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Auto Insurance Complaints

Complaint 2 of 9 in "Other Issues"

Insurance Carrier: Nationwide Insurance Company
State: Georgia

Consumer Complaint:

A customer brought her 05/06 Camry into my auto detail shop to have scratches removed by buffing for a charge of $205. We buffed the car, removing most of the scratches, but some were too deep so we only charged half price. Customer picked up the car and then accused us of causing rock chip damages to her paint. She then took the car to Nationwide Insurance claiming my business caused the damage and now they are demanding payment


Insurance Expert Answer:

Factual questions are always hard to determine, and there are "he said, she said" issues with the truth often lying somewhere in the middle. That's why we have courts.

You have several choices. First, your business probably has a business owners policy that has some liability coverage built in – and if so you could notify your carrier and let your carrier deal with her claim. What that may do to your rates and ability to get insurance in the future I can't say (perhaps nothing, perhaps a lot).

Second, you can deny that you did any damage and tell Nationwide she's not telling the truth, the damage was there when she brought the car in, we will not pay anything -- in essence they have the choice of suing you or letting it drop.

Third, if they want to sue you, they have to prove her story. They may say it's not worth the effort, or may bring suit as a matter of policy to show how serious they are. In that case you have to defend.

This is NOT a problem on an insurance policy, however, but an ordinary commercial dispute between you and a customer, in which her insurance company is pursuing a subrogation claim.