Insurance company doesn't care if chairs attacked my car
|Me vs. chairs by Chris Henderson
Insurance companies seem to have funny definitions of things. "Fixed objects" for instance. Just because something is usually found in a house, or on the patio, does not make it a fixed object. "Fixed object" means, to me, something which is in its proper, permanent, place. Not the middle of the freeway. At 10:00 p.m. When it's a chair. Even when it's a patio chair. See what you think:
I was driving home, at ten o'clock on a Friday night, from a party at which I was required to be a "company wife". This was fine with me, it was a very happy occasion, and they fed us all. And I know, right here you're wondering what else I ingested. I don't drink alcohol. Ever. Sugar has not been positively proved to cause lapses in judgment. Since I had driven to my husbands' office, in Sunnyvale, and we live in Gilroy, I drove myself home, alone, so we wouldn't have to go back and get my car. Dumb move!
I was flying, I mean driving, sedately, south on 101, minding my own business, singing along with the radio, very glad I had changed out of my floor-length evening gown and ridiculously high heels, when I came upon an idio...that is, another motorist, who was plodding along at 55 mph in the fast lane. I am not prone to road rage, or even road rudeness, so rather than attempt to explain to him, calmly, that his driving was moronic (besides, the fool was in front of me, he couldn't hear me yelling; I know this because he never once turned around and looked at me)...
Where was I? Oh, calmly deciding to pass. On the left, of course. My left, not his, he was in the fast lane, remember? And besides, merely passing is not in itself a violation. Not a big one. And he wouldn't pull over. My lights don't go any brighter. And you can only flick them on and off for just so long before your fingers get really tired.
Well, anyhow, I was passing, at a perfectly legal 65 mph. Even floored, it takes a couple of seconds to get up to speed. Aiming for 75 is not the same as going 75. So, I was passing this guy, with someone else passing me at the same time on my right, when suddenly there were two patio chairs directly in front of me. So I hit them. No place to swerve, no time to stop, 65 mph, I just hit them. It's not like there was anybody sitting in them! The way the insurance company reacted, you'd have thought I did it on purpose. Like I went out and hunted down a pair of chairs to hit. It's not like I almost killed somebody. Other than me, I mean. I don't think they would have cared so much if I had killed myself, they don't carry my life insurance. Not since the last...Never mind.
Luckily for me, all I got was two big dents in the hood and side of my car, and a very flat tire. Now, theoretically, my husband was behind me. I was worried that he would see my very recognizable car on the shoulder, and panic. Wrong, again. I called his cell phone with my cell phone, to warn and reassure him. Surely, he'd be terribly worried about his beloved wife, who just spent 4 hours standing in 5 inch heels for his benefit, like a ham sandwich makes up for my aching feet, and nobody made a speech thanking me for all the late nights, and weekend afternoons, nobody noticed I was slathered in makeup, and had hair that looked like a...Well, anyway, I thought he'd be worried. Now, he NEVER turns that crummy phone off. 6:00 am on a Sunday morning, some genius forgets it's a day later in Japan, the phone rings, because it's NEVER off! Does he answer now? In years he hasn't turned the phone off, but now, of course, "You have reached the voice mail of". The phone didn't even ring, it just went straight to voice mail. I called, and called. After about 20 minutes I figured not only wasn't he going to answer, he sailed right past me! Singing along to his own radio, no doubt.
I'm no dummy. Slow, maybe, but not stupid. I knew he'd be worried when he got home and I wasn't there. I called the house, left a message, told him not to worry, somebody was coming to change the tire for me, the engine was fine. Yes, I can change my own tires, when I'm not wearing long, fake fingernails which would hurt a lot to just break off. I changed out of the gown and heels, there was nothing I could do about the nails. By now, it's 10:30. When I left the house that afternoon it was very hot. It was no longer hot. I was freezing, I had to stand out in the cold while the tire was changed.
At last the tire was changed and I drove home. I went into the house, expecting a frantic husband, prepared to calm him down, and soothe his fears for his beloved wife. After I woke him up, he asked me who the message was from on the machine.
I was dealing with this evidence that the honeymoon is over when the letter arrived from the insurance company. I won't tell you who they are, I don't want to be cancelled as well as insulted, but they wrote:
"The driver of your vehicle is principally at fault...Insured struck fixed object (chair)."
I am writing back to inform them they appear to have missed a couple of points. A: I didn't hit a chair, I hit TWO chairs! B: THEY WERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FREEWAY AT TEN O'CLOCK AT NIGHT!!!!! I hardly think they are "fixed objects" in this instance.
I want to know, if a meteorite plummeted out of the sky, and hit my moving vehicle, would they say, "Insured hit fixed object (rock)"? I say, chairs don't belong in the middle of the freeway, and this is not a hazard for which I should have been prepared. Why do I care, since the insurance is paying to fix my car? Because my policy expires in a month, and I don't want the rate to go up! I'll keep you posted.