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Car owner caught between insurance company and dealership over towing fees

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(KTVI) – A small business owner started the New Year with a bang.  And it was not a festive occasion.

The woman’s parked car was no match for a speeding motorist.  When the two meet one or both vehicles will end up needing a tow truck.  Stephanie Hall learned the hard way how costly that can be.  Hall owns N' Touch Styles & Cutz, a newly opened barber shop.  It is located on a Goodfellow Blvd.  And traffic moves fast.  One night while Stephanie worked inside her shop,  she says a speeding car sideswiped her SUV.  “New Year's Eve my vehicle was damaged in front of my business.  Police towed the car to get it out of traffic.”

Since the holiday was followed by the weekend, she couldn't reach her insurance company.  And the other driver has no insurance so Stephanie says she was forced to let the vehicle sit in tow yard.  “I had to figure out how I was going to get it out of the tow and they would reimburse me...up to a reasonable amount.”

That amount, $225.00 was paid by her insurance company.  About five days after the crash Stephanie had her vehicle towed to the dealership where she bought the car.  She says what happened next surprised her.  “They denied it and the tow company sent it right back.....which meant more storage fees were being accrued.”

According to the shop manager, there was no way he would pay almost nine hundred dollars to the tow company for towing and storage.  Stephanie’s insurance company didn't want to pay it either.  So it sat for another week or more.  In the end Stephanie told us she was without a car for 22 days and she paid $1,050 out of pocket to finally get it into the shop for repairs.  “In a situation when I needed them to kick in for my policy or whatever I pay for, they didn't follow through with it.  It left me in a bind.”

Adding to her stress was knowing the lender wanted the vehicle and was willing to pay the tow company almost three times the amount of the bill.  Stephanie says had she not gotten the vehicle out before the lender got to it, she would have ended up paying the higher amount.  “It would have been approximately $3,500 more on my loan and a repossession on a car. I feel hurt because I am one who believes if you pay your car insurance, you pay your bills and everything will be ok.  Well it smacked me in the face.  It's been very depressing for me. “

Stephanie's insurance company Rodney D. Young was bought by a Texas company.  When I talked with the new owners, I was told that Stephanie's claim was reviewed and she was issued a check for over $800 dollars to cover her out of pocket expenses.

 

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