.
Congrats on the great score.

The Farmer Files said...

HAIL to the car!


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