March 17th, 2006

Summer Hat

Various thoughts on filing claims and police reports

Yesterday morning I got in my car and started driving to work. Since this was before my cup of tea it took me a second to notice the dent in the hood of my car. At first I hoped I was imagining it, but sadly the dent did not disappear. It was bad enough that my coworker later asked what had happened, and when I answered that I wasn't sure ventured the opinion that someone had hit the hood of my car with some other person.

That is indeed what the dent looks like. Its long, shallow, S-shaped, and only on the driver's side of the hood. Its very easy to imagine some young male having caused it by wrestling another young male onto the hood of my car.

I suppose it goes without saying that no one left a note or anything.

I filled out a police report yesterday. I was pretty sure that I would have to for the insurance. It seemed like an excercise in futility, going down to the police station and filling in the piece of paper. I knew there was nothing the police could do other than file the report, but it would have been nicer if they had acted a touch more concerned. It would have been nice if I had actually gotten to talk to an actual police officer, for instance, instead of just trying to make myself heard with the receptionist behind the bullet-proof glass. The kicker is that I can't even get a copy of the report (which I do need for the insurance) until Tuesday.

As a side note, the police report form had a space for me to fill out both my race and my ethnicity. Can you say redundant? Because I was in that kind of mood I filled in my ethnicity as Scottish and left my race as an excercise for the reader.

I called the Metlife people this morning. They are a whole lot more pleasant to deal with. Its funny, since its likely going to end up costing them money. They're going to actually send someone out to look at the damage. I suppse it makes more sense that the Metlife folks are more on my side since they get money from me on a monthly basis, but then again, shouldn't the police be on my side too since my taxes pay their salaries? I suppose the receptionist at the police station was helpful enough, but the fact that I had to repeat half my sentence because of the damn glass didn't improve my mood. Also, Metlife was willing to handle everything over the phone and send someone out, whereas the police insisted that I had to physically come in to file a report. The latter would have made sense if they'd asked me for ID or something, but they didn't.

I reported the incident as vandalism. I'm not sure if that's the right word, but it was the closest I could find. The reason I'm not sure if its the best word is that usually I take vandalism to mean deliberate harm to property. I'm not convinced that the harm was deliberate. If my theory about what happened is correct, than I imagine that those involved just plain weren't thinking and didn't mean to damage my car, it was just there when they got rowdy. Of course that doesn't change the fact that the $300 deductable is still coming out of my pocket, so it doesn't really matter so much if it were deliberate or not.

Oh, and this is the second time I've put in a claim on my car, and also the second time I've had to explain to the Metlife people that I'm not exactly sure what happened because I wasn't in the car when it was damaged. I think the record shows that being parked is much more hazardous for my car than being driven around.