Call for Action: The case of the confusing deductible - New York News

Call for Action: The case of the confusing deductible

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Call for Action is starting out this new year by living up to its name: getting action. A woman who had lost her job was on the hook for $1,000 after a car accident.

Janet West says she never thought she owed that much money, but couldn't get the insurance company to hear her out. Unable to get help, she turned to FOX 5's all-volunteer negotiating team.

It stated with a car accident. At the scene, she says the insurance company told her that her deductible was much lower than she thought -- only $250.  But that didn't add up, according to West.

"The first person I spoke to, she didn't seem very sure of herself, so I asked to speak to a supervisor and he told me $250. He handed me off to another customer service agent and she quoted me $250 as well," said West.

She got her car in the shop, but getting it out was another matter.  Apparently, her deductible was actually $1,000.

"So in order to get my car out of the shop, I had to pay the $1,000 which I didn't have because I'm unemployed," said West.

She paid, but wanted a refund. Frustrated, she called Call for Action.

"They kept saying that their recorded messages don't lie.  But I knew what I had heard. And the police there heard $250, and the tow truck driver heard $250. But they continued to tell me that's not what they told me," West said.

After months of trying, one of the Call for Action volunteers finally got someone on the phone who said get either the police officer or the tow truck driver to back up her story and they'd refund her money.

"After Mary and I had worked seven months to get this cleared up, four days later they sent me check.  I was tickled about that, so tickled," West said.  

She was happy enough to consider jumping on board with the Call for Action team who works to solve consumer problems.

"It's got me inspired. I want to volunteer now because I want to help other people get their cases resolved," said West.

West says she had a repair shop lined up that would allow her to pay her $1,000 deductible in payments.  But the insurance company insisted it was only $250, so she sent her car to their preferred shop. When the deductible was found to be $1,000, that shop, she says, wanted full payment.

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