Now with fall in full effect, I'm happy to move on from a summer filled with my new car in the shop.
To recap: as I watched Know1ng on DVD early in the summer, a hail storm ripped through my neighborhood and pelted the area for about twenty minutes. The sun stayed out for most of it, and the timing of the storm seemed exactly in sync with the first major catastrophe of the movie (an airplane crash, no less).
With the very helpful advice of my sister, who used to work in the auto insurance business, I filed a claim and took my car in for an estimate. The damage was significant, and I felt embarrassed that it happened, even though there was nothing I could have done to avoid it. It's just after years of being fussed at with a lot of stern "Why?"'s coming my way, I had to put my foot down, not apologize, and say there was nothing else I could have done.
So I took my car into a large collision shop near my house that was covered by my insurance company, and I proceeded to be without a car for a whole month. Just to be on the safe side, I decided to do the extended warranty on my rental car (which just so happened to also be a Camry), but I was not too pleased at the $300 I had to pay for this when I turned it back in. Regardless, an experience happened and I could not argue with how great the job the place did on my car.
Literally a week after I got the car back, I'm rushing to a lunch date with a friend of mine. Right before I enter onto the freeway, I see there's a note attached to my windshield. With the words, "I am so very sorry," I then noticed that the rear of the driver's-side had been sideswiped while it was parked. Luckily, there was a name and an insurance agent's name. It just so happened the driver that hit me was a co-worker of mine, but she didn't know it was my car at the time.
I'm thankful that my co-worker and I were able to work through all the insurance stuff, but it ended up being another two months of back and forth with the insurance company, and then I got the go-ahead to take my car into the shop. I chose the same collision shop, and they all remembered me from the earlier visit this summer.
Now that I have my car back, along with a lot of hope that I won't take the car back in for damage repair in the near future, I must say that all the patience and impatience made for a really frustrating but rewarding experience. I can't complain when I don't have to pay the monumental repair bills, and I like working with people that truly care about your car and your well-being. So there's the lesson.