Yep, the verdict is in, my wife’s Explorer is officially scrap. It only took 5 weeks and three days for the insurance companies (yes, plural) to come to this conclusion. The body shop knew the day after I dropped it off.

What happened? Back in November, I was rear-ended while towing a u-haul trailer. I previously posted about it here and here. The force was focused through the trailer hitch, making for a single point of impact. As the hitch moved forward, it crumpled the floor pan and pulled both sides of the car inward. The shop said they would need to replace the floor from the front seats back, both sides would have to be realigned, a new quarter-panel was needed on the right side, the hatch would have to be replaced, and there may be hidden damage in the roof. They stopped writing after hitting $12,000 in repairs and that didn’t include any of the rear electronics which quit functioning.

So, why did it take so long for them to figure it out? Well, we were trying to keep the costs down by working directly with the other fellow’s insurance, The General. It was pretty clear who was at fault since the fellow who hit us received a citation. But The General started using delaying tactics - first they couldn’t get a copy of the police report (I provided them a link to download it themselves), then they had to wait for a physical copy of the police report (but they accepted the electronic copy I sent them via e-mail), then they couldn’t reach their insured by phone so they couldn’t accept liability until they reached their insured by certified mail. All the while, we were out a vehicle and they wouldn’t pay for a rental which we needed for holiday travel. That was the last straw. I contacted my own insurance company and filed a claim.

Now The General will face subrogation costs in addition to the full rental costs and the retail value of our Explorer. What’s that, you ask? Nearly $17,000.

It’s time for us to start shopping. Our rental runs out in about a week, so we have to have something in hand by then. My wife really, really wants her Explorer back. I told her we could either buy another one or a newer model, but she exclaimed, “It won’t be the same!” I’m thinking she might like one in red.

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