It’s been raining out here. A lot.

No, scratch that - make it a helluva lot.

I understand that, being Fall, it’s expected that leaves will gather on the ground, blocking storm drains and causing water to back up on roads. I also understand that driving your car through excessively large bodies of standing water is not generally advised.

However, I do not understand driving through standing water and ending up with this:







(Click on images for larger versions)

Once I’ve laid out the scene of the crime, as it were, I’ll explain what exactly happened to my car…

I was driving westbound on Lougheed Hwy. towards the intersection of Lougheed and King Edward; I was going to turn north onto King Edward to get to the Canadian Tire store to do some shopping. Thanks to the miracles of modern technology known as Google Earth and Photoshop Elements, I even have visual aids:



The arrow shows my direction of travel, the blue area represents the water on the roadway, “B” shows where I stopped my car after I encountered “A,” which was a tree branch that was submerged under the water.

Considering that the water wasn’t that deep (I don’t know exactly how deep it was but I was able to move through it as long as I drove slowly), I find it hard to believe that a tree branch could be big enough to do so much damage to my car - but what can I say? There was no other vehicle involved (or indeed, anywhere near me at the time); that’s what brought me down.

After the impact (with a suitably loud noise), I was able to back my car up a bit from position A and get to position B where I waited for a bit until I could get back into traffic; the car stalled shortly after I pulled over which must have been due to getting bogged down somehow when I hit the branch - it appears I flooded the car (pun not intended) because after waiting a few minutes the engine started up and the car ran with no problems. I pulled back into traffic on Lougheed and went home, all thoughts of Canadian Tire gone from (what passes for) my mind.

Of course you all know what comes next…the dreaded insurance claim.

I lucked out in some ways but not in others.

Luck: The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), the company I have my insurance through, allow you to file claims either by phone or online…my claim was simple enough that I was able to file online.

Not Luck: My claim doesn’t fall under Comprehensive as I’d hoped, but under Collision - which means that my rates would go up if I go ahead with the claim.

Luck: I discussed this with an ICBC rep and was told that my total rate increase would be about $60…split over 3 years. I can live with that since it’s bad enough I have to pay a $300 deductible to get my car fixed.

Luck: My preferred body shop has a branch close to where I live, plus they have an on-site claims assessor (which means I didn’t have to make a separate appointment to get the damage inspected), plus they have free loaner cars.

(Sorta) Not Luck: I can’t take the car in to be fixed until next Friday.

While I’m pissed at the situation, it could definitely be worse in a number of ways…I could have damaged the car to the point that it wasn’t drivable, the damage could have been so extensive that the car could have been written off (unlikely under the circumstances but when you consider I’ve had a car shot by the police - however, that’s a story for another day), my rates could have gone through the roof, I might not have had the money to get the repairs done…so I think I got off pretty lucky.

If I EVER find that tree branch, though, I’m gonna take a dull chainsaw to that motherfucker and make it pay for what it did.

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