Smelly Car Insurance Claim

by Julie
(Fort Lauderdale)

The Case Of The Smelly Car Insurance Claim

The Case Of The Smelly Car Insurance Claim

This happened to a client of mine while I was working at an agency in Florida.



She had had this company for only a couple of years, and had put in a few claims in the past, so when she called me with this one, my eyebrows definitely went up.


Here is her story:


Apparently, she lived in Florida but had family in New York but didn't want to drive to New York, so she took the train and put her car, a 2007 Kia SUV, on the car train.


Somehow, she ended up in West Virginia, where she got off the train and waited for the porters to get her vehicle off the train. Lo and behold, the car, which was black, had strange white spots on it and the interior smelled like fish.


She spent almost three weeks in West Virginia, I am not sure why, but she never made it to New York, because her car was smelly and it had spots on it.


When she returned to Florida, she came directly to our office and explained the situation to me at length. My boss was not in the office that day, and so I had to handle this one myself.


I went out to see the vehicle and to verify the supposed damage. There were spots on the car, but I felt that they could be removed by washing the car.


As far as the interior of the vehicle went, it really did smell bad, but it was clean as far as I could tell, so I never did figure out where the smell came from.


The customer was very upset and was threatening to sue Amtrak because she said the porters vandalized her vehicle by giving it spots and making it smell bad.


When I suggested she have the car professionally detailed, she hit the roof and complained to my supervisor that I was being unfriendly or was making fun of her.


I really wasn't, but you have to admit that if your car has spots and smells funny, its time to clean it.


I don't think she actually ended up submitting the funny insurance claim, but I know she wrote a series of nasty letters to Amtrak regarding this incident. If you call them, they will probably know exactly who I am talking about! :)

~Julie








Hi Julie,

That was great. I've never heard of anyone filing an insurance claim because of their smelly car.


I can imagine a stinky car would be a somewhat common occurrence from half eaten lunch bags stuffed under the seat or someone pulling a prank and deliberately smelling up someone's car.


I vaguely remember some show where people put a bag of shrimp under someone's seat and made their car smell horrendous. I suppose if I was the victim I wouldn't find it funny at all! :)


Thanks for the great story. I hope the lady broke down and had her car cleaned properly. Why you'd want to be stubborn and live with the smell is beyond me.

Safe Driving!
Angie from Auto Insurance Helper

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