On the way home from the hospital last week, we stopped to have a celebratory brunch at the International House of Pancakes. This time we went a bit overboard! Here’s the story of my $1,227 pancake breakfast.
My hospital visit last week went well, and since it was the start of our Thanksgiving holiday we stopped for something to eat on the way home. Mrs DL usually goes with an omelet and I picked a combination pancake / egg / sausage breakfast.
The meal usually costs about $25 or so, by the time coffee is included but this time we were joined by an unexpected guest and it cost a little more. $1,227 to be precise. So what happened? Well, let me tell you a story about our unexpected guest, Rusty.
The story of Rusty Wheel
Once upon a time there was a car Wheel. We’ll call him “Rusty”. Rusty was the 4th sibling of the Wheel family and belonged to a Toyota mini-van. Rusty was always a very attached and engaged member of the Wheels family; they went everywhere together. Their life wasn’t the smoothest road, with many potholes in their way and sometimes they would just get worn down.
But this morning, all seemed perfect with the Wheels family. At least on the surface, since shortly after leaving their garage they had an argument. We’ll likely never know the thoughts of Rusty Wheel at the time or what the argument with the other Wheels was about. Some say he had a screw loose, but for whatever reason, on this day, Rusty suddenly snapped!
Rusty made a bid for freedom from the mini-van at approximately 55 mph, suddenly veering left and crossing the four lanes to the meridian dividing the direction of traffic. He then hit a kerb and went airborne, bouncing across the grass meridian and another four lanes of north-bound traffic.
All this exercise made the exhilarated Rusty quite hungry and so he entered the IHOP parking lot. It was a good plan. Except Rusty, in his haste to depart, had left his brakes behind. Unable to stop, poor Rusty bounced over an ELR and into the side of a blue SUV. He then ricocheted back into the side of the ELR before fleeing the scene and proceeding into the parking lot of a neighboring business. At this point though, Rusty Wheel suddenly became very tired and had to stop and lie down.
The driver of the mini-van, after stopping by the side of the road, had the same thoughts as Rusty Wheel, since he ran away too, leaving the mini-van and the remaining Wheel family behind.
The second car Rusty hit was mine of course; the first car took most of the damage and wrecked their passenger front and rear doors. No-one was hurt in all of this fortunately, although it caused quite a commotion in the restaurant when a car wheel was seen flying by the window.
Here’s Rusty, a little tired after all the excitement.
Michigan has a ‘no-fault’ insurance policy which means that I must claim against my insurance for this bizarre event which damaged my car. The estimate is about $1,200 to repair the door. Hence my $1,227 breakfast.
I won’t be paying the full amount fortunately although it’s a little unclear how much I’ll actually pay until the insurance company gets the police report. To save money on my insurance premium, I chose a $1,000 collision deductible and a $500 comprehensive deductible. The claim is being considered a collision rather than an act of God type comprehensive accident. So I may need to pay the $1,000 deductible although the insurance company indicated they may waive this – let’s hope so!
I’ll also be getting a rental car while my car is being repaired. The insurance is covering that too fortunately. I just hope that the premiums don’t go up next year, but they seem to go up anyway even if I don’t make any claim.
1. I’ll be paying for any deductible expenses out of my Savings, and will not be touching my Emergency Fund for this. However, it made me realize that I don’t have a separate Savings category set up for insurance deductibles. Instead I’ll be taking any payment out of some other Savings goal that I have. So next year I’ll start to squirrel some money away in my Savings that’s dedicated for any insurance deductibles.
2. I’m not going to change my insurance policy deductibles. I prefer to self-insure where I can rather than pay higher premiums. This is the first claim I’ve had to make in 16 years so I’ve been fortunate.
3. I’m going to park further away from the street in the future. Just kidding. Although we were parked five cars away from the street, the nearer cars weren’t affected at all. It’s just one of those things.
4. Anything can happen at any time. Carpe diem.
What’s your approach for car insurance? High deductibles / coverage or Low?
Quote of the Day
People just hate the idea of losing. Any loss, even a small one, is just so terrible to contemplate that they compensate by buying insurance, including totally absurd policies like air travel.