Sedgwick Claim?

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Feb 28, 2019
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#1
I rented a car from Avis in November of 2017. A drunk driver hit a bunch of cars, including mine, parked in street parking spots by the side of a street. Fortunately for us, police were around and left a note on my windshield. Avis sent a tow truck and sent a replacement car for me. I then went through all the procedures to file a police report and submitted all the right documentation with Avis. When I returned the replacement car at the end of the rental, the Avis representative assured me that everything was covered and I was good to go.

Fast forward to December of 2018 - I get a call from Sedgwick Claims saying that I'm liable for damages because I "didn't include the license plate of the other vehicle". That was incorrect, as it was included in the police report and I told them I have the documents to prove it. They never followed up.

Fast forward to February of 2019 - I get a call from Sedgwick Claims again, this time saying that the driver's insurance covered the damages but that I have a balance of ~$1,000 due to "loss of use" and "admin fees".

I tried to get back in touch with them to clarify this but the number left in the voicemail (1-844-859-1291) leads to a different company. When I try calling Sedgwick Claims directly (1-877-925-5580), I got transferred to 4 different departments, none of which could find the claim number mentioned in the voicemail.

Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance.
 
Mar 14, 2018
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#3
The other driver is responsible for all losses you incurred due to their actions and their liability policy should be covering those losses. (You are incredibly lucky they are insured.) They don't get to simply refuse to pay loss of use and admin fees--They need to negotiate that with Avis/Sedgwick or you.

I'd suggest contacting the other driver's insurance company and asking them how they want to proceed. They may have already obtained a release from Avis before paying the other damages. If not, they may agree to settle with Avis on your behalf.

If they refuse to do anything, make sure to get this in writing. At that point, you may have to pay Avis and then sue the other driver in small claims court. (Their insurance company will very likely settle before trial.)
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,762
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#4
The other driver is responsible for all losses you incurred due to their actions and their liability policy should be covering those losses. (You are incredibly lucky they are insured.) They don't get to simply refuse to pay loss of use and admin fees--They need to negotiate that with Avis/Sedgwick or you.

I'd suggest contacting the other driver's insurance company and asking them how they want to proceed. They may have already obtained a release from Avis before paying the other damages. If not, they may agree to settle with Avis on your behalf.

If they refuse to do anything, make sure to get this in writing. At that point, you may have to pay Avis and then sue the other driver in small claims court. (Their insurance company will very likely settle before trial.)
While that is true, that’s now how the rental companies work. The renter is responsible for damages while the car is in there possession until the claim is paid in full. If you bought the rental companies insurance, they will usually handle this for you.

If you didn’t, they don’t care who is responsible and who isn’t. The renter is responsible for the damages and that’s who they go after. So it’s on the renter to do all the work to get this claim resolved .
 
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Mar 14, 2018
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#5
While that is true, that’s now how the rental companies work. The renter is responsible for damages while the car is in there possession until the claim is paid in full. If you bought the rental companies insurance, they will usually handle this for you.

If you didn’t, they don’t care who is responsible and who isn’t. The renter is responsible for the damages and that’s who they go after. So it’s on the renter to do all the work to get this claim resolved .
Maybe I wasn't clear. Legally, you are right: The OP is responsible for Avis's losses. The other driver is responsible for the OP's losses. The liability insurance company is responsible for the other driver's losses.

At the end of the day, the liability insurance is going to pay for the losses. For this reason, they usually bypass the chain and its expenses and deal directly with Avis. And they did in this case, but didn't cover all of Avis' claim.

It's very possible that the insurance company got an agreement from Avis that their payment was a full settlement of the claim. If so, Avis shouldn't be coming after the OP for the balance. If not, the insurance company will probably negotiate directly with Avis to settle this. I don't think the OP needs to go through the time/hassle of fighting Avis directly.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,762
15,369
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#6
Maybe I wasn't clear. Legally, you are right: The OP is responsible for Avis's losses. The other driver is responsible for the OP's losses. The liability insurance company is responsible for the other driver's losses.

At the end of the day, the liability insurance is going to pay for the losses. For this reason, they usually bypass the chain and its expenses and deal directly with Avis. And they did in this case, but didn't cover all of Avis' claim.

It's very possible that the insurance company got an agreement from Avis that their payment was a full settlement of the claim. If so, Avis shouldn't be coming after the OP for the balance. If not, the insurance company will probably negotiate directly with Avis to settle this. I don't think the OP needs to go through the time/hassle of fighting Avis directly.
Have you read some of the similar issues we’ve had? The consumers are usually the ones that have to get involved to get the two companies to talk and even negotiate getting rental company fees lowered or dropped. I am basing my comments on the history we have here.

Should this have to be done? No but this is what the car rental companies put the renter through when they don’t buy their insurance unfortunately.
 
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Mar 14, 2018
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#7
Yup, I've read all the similar issues. They're usually because the consumer is trying to make a claim against a collision/comprehensive policy that doesn't cover loss of use/admin/diminution of value. This situation is a bit different, in that the claim would be against a liability policy that does.

Because of this, I don't see why the consumer would want to go through all the time/effort to fight the claim with Avis. That should be done by the entity that will eventually have to pay (the insurance company).
 
Mar 14, 2018
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#9
Haven’t there been cases where insurance will not pay for loss of use?

Chris Elliott did write about this issue

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/advice/2016/10/30/rental-car-loss-of-use/92878126/

The insurance company of the drunk driver may have refused to pay for it.
We've seen lots of them. But as far as I know those have all been collision policies as opposed to liability policies.

I would guess the insurance company did refuse to pay. But in that case, I'm surprised they didn't get a settlement agreement before paying the other parts of the claim (in which case Avis shouldn't be coming after the OP).
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#10
We've seen lots of them. But as far as I know those have all been collision policies as opposed to liability policies.

I would guess the insurance company did refuse to pay. But in that case, I'm surprised they didn't get a settlement agreement before paying the other parts of the claim (in which case Avis shouldn't be coming after the OP).
Maybe the insurance company got a settlement agreement for their client (the drunk driver)and now the claims people and trying to grab it from the OP? Not at all sure how those things work.
 
Mar 14, 2018
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#11
Maybe the insurance company got a settlement agreement for their client (the drunk driver)and now the claims people and trying to grab it from the OP? Not at all sure how those things work.
I think it's possible that Sedgwick settled with the drunk driver's insurance company and is now going after the OP for the excess (which they shouldn't be able to do). Or that Sedgwick is trying to bypass the insurance company's claims process.

Either way, my guess is the insurance company wants to control the negotiation/settlement. That's why I think the first step for the OP is to talk with them and coordinate.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#12
I think it's possible that Sedgwick settled with the drunk driver's insurance company and is now going after the OP for the excess (which they shouldn't be able to do). Or that Sedgwick is trying to bypass the insurance company's claims process.

Either way, my guess is the insurance company wants to control the negotiation/settlement. That's why I think the first step for the OP is to talk with them and coordinate.
Do yo think the insurance company will speak to the OP?

I would suspect the insurance company would only be looking out for interests of the insured -- ie their interests.
 
Mar 14, 2018
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#13
Do yo think the insurance company will speak to the OP?

I would suspect the insurance company would only be looking out for interests of the insured -- ie their interests.
Sure. I've always dealt with the other person's insurance company when the other person has been at fault. They'd much rather negotiate a settlement directly with Avis than pay the full amount plus court costs when the OP files a small claims case.
 
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Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,762
15,369
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#14
None of these claims have been dropped by going back and forth with Sedgwick- they were dropped because the consumers started corresponding to the Corporate offices of the car rental company. Once the letters go to the Executives it seems these get dropped.

Start using our Company Contacts as we recommend in the post I gave you.
 
Mar 14, 2018
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#15
None of these claims have been dropped by going back and forth with Sedgwick- they were dropped because the consumers started corresponding to the Corporate offices of the car rental company. Once the letters go to the Executives it seems these get dropped.

Start using our Company Contacts as we recommend in the post I gave you.
No one has suggested that the OP negotiate with Sedgwick.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#16
Sure. I've always dealt with the other person's insurance company when the other person has been at fault. They'd much rather negotiate a settlement directly with Avis than pay the full amount plus court costs when the OP files a small claims case.
Good to know thank you. I am insured and fortunately have never had an accident -maybe because I drive so infrequently. With rental cars — mostly in Europe — I take full coverage — and have had issues there but with the coverage I never hear from them.
 
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Feb 28, 2019
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#17
Appreciate all the responses. I will write to Avis directly and let you know how it goes.

Strangely, I've been trying to get an email correspondence going with Sedgwick but they never actually reach out even though I gave them my email and they said they will reach out.
 
Feb 28, 2019
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#19
I started by contacting customer service at Avis (custserv@avis.com) and then the primary contact (corey.harp@avisbudget.com) but have gotten no response so far. Sedgwick called and left a voicemail saying that this will go to collections on 3/18 so I'm escalating to the secondary contact (joe.bartee@avisbudget.com) today. Is this something I should be worried about? Is there any way to fight it? I'm willing to take legal action if necessary.