Woman’s car damaged, then insurance company refuses to pay because she called the police 2 hours too late
By Lauren Victoire
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WOODSTOCK, Ill. (WBBM) – Having your car damaged in an accident is bad, and getting your insurance claim denied is even worse.
And that’s exactly what happened to a suburban woman who contacted us. CBS 2’s Lauren Victory told you her story as a warning to all drivers: check your clock!
Ironically, Elena Flores was walking up the trash can in her driveway when she noticed her car had been ransacked. She doesn’t know by whom or when.
“It dented the entire back of the back panel,” said Flores, who lives in Woodstock.
The repairs will cost him at least $ 1,000. Flores believes it will be closer to $ 4,500 out of pocket when all is said and done. His insurance company refuses to pay a dime.
“I’ve never even filed a complaint before. I never had a ticket. I have a blank file, ”said Flores.
The problem is his timing. Phone logs provided to CBS 2 show a 26 hour and 13 minute period between Flores calling her insurance provider to file a claim and her car damage report to Woodstock Police.
American Freedom Insurance denied her claim on the grounds that she had not called the police within 24 hours. Apparently it was two hours too late.
“I understand if I was in an accident on the street. Normally, of course, someone calls the police, ”Flores said.
No one was hurt and she noticed the damage after the fact while she was in her driveway – so what’s the urgency of calling the police? Flores appealed to American Freedom Insurance and lost.
“I’m like, ‘How do you sleep at night knowing you’re doing this? He said to me: ‘I sleep well.’ “, did she say.
“I hope an insurance company would be a little flexible,” Doug Heller said after CBS 2 explained Flores’ case to him. Heller is a nationwide insurance expert for the Consumers Federation of America.
As he pleads for more leniency in Flores’ case and believes at least some providers give their policies wiggle room, Heller said a 24-hour deadline to call the police is not uncommon. .
“It’s an anti-fraud measure,” Heller explained. “They want to make sure people don’t crash their cars and say ‘Oh, someone else did it.'”
He’s not suggesting that Flores did something illegal. His situation is more of a warning to others.
“You can’t always bring the police to the scene of an accident, but it’s worth the effort to have it registered to have a formal defense of your case,” Heller said.
“It’s like they always deny the claims because they can,” said Flores fiery.
Several other clients are complaining of seemingly minor refusal reasons on American Freedom Insurance’s Better Business Bureau page.
Unfortunately for Flores, the company has reviewed her claim as per CBS 2’s claim and is sticking to their decision.
We asked Woodstock Police about the idea that calling them – or any service – about a small accident or damage could be inconvenient or a waste of resources. The chief urges everyone to report accidents, even minor ones.
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