Thursday, 28 January 2010 11:34

Phoenix Claimant Hit with Shop Storage Charges by Insurer

With the help of a Phoenix TV station’s consumer crew, a Phoenix photographer, Mark Lane, has obtained a reduction on a $1,300 shop storage bill  accrued while the at-fault driver’s insurer, Infinity, waited to resolve the claim with the insured. The crash occured when the insured driver ran a red light. “Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a car in the number three lane blow right through the light,” Lane said.
Lane took pictures of the accident scene and the light-running driver who was cited for causing the collision. Since Lane’s car was not drivable, he had it towed to a Valley collision center and then got in contact with Infinity Insurance that very day. Lane says he waited days to see if Infinity Insurance would repair his wrecked car or if they would simply total it.
    After not hearing from Infinity, Lane called them and was told “Until we hear from our insured driver, can’t do anything about it until we hear from him or until the accident report comes out.” His wrecked car sat at the collision center waiting for Infinity to make a decision for a month. Infinity told him they would total his car and cut him a $3,400 check.
    Lane says the amount sounded fair until Infinity told him they planned deducting $1,300 in order to pay the collision center for storing his vehicle the entire time.
    According to Lane, Infinity Insurance told him that he should have had his car towed to his house and parked it in his driveway instead of having it towed to the collision center. That way it wouldn’t have racked up all those storage fees. Lane says he can’t have a wrecked car parked in his neighborhood. He never heard of such an odd request.
    Infinity argued that Lane was required to “keep expenses minimized” and by allowing his car to remain at the collision center he did not do that, hence the $1,300 storage fee.
    “They’re saying it’s my responsibility to not incur anymore liability toward them,” Lane said.
    Eventually Infinity Insurance agreed to pay the collision center after the collision center decreased the amount.
    Lane says he never should have been “tangled up in this mess or been held responsible for charges in any way.”
    An online reader pointed out that Lane should be pursuing the driver that hit him, as all damages should be the responsiblity of the at-fault driver. The insurance company should be the other driver’s problem.