It’s horrifying enough to lose a loved one in a car accident, but to then be told you’re on the hook to fix said vehicle, well that’s just a nightmare scenario. The daughter of a woman who was struck by a car and killed while walking home says the driver’s insurance company, PURE, tried to go after her for more than $6,000 in repairs to the 2012 BMW.
Although it was technically the 70-year-old woman’s fault — she was “not walking in a crosswalk” say cops — her daughter tells the New York Post she was “shocked” when PURE sent her a letter demanding money.
“She wasn’t just my mom, she was my best friend,” she said of her 70-year-old mother, who had emigrated from Ecuador in the 70s and survived stomach cancer.
The driver wasn’t issued a ticket, as there was no traffic light or crossing walk where the woman had attempted to cross. Her daughter was looking into suing the driver for negligence, claiming the woman could’ve paid better attention to the road, when she got a letter from PURE demanding $6,245.09 to fix the BMW.
“Our investigation shows that your client was responsible for the accident,” the letter said. “We now look forward to your client’s estate for payment of the damages to our policyholder’s vehicle.”
The daughter’s lawyer says insurance companies don’t usually try to collect damages from the victims of such accidents, and indeed, the company changed its tune after the Post contacted its president.
PURE reversed its position with the below explanation and apology:
“Our sympathies go out to the family and loved ones of [the victim]. . . as a company policy, as well as due to the extremely sensitive nature of this tragedy, we are reluctant to go into great detail about the circumstances of an open claim. We can confirm it would not be our policy to pursue recovery of damages in a case like this. We acknowledge that a letter was written and sent by an otherwise excellent claims professional. . . that created the impression that reimbursement would be pursued even if there was no applicable insurance. This runs counter to our position, and [the claims professional] should not have written the letter.’
Makes us wonder how often this “otherwise excellent” claims professional has sent similar letters demanding payment — and who approved such a thing, if it’s not company policy.