Friday morning my father and I drove to the rental car location to pick up the aforementioned monstrosity. My provider offers collision coverage for rental cars (but not, as you know, roadside assistance), so I've developed a thick skin to an agent's hard sell tactics for added insurance. But then comes Mr. Sunburn.
"Yeah, your insurance provider would cover an accident, but you're still responsible for the high deductible. Our basic coverage is only $15 a day, and you're renting for two days. You don't have to worry, even if someone else hits you."
I hesitated; normally I rent cars for a week or more, when the insurance costs become prohibitive. $30 was low for peace of mind, particularly when I can't control the actions of other drivers. But my father was firm.
"No, we don't need it."
"So you would rather have to pay the high deductible?"
I braced myself. "Yes, that's correct."
"Then you'll need to thoroughly check the car for all scrapes and dents and fill out this form before you leave."
He seemed to ease up, and we proceeded with the transaction. Then he asked, "So, what are you going to see this weekend?"
"The Grand Canyon," I replied.
"Ohhhh-kaaaay," he said, which meant he thought I was a moron.
Flashes of all sorts of potential mishaps cross my mind. The obligatory image of minivan-falls-down-a-canyon was included. I decided, then and there, not to mention a word of this anxiety to others, at least until the minivan was returned without fanfare.