Totaling a car.

Stay with me on this post.  It seems a little weird, but stay with me.  [Also, don’t be a dumbass, I’m not a lawyer, or an expert, but this is a loose guide to what needs to happen to you when you wreck your car.]

So a little over two month ago, I totaled my car.  And seeing how it was the first time I totaled my car, I sort of went blindly into the entire process.  So let me help you out cause accidents happen.  Which I hate, but they do.

Totaled Car Guide.
Totaled Car Guide.

No one plans to total his or her car. However, if you plan to fail, blah blah blah.

So prior to totaling your car, maybe even back when you purchase the car, there are a few things that you MUST do in order to protect yourself in the event that you wreck your car a year, two years down the road. 

  1. Do you have a loan?  If there is any way on God’s green earth you can avoid a loan, AVOID IT.  Here’s why.  If you still owe money on a car when you total it, you are still responsible for the money that is left on the loan.  That’s where this comes in…
  2. Gap insurance.  When you purchase your car, and if you have to go the loan route you must purchase gap insurance.  It’s something that should be offered to you when you’re in the pit of hell that is the finance office at a dealership, but if it is not, ask about it.  This will protect you.  Let me explain.  You buy a car, and you finance it.  When you total the car (which I hope you don’t but hey, accidents happen), the insurance company will give you money for how much the car is CURRENTLY worth, often based on prices of similar models sold recently in your area.  It will NOT automatically cover what is left on the loan (hello interest) which can really screw you.  So get the gap insurance, which is pretty marginal, and will be added into your car payment.
  3. Save every piece of documentation related to you car at the time of purchase, and get maintenance records on the car.  If you have a loan, the bank who technically “owns” the car has the title.  If you own the car outright, place the title, along with paperwork related to the car in a folder inside a fireproof safe in your house (which you need for all sorts of important things).  DO NOT LOSE THAT TITLE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

So a few years down the road, say you get into an accident.  Here’s what you need to do, and what will happen.  

  1. You wreck your car.  For those of you who are nosy (kidding!) I was completely at fault.  I was preoccupied with what I viewed as a troubling reading on my blood pressure, and ran directly into the back of a Rubicon, which was unscathed.
  2. Call the police.  Whether you are at fault or not, call the police, and be completely honest with them about what has happened.  Remain calm, because they will note if you’re acting like a weirdo on the report, and ask the police officer to provide you with this handy information exchange card with both yours and the other driver’s name on the card.  Take pictures at this point, and get the officer’s name, just in case your accident results in any sort of lawsuit.
  3. Once you get home or to somewhere safe where you are calm, call your insurance company armed with your policy number and information about the accident.  Explain to them that you would like to open a claim.  The person on the phone will likely not know what the heck they’re doing, and will take some precursory information.  They will open a claim for you, and provide you with a claim number.  Copy this down, and be prepared for your individual claims person to contact you in the day or so following.
  4. Your claims adjuster has called you.  He or she will ask you a few more in-depth questions about the accident.  Now, in the case of my accident it was pretty cut and dry, and the accident was my fault.  He asked for some details about the weather, then provided me with addresses and names to 3 or 4 preferred shops where they will look at your car and perform an estimate.
  5. Get an estimate.  You’ll drop your car off, and in a few days, they’ll give you and the insurance company an estimate.  They might tell you that it will cost 2k to fix.  They might tell you it’s totaled.  In my case, it was totaled, so..
  6. Go to get your personals out of the car.  You have no idea when they’re going to haul your car off – I learned this the hard way and had to drive down to Fayetteville to a sketchy yard to get my things.  Make sure to grab your tag.
  7. The insurance company will send a letter to the bank, asking them to release the title to them.  The bank will release the title.  The gap insurance will kick in, paying off the remainder of your loan.  And you’re done.

It’s a lot of steps, and it was a LOT to learn, but glad to know, and so thrilled to be able to share that info with other folks.

Now…have you ever gotten into an accident?  Was it silly?

 

New (to me) car.

If you are in the Southeast, I feel for you.  We are dealing with a ridiculous amount of snow and ice juuuust enough to screw up our day.

So Wednesday, Austin and I took off of work to buy a new car since I totaled the Lancer in a stupid accident about a month ago.

Broken LancerThe whole process of losing that car, totaling it, dealing with the insurance company, and all that fun stuff that comes with totaling a car has been a little emotional.  I was a very new blogger about two years ago, working for Fleet Feet when I bought this car with 0 knowledge of how to buy a car or how all of that worked.  My husband was a boyfriend at the time, and I cried bitter tears when the transmission in my Taurus crapped out.  But the car saw me through my mother’s illness, a new marriage, the poodle, and so much more.  So when the collision shop called me and told me that the car was a total loss, and when the insurance company confirmed it, it hurt.  I know a car is just a thing, and not something that I should get attached to, but I was genuinely sad when the first investment I ever made was totaled in the span if just a moment.

We took off on Wednesday, and this time, I was armed with a lot more knowledge than I was the first time.  I’ll get into the process of buying a car in a completely separate post.  But I’d like to welcome to the family my favorite car I’ve ever owned, and this time, I own it outright, no bank and no parents helping me…

Kia Soul

This is my new (to me) Kia Soul, which I bought after many a night spent poring over Consumer Reports, texting a friend’s husband who is big into cars, and after reminiscing over a test drive which spanned over North Carolina to Philly a few summers ago.  (I rented this car, and begged Austin to buy it for me, not knowing a few years later I’d total my car, and revisit this.)

I’ve never written a check so big in my life, so I was feeling some shock immediately after, but after that, and after getting the chance to drive it a little, even driving it a bit in the snow, I decided that this was one of my favorite cars I’ve ever owned.  It’s cute, it’s totally me, and I totally don’t have a car payment anymore.  Woo!

Promise, I will update you on the process of buying a car soon.

Now, with a traumatic few snow days behind us tell me….

What’s your favorite car you’ve ever owned?

Well hello there!

I took a few days off from blogging because of how crazy things have been over the past few days.  But don’t worry, I will fill you in on everything going in.

For one, remember how I said I would never drive a minivan? This is why you never say never.  After I managed to total my car (the Lancer is a total loss) I’ve had a lot of trouble with Metlife getting any answers on my car.  Which is a completely separate issue, which we can talk about later.  But the car that I’m being given in the meantime is a minivan.  And everything about it screams “mom”.  It’s a Maroon mom color.  There are like 6 seats in the back.  But the one really nice thing about the minivan is that it’s got mom features – it’s got the hands-free bluetooth thing, which is nice because I can work in the short amount of time that I spend in my car.

Second, I’m having huge issues with trying to get the issues with my car resolved, which I may have to address in a separate post.  But suffice it to say that I’m not satisfied in any way with my experience with the insurance company.  My understanding is that provided that you pay your insurance, that your insurance company is supposed to have your back, no?  That has not at all been my experience, and I’m getting extremely frustrated – I spent hours on the phone yesterday to try and get some of this resolved.  How do people do this?

My husband is back from China!  I am really excited, and he definitely had some stories for me. He talked about the flight (17 hours from Dallas), the air (very smoggy), and showed me pictures of the food, which looks good on him.  He said that the food was not super calorie-dense, and it showed – not that he needed to lose an ounce, but without the chance to work out while he was in China, he manged to slim down somewhat – very interesting!

What has your last week been like?  

First time for everything!

Broken LancerSo a little update about my car.

I may have totaled it.  Which is completely unexpected to me – the car doesn’t look that bad, but I would be absolutely lying if I said I was a car specialist.  I will keep you updated, but it’s a little sad…I bought this car about two years ago, and documented it here how it all went down.  I’m waiting for the insurance company to let me know what they think, but the guy who did the estimate said it was a “borderline total loss”.  Psh.  Once again, this is why we absolutely don’t drive while preoccupied, and why there is a such a thing as insurance.

First time for everything!

So, funny enough, when I got into the accident, I was coming from my first time at the chiropractor!

So, for a long time, Fleet Feet has had a partnership with a local chiropractor, and I’ve just sort of danced around the topic of going to get adjusted.  But about a month ago, I started experiencing some weirdness with my left shoulder, a lot of stiffness and an inability to move it around comfortably.  I took a lot of Aleve, begged Austin for massaged, and sought advice from a friend’s husband, who is studying to be a chiropractor now.  But I forgot about it, until I woke up with a pulled neck two weeks ago.

I described it, and still describe it as very Miranda-esque, I was working out hard the day before, and woke up with a stiff neck – couldn’t really turn it right to left, and the up/down was no good either.  Again, I did a ton of Aleve, some muscle relaxants, and slept a LOT, all while continuing to work out and teach my classes, so it’s taken a while to heal.  So I finally made an appointment at the Chiropractic Cafe in North Raleigh, and made my first appointment.

First impressions – I was really, really impressed with how they did patient intake.  Rather than getting to the office like 20 minute early for my appointment and filling out paperwork in terrible handwriting, there was a computer system for it where I filled out out my info, including my insurance info.  There was even a spot for you to upload an image of your insurance card!  The paperwork was thorough, but it was nice because I did it while on my couch, answered honestly, and never felt rushed to get it in before the nurse came out to get me.

So I get there, and was whisked back into the exam room pretty quickly, where I was able to describe, more in-depth, what was going on.  Dr. Rick (who also practices with his wife and a a massage therapist in the office) had be describe the pain and stiffness in detail, and then went over what the practice was all about.  This part was interesting, because it is a really holistic approach to health and wellness.  Now I’m not someone who’s against medications, despite the fact that I’m pretty healthy and into some weird natural things, I honestly believe that God made pharmaceuticals for a reason, however, I love to explore things like massage and chiropractic.

After explaining to me what the practice was all about, Dr. Rick got me on the table and examined me, going down my spine and pointing out to me problem areas.  He went on to stretch my spine (which felt AMAZING), and starting by having me breathe deeply and pushing down on some of the problem areas.  SO good.  Some of the pressure resulted in pops and cracking, and some didn’t, but the cracks felt SO satisfying.  Dr. Rick flipped me on both sides, and adjusted my hips – the BEST cracks of the day.  After that, he sat me up and worked on adjusting my neck, which didn’t feel so good when it was adjusted, but felt a lot smoother and much better afterward.

Of course, I left the session feeling great, and followed it up by crashing my car into a Rubicon.  So cray.

BUT I went back this week, and had an even better adjustment.  At this point, I definitely feel like my neck is on the mend.

I would say, if you’re thinking about trying a chiro out, give it a try, and give it a few sessions before you do.  It was cool, and a way to try and heal my neck (and my beaten-up body), without pumping myself full of meds.

Have you ever been to a chiropractor?

 

 

She was right…

I had a post allll scheduled and planned out for today.  Lala let’s talk about running/me eating vegan burritios!  Let’s talk about my first trip ever to the chiropractor!

But yesterday took the absolute cake.

I was actually coming from my first chiropractor’s appointment (which I’ll go into, but it was all good), and I’d almost made it over to work…

Spoiler alert:

Broken Lancer

I’m going to be an adult here, and completely admit that I was at fault here. 100%. I honestly was a little distracted – I was preoccupied with my blood pressure, which registered a little high at the chiro earlier. I was obsessing, and not paying 100% attention. There was one car in front of me at the light, which I saw sort of in my mind’s eye, and when it turned green, I just started to accelerate. Right into the back of the Rubicon in front of me. I hopped out of the car, and immediately made sure the super nice guy in the Jeep was okay. He was fine, his car was beyond fine, and he was just sorry that I’d managed to destroy my car’s hood so well.

Of course at that time, it started sleeting, and the police officer, who was so kind when he finally got there, probably took 30 minutes to get there.

She was right…

When I started driving, despite my lanky frame, I would scoot the seat RIGHT up on the steering wheel.  My dear mother would often joke that I drove IN the steering wheel, and would often admonish me not to scoot my seat so far, and I’d always wave it off.  She was totally right.  When I hit Mr. Rubicon, the first thing that happened was that my knees went straight into the dash.  They will be bruised tomorrow, which isn’t the worst outcome, but when I told my mom that she was, and always had been right, she brought up a good point.

“What if you’d broken a bone in your knees?”

She’s right – I would be devastated.  Injuries happen, but to injure myself horribly in a car accident in a way that would prevent me from moving around like the clinically-diagnosed ADHD person I am would be really hard for me.

My mother was right.

But seriously. 

I was driving distractedly.  I wasn’t horribly injured, and the only thing that’s really going to hurt is my bank account, but I could have hurt someone, and I’m not okay with that.  Stop worrying.  Put down your phone (DON’T DO IT), and DRIVE.

Ever get into a silly fender-bender?