Insurance question (homeowners and auto) and Body Shop question

This has not been a good day.

In preparation to our move to the Middle of Nowhere, I recently drove my car to the UP of Michigan. I arrived today, and went out to have a drink with my brother, his wife, and some friends. I drove back to my parent’s house, got out of my car, and happened to glance at the front end. ARRRGGGHHH! My front end was SMASHED in - someone had obviously backed into my car. No note, no nothing. Just a smashed-in front end. WTF?

My car, if I haven’t mentioned, is a BMW Z3. I was planning on leaving the car here in anticipation of our move. There is not a BMW dealer in 150 miles. There are, however, bodyshops here in town. I think this is body work only. At least, I hope so. Because I drove 12+ hours today, and it’s nearly 1 am, I’m not thinking straight. But I’m hoping that tomorrow I can call the police, file an accident report, and go about finding someone to fix my car.

Which leads to my first question - this obviously happened while I wasn’t around. I didn’t notice it until I was back at my parent’s house. My car was fine when I left my parent’s house - I know that because we were all out gagaing at my car. I realize I should probably call the cops right now, but it’s 1 am, and I’m beat. If I call 'em tomorrow and file a claim report, will my insurance pay for the damage? Pleeeassse say yes!

Question #2:

I’m in the middle of nowhere. Chances are the body shops around here have never seen a z3, much less worked on one. However, there are 6 or 8 body shops in the immediate vicinity. Is body work something that, if I find a quality shop, I have a decent chance of getting done right? Any non-body work I needed done I’d definitely drive the car to a BMW dealer to have done; however, I’m hoping that maaayyybe if there’s a quality body shop in the area, I can get this done without having to drive the car 100+ miles away. What do you think?

OK, cut: here’s another subject entirely.

I just called Mr. Athena to tell him about all this. We’re both understandably quite upset - we just paid $500 to get the bumper fixed on this car, and it’s already screwed up again. Mr. Athena’s been out of town, and he just pulled into the driveway as I called him. He walked upstairs while I was on the phone, only to find our roof was leaking. Again. This house is only 5 years old. The roof has leaked 3 times now. The first time, the house was under warantee. I called the builder, they ‘fixed’ it. The second time was a year ago. The house wasn’t under warantee, but I called the builder anyway. They came out and looked at it, and told me that they didn’t really think there was anything wrong with the house, that it was an anomoly that it leaked, and they weren’t gonna do anything. Yeaaaaah. I didn’t believe them, but also didn’t follow up on it (I know, I screwed up). Mr. Athena did a quickie patch job on the drywall in our bedroom. Well, here it is, a year later, and the roof is leaking again. It appears to only happen during heavy rain, which in our area, only happens in the spring. Our house is up for sale. Needless to say, this looks bad. We need to get it fixed. What’s our choices here? Is there any chance our insurance will pay for it? Like I said, the house, and the roof, is about 5 years old. Any advice?

Thanks for reading all this. This has NOT been a good day.

As far as not calling the cops until the morning… Unless you had it parked at some place that had cameras or someone would have noticed it there’s probably not much chance of actually catching ther person. If I were in your shoes I would probably call the police in the morning, tell them I just got back from where ever (ie shopping, church, etc…) and noticed it. You really only need the police report for the insurance claim. As far as body work goes, the insurance company may ask you to use a certain body shop, so you might not have much choice. But yes, a good body shop will make it look like it never happened, if they do a less then perfect job you could just take it back, or contact your insurance company and ask them what to do.

I’ll second Joey P on the body shop thing. Any quality body shop should be able to take just about any make of car and make it look just like new. All the original equipment parts are available to them, they often get parts through a dealer, and they can get paint to match pretty much any color, as it is custom mixed.

When they are done, you should not be able to tell that the car was in an accident. If you can, they haven’t done their job right. Look at the car in full sunlight, at different angles, and check the gaps between panels for consistency.

There’s no need to fabricate why you didn’t go to the police station right away. Just explain that you were busy and try to get there asap. The collision portion of your insurance will cover the damage and having to pay a deductible will depend on what kind of collision you’re carrying. If it’s standard, you’re stuck. If it’s broad, your deductible will be waived. If your insurance company can recommend a body shop, then you might want to use it, because they’ll guarantee the repairs. Then if you do use their body shop and you’re not satisfied, then the insurance company will act on your behalf to correct the problem. If you use one you’ve chosen and aren’t satisfied, then you’re on your own to work it out with the body shop.

As far as your homeowner’s question, I would have an adjuster come out and determine the cause of the leak. It’s the only way they can verify if it’s covered by your insurance. There are some exclusions for water damage and it depends on the cause. Also, your loss has to be “sudden and accidental”, which obviously excludes things like a leak in the roof that’s been causing damage over a period of time. So I’d give them a call.

I used to sell insurance in Michigan I’m not sure if all of this will apply to your insurance, since you said you’re moving. I know you’ll love your new life as a Yooper. It’s beautiful up there. Good luck!

For insurance questions you have to talk to your agent, there really isn’t any other way.
Yes, my agent told me I can get insurance that would cover something like that for a car,
I forgot what it’s called but Im sure someone here can remind me.

I just got my car repaired. Wha the insurance company asked me to do was go to their claims office. There they asked me where I was getting it fixed. I just picked one. They did the estimate, very thorough. Said it would be $863. Gave me a check for $863. I cashed it and put it in the bank.

I made the apt with the body shop. Brought it in, gave them the estimate sheet from the Ins. Co. They fixed it, looks like new. The cost??? $863. I said, slightly surprised, “Wow, the estimate was exaclty that”. He said, “funny how that works out, wink wink”.

Any parts the body shop doesn’t have for your car, they can get.

Well as far as the homeowners insurance goes you need to have a problem with a covered loss, such as wind hail ect. If it is poor
workmanship of the roof itself it has a slim chance of being covered.

Yes, you should be fine. Cars are built very similarily regardless of make. As long as you get a “good, repuatable” bodyshop you should be fine. I live in a small city in Northern Alberta and a body shop I go to has worked on Ferrari’s and Lamroghini’s even though the closest dealers are hundreds of miles away. I wouldn’t hesitate as long as I knew they were good.