(WSVN) - The driver who hit him had insurance, but her insurance company refused to pay for his repairs because their customer refused to talk to them about the accident. Is that legal? The answer is here, in tonight’s Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

When Marlon has some spare time, he likes to hit the road as an Uber driver.

Marlon Campos, insurance won’t pay: “Just get out there and make some extra money.”

Marlon says most passengers are nice. It’s the drivers on the road that caused his problem.

Marlon Campos: “I had a car in front of me, and then all of a sudden, somebody slammed into my rear, causing me to hit the car in front of me.”

Marlon and his Uber passenger were OK. His vehicle was not.

Marlon Campos: “The car behind me was completely smashed. My car was completely smashed in the back.”

His front end was damaged after being pushed into the car ahead of him, but there was a rarity in the accident for South Florida.

Marlon Campos: “You know, realize that everybody on the scene had insurance, the person that hit me, I had insurance.”

In fact, Marlon and the bad driver have the same insurance, but they refused to pay through the at-fault driver’s policy because — are you ready for this? — they say their client won’t discuss the accident with them.

Marlon Campos: “Because every time they would schedule her to come in and give her side of the story, she wouldn’t show up.”

Marlon then asked them to pay through his policy … and got smashed twice.

Marlon Campos: “They denied my claim with my policy because they said I was driving for Uber.”


Marlon Campos: “‘Because we found out that you work for Uber, we’re not going to renew your policy.'”

Uber’s insurance did agree to pay, but their deductible is $2,500, which Marlon can’t afford.

And Marlon wants the insurance company of the driver who hit him to pay for the damage she caused.

Marlon Campos: “I find it unfair that an insurance company can just deny your claim when their driver is clearly at fault.”

Two people have the same insurance company, which won’t pay through either person’s policy. Needless to say, Marlon feels like he is in another wreck.

Marlon Campos: “Yeah, I’m losing from every side. From every single side, I’m losing.”

Well, Howard, can a car insurance company refuse to pay for the damage their customer caused because that customer won’t talk to them?

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “Yes, they can, because it’s in the contract between the at-fault driver and the insurance company, and Marlon has no right to force that insurance company to pay for his damages because he is not a party to their contract.”

We tried to contact the driver who hit Marlon. She treated us like the insurance company and wouldn’t talk to us, either.

We contacted United Automobile Insurance Company, who insured the at-fault driver.

Their rep said, “We did nothing wrong in Mr. Campos’ claim and no further comments.”

So, Howard, as a driver, how do you protect yourself?

Howard Finkelstein: “First of all, have your own insurance to cover your damage. Marlon was driving commercially for Uber, so his personal insurance would not pay. The other option? Sue the at-fault driver in small claims court.”

Marlon Campos: “I mean, shame on the insurance.”

Marlon will now go through Uber’s insurance. He says, after the $2,500 deductible, he gets $1,900 to try to repair his damaged SUV.

Marlon Campos: “It was a very frustrating experience.”

It’s surprising that if the driver who causes an accident refuses to cooperate, then their insurance won’t pay for the damage they caused, but it will cost the woman in this case. Since she won’t cooperate, they don’t have to repair her car, either. It’s why we do Help Me Howard. We learn something new every day.

Feel like a wreck? No one cooperating with you? Smash through to get in touch with us, and let us insure you get the help you need.

With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.

Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
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