3 On Your Side

Enterprise Rent-A-Car denies $13K stolen car claim

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A Phoenix man thought buying optional insurance offered for his rental car would be a good idea. But when that car was stolen, he says the insurance denied the claim and now he's going to be out nearly $13,000.

Ian Burnette is on the road a lot, delivering people and food.

"I drive for both Uber and Postmates and Postmates is a platform similar to Uber," Burnette said. "You just deliver food and sometimes small parcels to people."

Burnette makes those deliveries in his personal car, which he just got back from an auto body repair facility.

But while his car was being fixed, he drove a rental car, which he rented from Enterprise.

And when he filled out the paperwork, he even chose to purchase Enterprise's optional damage and theft insurance just in case something happened.

"I mean it's a jungle out there," he said. "You really just don't know and I figured $15 a day, I was hoping it was going to mitigate any serious issues should it arise." 

And, a "serious issue" did happen. Burnette said when he was making a delivery to a Mesa apartment complex, he left the rental car running, took his key fob with him and got out.

That's when someone jumped into the rental car and took off.

"I was kind of in denial at first," Burnett said. "I thought maybe I just walked to the wrong end of the building and as I looked around I realized no, the car was stolen." 

Police eventually recovered the vehicle but it was damaged and stripped. As for the damage and theft insurance he purchased, Enterprise Rent-A-Car denied the claim and said Burnette would have to pay to fix the car out of his own pocket.

"Ultimately, this is culminating into me receiving the invoice for the liquidated loss of the car, which is just under $13,000," he said.

3 On Your Side got involved and Enterprise wouldn't budge.

In fact, the company sent us its policy, which it says clearly states that renters are supposed to "... ensure that Vehicle's ignition is turned off at the time Vehicle is stolen" or the claim will be denied.

"It unbelievable that I'm the victim in this scenario not the perpetrator and I'm being asked to foot the bill," Burnette said. 

So, 3 On Your Side reached out to Burnette's personal car insurance, The General.

The General initially denied Burnette claim, but at our urging, the company said it would look into it again.

Burnette said he hopes his insurance will cover the $13,000 loss because he certainly can't afford it.

"I've never heard of this happening to someone being asked to foot the bill for a stolen rental car," he said.

We're still waiting to hear back from Burnette's personal car insurance for an official decision. We'll let you know if the company approves or denies the claim.

Copyright 2017 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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