BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -Did you know that if you drop off your car at a repair shop and it gets stolen, you may be ultimately responsible? One College Station woman found that out the hard way.
Sheree Boegner had her 2002 Dodge Ram 3500 diesel truck towed to a repair shop in Bryan. The repair shop looked over her truck and gave her a quote. To her surprise, she received a phone call from the shop the next morning asking her if she had come to pick up her truck overnight. It became apparent at that point that her truck was stolen.
Boegner says it’s something she never expected. When she got off the phone with the repair shop, she reported her stolen truck to the Bryan Police Department. It was ultimately found a short time later near the repair shop in a ditch. What she learned next, is what she says shocked her the most.
“I found out the shop did not have security cameras. I also learned one of the things that a shop should have is called ‘garage keepers liability insurance’ so if anything were to happen to one of their customer’s vehicles while it was in their care, it would help cover the damages,” said Boegner.
“I reached out to the shop owner and said, ‘hey I really need your insurance, I need to be whole, this happened under your care, it’s your fault this happened’”, said Boegner. “They were like, ‘no we’ll just deal with your insurance.’”
Boegner wants to warn others about choosing repair shops wisely. Because of the insurance that the auto shop carries, her insurance will bear the responsibility of replacing her truck with one of lesser value. The shop in question carries standard liability and not garage keepers insurance, which goes a step beyond to cover thefts and other accidental damage to customers’ vehicles.
“People just need to be aware of where they’re dropping their vehicle off, and what will happen if something happens to their vehicle,” said Boegner. “It bothers me that a business owner doesn’t care about the vehicles left in their care.”
Daniel Armbruster with AAA Texas says when choosing a repair shop, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions, and always do your research.
“How long have they been in business? Do they have any complaints on the Better Business Bureaus website? What is the feeling that you get when you walk into that facility? Are you greeted? Is the staff friendly?” said Armbruster. “You don’t want to find out later on that they don’t have the right type of insurance to cover any damages or losses and certainly, you want to make sure your vehicle is going to be well taken care of while it’s in that facility.”
Armbruster also recommends using tools like the Better Business Website and AAA.com to find AAA-approved repair shops. He says the AAA Approved Auto Repair (AAR) designation tells consumers that this repair shop rises above the rest.
Boegner says the worst part of the ordeal is the shop’s refusal to take some type of responsibility for the theft, especially seeing that the keys were found in the vehicle where the truck was found.
“When I got to the scene the keys were still in the vehicle,” said Boegner. “That happened on June 8th and I still haven’t heard from them and it’s over a month, not an apology, not ‘hey did you find anything or how’s it going?’”
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