Princess Buttercup update:
During planning yesterday I called my insurance company and talked to a sweet retired teacher in Arizona. It was 7 am there, and she said I was her 3rd “deer hit.”
She got all my info and gave me all my info, including the phone number for my claims representative, Sofie. She told me that the towing company would contact me about picking it up to take it to their facility where an adjuster could look at it. Great! Thank you. Meanwhile, Mom sent me a picture of Buttercup in the daylight. She said it was really not bad…except the deer poop. The hood took the entire hit, as far as I could tell. (That young buck had been watching The Dukes of Hazzard…)
From there I proceeded to my LEA’s room to discuss a student (SOP for a teacher during planning period.) En route, I noticed a voicemail on my phone. It was the towing company. I called them back, and as I listened to the menu, there were a bunch of menu options that sounded strange, but I proceeded. The person who took my call asked for a lot number. I was confused. She asked if I was a salvage company or a dealer. I was more confused. I was so confused I told her I thought I had the wrong number and hung up.
After doing actual work stuff, I listened to the voicemail again. Sure enough, there was a lot number. Weird. I called back and got the same woman. She got the address where the car was parked. She asked if I had my personal belongings out of the car. I said I had all the stuff I needed, but I wanted to grab one or two other things.
“Did you take your license plate?”
She said, “Some people just like to keep their license plates.”
Still confused (the state of the day, it seems) I said, “I like to KEEP mine on the back of my car. Why would I take it?”
“You don’t have to take it if you don’t want to. We can take care of it for you,” she says.
“I’m sorry. I don’t understand this at all. I’ve had my car towed for repairs before and have never been asked if I want to remove my license plate first,” I tell her.
“We are bringing your car to our salvage yard, but if you don’t want the license plate we can scrap it with the car.”
“My car hasn’t even been seen by an adjuster yet! What do you mean you’re going to scrap it?!” I think I’m having a stroke at this point.
“An adjuster will look at it. If they decide not to total it, you can always put the plate back on,” she tells me calmly, not seeming to notice that I AM NOT OKAY.
“There is a terrible mistake here. I need to call my insurance company back.”
Here’s where the fun times really start, but I won’t give you all the gruesome details. It starts with me calling the above-referenced Sofie, who tells me that despite what the nice lady in claims and the confirmation email has told me that she is NOT my representative. “Ashley is your representative, and here is her number and I’ll connect you.”
Ashley’s voicemail tells me that I’m not going to talk to Ashley right now, so I call the phone number listed for the man who sends me emails every month telling me that he’s there to help me if I ever need anything. The phone number tells me that I can’t speak to an actual human being unless I’ve called to purchase more insurance.
The website offers me the option to live chat with a representative…after I log out and log back in, at which point I’m told I’m not authorized to access my claim…until I log out and log back in a second time.
The nice lady, Lori, on the live chat informs me that she can’t find my claim. She also can’t find my policy. I give her my claim number and policy number, and she tells me to call claims.
I’m having a stroke and an aneurism. I go straight to the top and call Mom…then my awesome mechanic…then a local collision center recommended by my awesome mechanic…and the towing company my parents recommend. I tried to call Ashley back, but the number Sofie gave me went to Andrea’s voicemail. (Are you confused yet?)
Then I go back to the live chat (and have to log back out and log back in) and ask Lori the Live Chat to give me that number again. I called and got either another Lori, or Lori the Live Chat AND Claims Number Lady. I figured it was best to warn her that I’m in the middle of an aneurism and possibly a psychotic episode and I tell her about my conversation with the towing service and how, subsequently, I wish to have my own towing company take the car to my own collision center.
“Oh,” she says, “we take the car to our storage facility and have the adjuster look at it there.” I like Lori, by the way. She has a very soothing voice, somewhere between a mother and a Sunday School teacher and (obviously) a customer service representative, but one with admirable patience.
“I understand logically what is supposed to happen, but this is not what the person I spoke with described to me.” We went around this business a couple more laps. She seemed sympathetic to my panic, so I finally asked, “Do you understand why I’m nervous about letting them take the car?”
She understands. She also says that it’s completely fine that I have my wrecker tow my car to my collision shop. Would I like a rental car with that?
Minutes after I get off the phone with Lori, Ashley (who does exist, and who is my actual claim representative) called me. She was almost as nice as Lori. (She didn’t have the same motherly quality about her, but something tells me that Lori might be a bit older than Ashley.) I recapped my conversation with Lori, and Ashley confirmed all the comforting parts of what Lori told me. She also made me think that perhaps I’m not completely nuts for thinking that buck hit me rather than vice-versa. Crisis averted for now. Would I like a rental car with that?
After school I went to my brother’s house to get anything else out of the car that I may want or need over the next week or two. Mom was right. It didn’t look so bad. There were no fluids leaking, so I decided it was safe to try to turn it around so the tow truck could get to it easier. She cranked like nothing was wrong. With a bit of manipulating around the broken grille, I was able to open the hood. The radiator was damaged on the front side, but not pushed into anything else.
I have reason to be cautiously optimistic that Princess Buttercup and I will be reunited. Death (in this case, the death of a deer) cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it a little while.
I picked up the rental car this morning.