16 June 2009

Is this a Sign?

Adventures with Arnold

We drove our little Ford Fiesta around Italy for almost three years with no accidents, despite the well know antics of Italian drivers. We’ve not been so lucky since returning to the US.

When we left the US three years ago we placed our 1995 Ford Mustang with under 78,000 miles in Valerie’s sister’s garage in Cleveland. There “Arnold” sat peacefully, protected from the harsh upper Midwest elements. When we returned one of my first objectives was to get Arnold operational and arrange for insurance and new Ohio registration and tags.

After the long slumber Arnold fired right up with a new battery and I made a short trip around the block with no problems. Before I would venture any further I made sure we had insurance coverage, after sixteen years in the auto claims business I know the importance of that step. That was a fortunate step.

The next day I had to take the car to a dealer for a vehicle inspection, a quick and simple process at a dealer less than five minutes away. As I was leaving I saw a pick-up pulling a car carrier coming around a corner of the parking lot, I figured it would be better to stop and allow her plenty of maneuvering room. I guess not enough since she hit my left front with her right rear trailer wheel, completely removing everything on our car in front of the tire.

There were no problems with my coverage, despite the policy being effective less than ten hours before the accident, and the other driver had the same carrier. I did have problems getting the other driver’s adjuster to accept liability. (I’m parked, the other vehicle is moving – what’s the question?!) I know the process and the workings of claims departments so I figured my low priority claim had just fallen on the back burner…until I applied a little heat myself. Soon we had a rental car and Arnold was in the shop being repaired.

Last Monday we picked up the car and the repairs were top quality. We quickly finished the titling process and now have Ohio plates on the car (Valerie thinks they clash with the color). But that is not the end of the saga.

Last Friday, five days later, Valerie was in the car in a parking lot while I ran an errand in a store and to her dismay a car backed into the newly replaced front bumper. The damage is minor at the most but it was the fact that we just had it repaired. We decided not to pursue this minor scratch as it is more of a nuisance than anything else.

Now we are both a little jumpy as we drive somewhere and a car drifts a little in an adjoining lane or we slowly walk around the car after parking just to make sure.

Perhaps this is a sign we are not to be in Ohio…

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