Case Study

CASE

Auto insurance: Vehicle rental and storage insurance coverage

Airbag exploded at a car accident. Car Crash

Synopsis of Complaint:

The consumer had full coverage on their vehicle, until the insurance company realised that the consumer had repaired damages to their vehicle themselves from a previous accident. The consumer had used payment from the insurance company to finish the repairs. As a result, the insurance company revoked the consumer’s coverage and requested full documentation of the completed repairs from the previous damage, which the consumer did not provide. Without the required documents, the insurance company could not reinstate the full coverage but failed to notify the consumer of this action.

During this time, the vehicle was involved in another collision and the consumer assumed that the vehicle was insured, leading to a dispute. After several months, the insurance company agreed that coverage should have been added to the vehicle and agreed to handle the claim. The consumer wanted to take a settlement and complete the repairs himself, as he had done previously. The insurance company insisted the vehicle was a total loss and needed to be disclosed as such. Meanwhile, the vehicle was in a storage facility that the insurance company did not approve of and was incurring storage fees.

The consumer also requested for a rental vehicle to use while his vehicle was awaiting repair. The insurance company refused to pay for the storage charges or the rental.

Review by GIO:

The Consumer Service Officer (CSO) contacted the consumer to get more information on the delays and why he required a rental. The consumer discussed his prior claim experience and felt insurance company set a precedent by allowing him to repair a previously damaged vehicle without needing the repairs to be disclosed. The consumer ultimately decided to accept the insurance company’s settlement for the vehicle, but the dispute about the storage charges and rental request needed to be resolved.

Resolution:

The CSO contacted the company’s Ombudsman and said that the rental was needed because the consumer’s vehicle was not drivable. The consumer should have been entitled to a rental from the date of the accident as he carried rental coverage on his insurance. The Ombudsman agreed to reimburse the consumer for the rental cost.

The insurance company also agreed to reimburse the consumer 50% of the storage fee, as the insurance company had not asked where the vehicle was located and did not request approval from the consumer to move the vehicle to a storage facility during the dispute. The consumer agreed to this offer.

GIO is an independent body set up to help Canadians find a fair resolution to disputes with insurance providers. GIO can provide advice on dealing with your insurance company as a first step. If you are not satisfied with the decision from your provider on your claim, GIO can help resolve your claim. 

If you’d like to submit a claim visit here.

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