Bill form Sedgwick following rear end of my Budget rental in MN

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Jan 13, 2020
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Hello All,

I just discovered these forums and I saw a few threads which were similar in nature and advice which led to successful case/claim resolution. So I am sharing my own story and asking for some help.

I was rear ended in MN on a highway in my Budget 2019 Rav4 in Nov2019. The accident was deemed 100% fault of the other driver, though I do not have official documentation attesting to this. I do not carry collision on my Liberty Mutual insurance so they are officially not involved, though they explained the other driver's insurance, Main Street America will get this resolved. In early Jan 2020 I received a bill from Sedgwick explaining that the other driver's insurance, MSA, has paid about $7250 of a $9050 bill and I am liable for the rest and if I do not pay I can be put into collections or sued. I do not think I should be charged anything as this is 100% fault of the other driver. But of course I don't want to be sued or go into collections

In response to this I have done a few things:
1. Jan 10th, 2020: I filed a complaint with the MN state commerce department against MSA explaining the situation
2. Jan 10th, 2020: I sent a letter via certified mail to Segdwick which brought up two points: (1) the written bill they sent me and the online bill display different amounts and I cannot pay until I understand this discrepancy, (2) MSA has not even paid the damages in full per itemized bill and hence the bill should be lower.
3. Jan 10th, 2020: I sent a letter via certified mail to MSA bringing up two concerns: (1) the driver is 100% at fault, why has MSA not paid the bill in full? (2) why has MSA not paid at least the damages in full per itemized bill? (3) notified them of the complaint with the MN state commerce department and (4) said that at my option, I may sue their driver or MSA to recover the fees imposed by Budget onto me.

I have also corresponded directly via e-mail with the MSA agent. Her direct words: "You do not owe for any of those fees. Direct them to me. We already paid what was due. Those fees are not owed, and if they want to fight it they can attempt to do so in arbitration."

After discovering this forum, I feel as if I should have sent a certified letter to each of the listed Budget executives one week in between each letter explaining the following:
1. I am not at fault. The other driver is 100%. I do not owe these fees.
2. I have not been provided a claims file and therefore have no evidence of loss. The claim file can be turned over to me now or during litigation.
3. MSA has communicated that Budget has failed to prove their loss of $9050 to MSA, therefore paying $7250. MSA requests that Budget arbitrate any further losses with MSA instead of me. I'll provide contact information.

What do ya'll think?
Is it better to communicate to the executives via certified USPS mail or via -email.
Prior to communication with executives, do I send an e-mail to the Budget customer service line first? And also to the escalation form?

Thank you!
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
Follow the instructions in our post on how to fight the fees by writing to Budget. Sedgewick has no reason to settle because they won’t get their fees if they do.

Our successful cases are usually only ended when the executives at the car rental company- not the billing company- get involved. And use email.
 
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weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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Although you do not have collision insurance on your own policy, Liberty Mutual insurance is still your insurance carrier and they should help you fight this if you get them involved. Call your Liberty Mutual agent ASAP.

MSA probably paid the actual damages but not the loss of use and diminished value charges. Insurance rarely covers these charges. Budget's position is that you owe any charges related to damages/losses while the car is in your possession regardless of the at fault party.
 
Jan 13, 2020
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Although you do not have collision insurance on your own policy, Liberty Mutual insurance is still your insurance carrier and they should help you fight this if you get them involved. Call your Liberty Mutual agent ASAP.

MSA probably paid the actual damages but not the loss of use and diminished value charges. Insurance rarely covers these charges. Budget's position is that you owe any charges related to damages/losses while the car is in your possession regardless of the at fault party.
My agency has been in communication with me for advising purposes but is not going to get officially involved in any litigation because of the lack of collision. And yes, I totally agree that if the case is that MSA does not pay for admin fees, etc etc, I am contractually obligated and my only option is to go to small claims against the other driver. However, per the itemized bill I received, MSA has not paid the damages in full either. It was short of a few hundred bucks.
 

VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
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Should you continue not to carry collision coverage on your personal policy, I strongly recommend that you purchase the rental car coverage going forward. That will protect you in lieu of no collision coverage at all. This was a fortunate incident for you, but if you are at-fault you could be paying thousands for the repair/replacement.

If, however, you rent cars a lot, adding collision coverage may end up less expensive . . .
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
2,937
3,818
113
Maui Hawaii
My agency has been in communication with me for advising purposes but is not going to get officially involved in any litigation because of the lack of collision. And yes, I totally agree that if the case is that MSA does not pay for admin fees, etc etc, I am contractually obligated and my only option is to go to small claims against the other driver. However, per the itemized bill I received, MSA has not paid the damages in full either. It was short of a few hundred bucks.
If your insurance agency "is not going to get officially involved" in your claim you need a new insurance agency. This is why you pay them, regardless of whether or not you have collision coverage.

As an aside, if you rented a car without taking the rental agency insurance and did not have coverage on your own policy, you were playing auto rental roulette. What would you have done had YOU rear-ended someone and totaled your rental?
 
Jun 12, 2019
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If your insurance agency "is not going to get officially involved" in your claim you need a new insurance agency. This is why you pay them, regardless of whether or not you have collision coverage.

As an aside, if you rented a car without taking the rental agency insurance and did not have coverage on your own policy, you were playing auto rental roulette. What would you have done had YOU rear-ended someone and totaled your rental?
Even with another agency, there is only so much they can do if you don't carry first party coverage(collision/comprehensive). The bare minimum is to deny liability and be prepared to defend that position. While investigating liability, the adjuster should share all of the information that was used to make that decision such as police reports, the other party's information, scene investigation photo and notes. The adjuster should also give all of the State's disclosures and provide the legal forms that needs to be filed. They should also be there to answer any questions regarding the process. What they are not able to do is to collect any payments on behalf of the insured because they don't have any subrogation rights. They may call the other rental company for clarification of the DM and loss of use and help review the documentation. They may help with the negotiation of those fees if the adjuster is not super busy. They are most likely not going to give any small claims advice or assist in that process since that would be giving legal advice. I have personally went above and beyond to help when I was not busy and I have also did the bare minimum when I was swamped.

In the OP case, fault is not the issue. The rental company is charging those junk fees because they can. The OP signed a rental contract that says that they would be responsible for all charges. The rental company is going to go for the easiest route to collect, which is the renter. If the OP had collision coverage, the most that they would be responsible for is the deductible and the insurance company is going to negotiate directly with the rental company. If they fail to do this and the rental company went after the OP, this can be considered bad faith and expose the insurance company to a lot more than the 2k difference. Some states allow third party bad faith claims but you may need to get a lawyer if the the Department of Insurance will not get involved.

At the end of the day, whatever you have to pay out is owed by the person who hit you and you can pursue this in small claims. If you are able to get a judgement, then the other insurance company may owe for it. The rental company will need to prove the DM, Loss of Use and Admin fees are owed, which could be a challenge. Good luck on all of this and I would agree with what others have said on getting the Damage Waiver if you are going to rent if you don't carry collision.