Moving? Your insurance might not cover damage, theft of a rental truck. Here's what to check

ByMichael Finney and Randall Yip via KGO logo
Thursday, October 27, 2022
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Budget threatened a couple with a $26,000 bill after thieves stole their rented moving truck. Why the couple's insurance wouldn't cover the loss.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- Soon-to-be newlyweds received some unwelcomed news after they discovered thieves made off with their moving truck.

Those trucks aren't cheap. The couple tells us Budget Truck Rental threatened to send them a $26,000 bill. It wasn't the way they envisioned their marriage getting started.

Life couldn't have been going better for Cassidy Landers and her fiancé Jacob Gonzales.

"Next April 23," Landers proclaimed.

"Yep," Gonzales confirmed.

The couple looked forward to their wedding day after a long COVID delay and nine years of dating.

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They were friends in high school for about three or four years before being a couple.

Both of them speak German and Japanese. They've both lived together in Japan. And they got engaged on a mountaintop in Berlin.

The couple planned to move into a bigger apartment and rented a truck from Budget.

But when they went to the spot where they had parked the car overnight, a different truck was parked there.

The two did not want to believe what they saw with their own eyes.

"Maybe it got towed by the city. Like maybe we parked in a red and didn't notice," said Landers.

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"I called the rental office and I said 'Hey, you know, you didn't come and get the truck early, did you?'" asked Gonzales.

"Like we're trying to come up with all of these explanations. Like the last thing we want is the truck is stolen," Landers said.

They said Budget told them they would be responsible for the $26,000 needed to replace the truck if it was not recovered.

Gonzales and Landers filed a police report, and sent out alerts on social media hoping someone would spot the truck.

They are trying to save money for their upcoming wedding.

"And then to have it stolen and potentially be on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars, was heartbreaking," Landers said.

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Landers and Gonzales said they declined insurance from Budget because they thought their policy under their credit card would cover it.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

The trade group the Insurance Information Network tells us the policies under each credit card vary. Consumers should call their credit card company and ask for a copy of the terms.

The Information Network also tells 7 On Your Side your personal car insurance will likely not cover moving trucks or vans. Again, check with your carrier. If that's the case, you're advised to purchase the rental company's insurance policy.

Someone on Next Door suggested Landers and Gonzales reach out to 7 On Your Side.

They did and we contacted Budget. An executive contacted them a week later.

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Landers didn't believe what she heard.

"I'm just like, 'I'm sorry? I would like to confirm that you have said we are not financially liable for this vehicle,'" said a shocked Landers. "And he says, 'Yes, that's correct.' And I'm like, 'Just one more time, I just want to check.'"

The couple can now breathe easier and look forward to their wedding.

"There's a really beautiful Japanese garden that's the venue," they said.

Budget did not respond to our requests for comment, but we have to thank them for forgiving the debt. Don't forget -- make sure you understand the terms of the insurance you can get through your credit card and personal auto insurance.

You can find more information from the Insurance Information Network.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

7OYS's consumer hotline is a free consumer mediation service for those in the San Francisco Bay Area. We assist individuals with consumer-related issues; we cannot assist on cases between businesses, or cases involving family law, criminal matters, landlord/tenant disputes, labor issues, or medical issues. Please review our FAQ here. As a part of our process in assisting you, it is necessary that we contact the company / agency you are writing about. If you do not wish us to contact them, please let us know right away, as it will affect our ability to work on your case. Due to the high volume of emails we receive, please allow 3-5 business days for a response.

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