Insurance Company Pays Back

Human Services Spotlight Series #14

Insurance Company, Owner Disagree Over Cost of Vehicle Repairs

Sometime during April 2020, the complainant tried to have her auto insurance company (the subject) pay for necessary repairs to her vehicle. The complainant said she had been making monthly payments of $329 for her coverage over an extended period. The subject refused to cover the costs of repairs because, in its estimation, the expense exceeded 80% of the vehicle’s value. The subject offered to deem the vehicle a total loss but the complainant disagreed.

The subject told the complainant it would be willing to cover the repairs if she got a lower estimate. The complainant got a written estimate for an amount less than the 80% threshold but the subject still refused to cover the repairs.

The vehicle owner filed a complaint with this department. The consumer protection investigator contacted the subject to try reaching a resolution. The subject told the investigator the company would cover the costs of the repairs if the complainant obtained a contract for the actual repairs. The subject also requested the complainant sign a release form to have the payment made directly to her.

Upon receiving the required documentation, the subject wrote the complainant a check for $3,200 to cover the costs of the necessary repairs less the complainant’s $300 deductible.

Protect – Regulate – Investigate – Educate

Sometimes it is hard to spot fraud when it is happening. Scams can be large or small, sophisticated or simple, but the people behind them have two things in common: They want to steal your money and avoid being caught. The reality is anyone could fall victim to a scam, no matter your age, intellect or economic status. Most consumer transactions are
completed satisfactorily. On occasion, however, any consumer could experience unresolved problems such as defective products, erroneous bills or nondelivery of goods or services.

When you are confronted with such a situation, the dedicated employees of Pinellas County Consumer Protection are here to help you. Investigators are available to speak with you regarding a consumer transaction at (727) 464-6200 or email