Friday, February 27, 2009

The Bad and the Good

First, the bad.

While I was in Wisconsin, someone hit my parked car at home in Vermont. I had left the car in my apartment complex's upper lot in case it snowed while I was gone. We have opposite side parking here. When it snows, they plow one side of our street at 8am and then the other at 1. Usually I move my car on my lunch break, as I live across the street from my office. If you won't be available to move your car for plowing, you're supposed to park in the overflow lot behind the complex. That is exactly what I did.

Saturday after I returned home, I found a pretty big scrape all down the driver's side, along with some denting of the front door. The estimate I got from the body shop said it will cost about $1700 to get the whole thing fixed.

And now for the good.

Vermont is one of only two states (the other being Virginia, I believe) that has a no fault accident law. Usually, if the accident is not your fault, your insurance company will go after the other driver, or, more likely, the other driver's insurance, to get the money. In the case of an unknown driver, such as a hit and run on your parked car, you're out of luck. In this situation, Vermont's law forces your insurance company to waive your deductible and provide a rental car for you while your car is being repaired.

This is not something that the insurance company will advertise or even offer. I was tipped off about the law by the helpful people at Autonahn body shop (a big thank you to Jon, who helped me with the insurance process). I had to argue with Geico. The person who took my claim over the phone was not aware of the law and refused to waive the deductible. In speaking with the local insurance adjuster, who was familiar with Vermont's laws, everything was straightened out. My car goes in on Monday morning. Hopefully, she'll be good as new.

No comments: