Thursday, June 07, 2007

Hail to the Cavaliers!

My sister and brother-in-law live in Minneapolis where they recently experienced a hail storm. My sister enjoyed watching the spectacle but later found that her 2001 Chevy Cavalier had been damaged. Here's her report and an interesting question.
The insurance company (Progressive) totaled my Cavalier. The cost to repair the (cosmetic) hail damage was higher than the listed value. We decided to keep the car and accept the check. We are stuck with a salvage title, but the car has low mileage and no obvious problems as of our last oil change. Joel decided that we probably wouldn't be able to find anything better for just under $4000, so it wouldn't be wise to give the car to Progressive just to get an extra $900 from the settlement. Even if the little pock-mark dents bothered me, a lady that works with airlines for insurance claims told me (while I was volunteering at the hospital) that sometimes the dents pop out if you leave the car out in hot sunshine. We'll see. Now we have $ to add to savings and still have a working car.

Joel noticed that the one "old" car in our parking lot didn't get dents from the hail. All of the cars that looked under 10 years old did. Are we using cheaper metal? Are you "safer" in an old "boat"?
What do you think? Are newer cars made of thinner metal? Cars from the 50's and 60's definitely were made of heavier steel. And today's cars are specifically designed with lighter components to increase mileage and performance. I wonder would a 1990 Jaguar have fared any better in a hail storm?


Laura said...

We once watched a program on safety - focusing on seatbelts, airbags, etc. It was interesting to see that early cars were made without regard to the passenger's safety. They were made so they would stand up to any sort of accident. They showed one early "crash test" where the car was rolled down an incline, and it came to rest, upright, at the bottom, with no damage that could be seen. Of course, if there had been a passenger in the car they would have many broken bones! Perhaps some lighter metals are welcome in cars these days.

Andy Rupert said...

But wouldn't it be better to have both instead of just one. I'd like a safe car that doesn't get wrecked up during an accident and that protects my body from harm.