Vista Family Stuck In Neutral Over Insurance Claim

NBC 7 Responds helps steer Vista Family toward resolution in a dispute over an auto insurance claim.

Ryan Bennett was in Orlando, Florida for work when he got the call every father and husband fears: His wife and 13-month-old were rear-ended on an exit-ramp from State Route 78 in Vista. The good news, no one was hurt.

“I was helpless,” said Bennett. “I had no idea what to do in that situation.”

The other driver’s insurance company, AAA Auto, agreed to pay for the $8,000 in damages the couple’s new Ford Focus.

The repair, however, was going to take four weeks to complete.

Bennett was forced to get a rental car with the understanding that AAA Auto insurance would reimburse him for the cost.

“We were as responsible as we could possibly could have been, renting a vehicle that was similar to the size of our car,” said Bennett. “We took everything into account.”

But nearly five weeks later, after getting their car back and submitting the rental car invoice to the insurance company, Bennett says AAA Auto Insurance declined to send a check for the full amount of the rental.

“It was pretty shocking. They told us we’d only get reimbursed for the state tax and not the fees for renting the vehicle,” said Bennett. 

For Bennett and his family that meant they were forced to pay nearly $300 for accident that he or wife did not cause. 

“I was furious,” added Bennett. “We have a toddler and we have expenses we have to account for. That was not one of them.” 

Bennett decided to get in touch with NBC 7 Responds to help steer the matter in the right direction. 

Two days later, Bennett said he got a check in the mail, for the entire amount of the rental car. 

“I’m just a father, a husband, trying to do the right thing for his family.”

In a statement to NBC 7 Responds, a spokesperson for AAA Auto Insurance said an invoicing issue was the reason for the delay.

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