Insane bill for damaged rental van

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Sep 10, 2018
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#1
I was in Florida in July and rented out a 15 passenger van for about 11 days. I waived liability insurance (i know i shouldn't have) but I have rental car insurance with my auto insurance. Unfortunately I hit a tree branch and dented the top portion of the side of the van from the passenger seat down to the back seat. You know s** happens but at least i have insurance. I get a bill 45 days later stating that the overall cost was $23k! My insurance covered 13K and the remaining balance is 10K that i owe. Included in that outrageous balance is $5k for 48 days "loss of use".

Do you think $23k is a reasonable amount for the damage?

I am currently doing back and forth with them on why did it take 48 days to repair and how are we certain that this van would have been rented out for all of those 48 days.

NOTE- Edited by moderator to remove unacceptable language.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,875
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www.promalvacations.com
#2
You can fight the loss of use. They have to prove it - while I can understand that you might be charged while it was being fixed because a van is a hard to come by rental car and highly sought after they still have to prove it.

Read this article and read the bottom on how to fight the loss of use. Tell them you want a detailed bill showing it. Many times they can't prove it.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entr...g-it-over-loss-of_us_584c0aa4e4b01713310510f9
 
Likes: Tanya
Sep 10, 2018
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#3
You can fight the loss of use. They have to prove it - while I can understand that you might be charged while it was being fixed because a van is a hard to come by rental car and highly sought after they still have to prove it.

Read this article and read the bottom on how to fight the loss of use. Tell them you want a detailed bill showing it. Many times they can't prove it.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entr...g-it-over-loss-of_us_584c0aa4e4b01713310510f9
Yeah that's exactly what I did. They responded saying it was in the lease agreement I signed. But I asked for documentation proving that the number 48 is legitimate rather than a number they just threw out there to steal more money from me.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,875
13,291
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#4
https://forum.elliott.org/threads/how-to-deal-with-a-car-rental-damage-claim.1514/

Read that thread and use some of it to fight the charge. You do day what car rental company you used but check our company contacts and if we have corporate contacts for the company start writing to corporate. They are the ones who can get those fees waived. We have instructions on the company contacts page tell you how to escalate the claim.
 
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
#5
I was in Florida in July and rented out a 15 passenger van for about 11 days. I waived liability insurance (i know i shouldn't have) but I have rental car insurance with my auto insurance. Unfortunately I hit a tree branch and dented the top portion of the side of the van from the passenger seat down to the back seat. You know s** happens but at least i have insurance. I get a bill 45 days later stating that the overall cost was $23k! My insurance covered 13K and the remaining balance is 10K that i owe. Included in that outrageous balance is $5k for 48 days "loss of use".

Do you think $23k is a reasonable amount for the damage?

I am currently doing back and forth with them on why did it take 48 days to repair and how are we certain that this van would have been rented out for all of those 48 days.

NOTE- Edited by moderator to remove unacceptable language.
See if the credit card you used to rent the vehicle has some coverage.
Do you have pictures of the damaged area?
Did they send you an actual copy of the repair bill, not just an estimate?
 
Sep 10, 2018
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#6
https://forum.elliott.org/threads/how-to-deal-with-a-car-rental-damage-claim.1514/

Read that thread and use some of it to fight the charge. You do day what car rental company you used but check our company contacts and if we have corporate contacts for the company start writing to corporate. They are the ones who can get those fees waived. We have instructions on the company contacts page tell you how to escalate the claim.
Company is called Carl's Rent-a-Van. I believe they are only in Florida. Not a big corporate company i assume.
 
Sep 10, 2018
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#7
See if the credit card you used to rent the vehicle has some coverage.
Do you have pictures of the damaged area?
Did they send you an actual copy of the repair bill, not just an estimate?

I am trying to upload a jpg image of the damage here but it keeps resulting in an error. (I'll keep trying)

My credit card has insurance but they don't cover vehicles over 9-passengers. The van i rented was 15 passenger :/

And they sent an estimate bill not the actual repair bill.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,875
13,291
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#8
We can’t accept pictures or attachments here, and it really doesn’t matter- we don’t need to see pictures to advise you.

Follow the information we have in the thread about fighting the damage claim. Tell them you will not pay anything without a fully detailed bill and proof of loss of use.

Have you asked your car insurance company what to do?

If worse comes to worse and Bob won’t provide you with a detailed bill and proof of loss of use- file a complaint with the Attorney General in your state.
 
Sep 10, 2018
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#9
Yea I also read an older discussion regarding "Diminished Value". They are billing me $3,500 for that which they calculated by taking 25% of total damage repair. That was not mentioned in the rental agreement so I'm going to point that out.

Also, they billed me for $500 deductible which was already charged to my credit card the day after i returned the van. They included that in the bill they sent me 2 months later so it's clear to me that their intent to steal as much money as they can from me.

I received the bill notice by email from an agency called Alternative Claims Management (ACM) and have been going back and forth with them. The Van company is a client of ACM. I plan on pointing out their sneaky and unjust ways of billing by email. I wanted your opinion on who to email, ACM or the Van rental company. I am thinking of threatening to sue. So who should be the receiving end of this legal threat?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#10
Yea I also read an older discussion regarding "Diminished Value". They are billing me $3,500 for that which they calculated by taking 25% of total damage repair. That was not mentioned in the rental agreement so I'm going to point that out.

Also, they billed me for $500 deductible which was already charged to my credit card the day after i returned the van. They included that in the bill they sent me 2 months later so it's clear to me that their intent to steal as much money as they can from me.

I received the bill notice by email from an agency called Alternative Claims Management (ACM) and have been going back and forth with them. The Van company is a client of ACM. I plan on pointing out their sneaky and unjust ways of billing by email. I wanted your opinion on who to email, ACM or the Van rental company. I am thinking of threatening to sue. So who should be the receiving end of this legal threat?
If you threaten to sue expect all communication to stop but collection activities to continue. Are you really planning on suing? If so find an attorney and do not ask questions here ask your attorney.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Sep 10, 2018
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#12
Hi again, I have been going back and forth with them requesting proof for their claims. Haven't received any proof for 48 days lose of use other than I agreed to it on the rental agreement. Also haven't got anything for diminished value which was not mentioned in the rental contract.

Here's the most recent email from the claims management company.

"The diminished value is based off of the amount of damage. Due to the vehicle having major damage, the max amount for diminished value is based off of 25%. It is not mentioned in your agreement and does not need to be. As long as the fee is mentioned in the agreement, my client has every right to pursue for the amount they are owed. The amount changes based on damage so every amount for diminished value varies. It would be excess to put the exact percentage in every single contract. We have provided everything we legally need to in order to collect. You are contractually liable to pay the claim."

I have not threatened to sue. I never sued before so that's why I am hesitant to send that message. What do you guys suggest?
 
Mar 17, 2015
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#13
Have you spoken with your insurance company? Your insurance company may very well have a document stating that the claim has been paid in full. Do you have limited insurance? I am not sure why you are not speaking with them about still owing money, that is why you purchase insurance. Insurance will generally cover proven loss of use and diminished value, if your insurance declined to cover, but paid everything else, then there was not enough proof. If you have limited insurance (only insure up to a certain amount of money), then you may be on the hook for some of this.

Have you followed the chain requesting proof? Keep asking for the underlying documents. They do have a right to pursue you, however, you have the right to see the documents they are using to base the claim on. They would have to provide this information in court if it goes that far.

I do think they need to prove up loss of use. Provide you with rental logs. 48 days is quite a bit of time for a vehicle to be out of service in most areas of the country for repair work. It is not unheard of, just a bit unusual.
 
Sep 10, 2018
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#14
Have you spoken with your insurance company? Your insurance company may very well have a document stating that the claim has been paid in full. Do you have limited insurance? I am not sure why you are not speaking with them about still owing money, that is why you purchase insurance. Insurance will generally cover proven loss of use and diminished value, if your insurance declined to cover, but paid everything else, then there was not enough proof. If you have limited insurance (only insure up to a certain amount of money), then you may be on the hook for some of this.

Have you followed the chain requesting proof? Keep asking for the underlying documents. They do have a right to pursue you, however, you have the right to see the documents they are using to base the claim on. They would have to provide this information in court if it goes that far.

I do think they need to prove up loss of use. Provide you with rental logs. 48 days is quite a bit of time for a vehicle to be out of service in most areas of the country for repair work. It is not unheard of, just a bit unusual.
Yes I have full coverage insurance with Geico. I followed up with them and they said that they don't cover loss of use. I asked if they obtained a release form signed by the rental company after damage repair cost was paid out, they said no. Should I call my insurance again and ask for another document that I can use for my case?

I did mention that 48 days was and insane period of time considering the damage was only the roof of the van and nothing internal.
 
Sep 10, 2018
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#16
***UPDATE***

I read other posts on this site regarding similar situations. I came across the letter posted by Joe Pharrell. I used that template and sent it over to ACM and two days later they emailed me saying they dropped the claim!! From $10k to $0 just by threatening to sue because they didn't provide documentation. These people are savages and I hope anyone who goes through this can use the same method to drop the claim.


Thank you all for the help! Much appreciated!!
 
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
#17
***UPDATE***

I read other posts on this site regarding similar situations. I came across the letter posted by Joe Pharrell. I used that template and sent it over to ACM and two days later they emailed me saying they dropped the claim!! From $10k to $0 just by threatening to sue because they didn't provide documentation. These people are savages and I hope anyone who goes through this can use the same method to drop the claim.


Thank you all for the help! Much appreciated!!
Great news!!