Spelling mistake almost costs customer claim payout

Published: April 2, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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If customers want a lesson in how checking every detail of the auto insurance process is vital, they should look to Carolina Ayala. The Toronto-area woman was unable to cash a claims check due to a simple spelling error.

The story starts five years ago when Ayala was involved in a collision in her Nissan Versa. The 2011 vehicle was deemed a write-off by her insurance company when she still owed $21,000 to Nissan Canada Finance. Ayala paid off the full amount and claimed to her insurance company. When the claims check for $8,000 (the current vehicle value) arrived, it was made out to Nissan Canada Finance and Ayala.

In other words, Nissan Canada Finance had a right to the claim and was named on the cheque. The insurance company was unaware that Ayala had paid off the vehicle in full as her credit report did not show the payment.

Equifax and TransUnion did not acknowledge the error, so Nissan Canada investigated and found Ayala’s name has been spelled wrong on her files. The company was then able to recognize the “full and final release for (the) specified vehicle”.

The insurers were informed and agreed to make the necessary amendments. Ayala said she was relieved when she got a new cheque and was able to cash it.

There is a lesson for customers in this story. Chiefly they should ensure every aspect of their insurance and vehicle purchases for any mistakes, not just spelling errors.