Why is Enterprise making a damage claim against me?

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By Christopher Elliott

Sarah Baker just got surprised with a damage claim from Enterprise car rental. She says the vehicle was in perfect condition when she returned it. Enterprise seems to disagree. So what’s going on here?

Question

I recently rented a car from Enterprise. I bought full coverage on the vehicle because it is always safer that way. When I returned the vehicle a representative from Enterprise inspected the vehicle inside and out. He gave us the green light that everything looked great and we were good to go.

A few days after, we received an email from the Damage Recovery Unit through Enterprise. The report said damage was found on the vehicle we just rented. We immediately called the Enterprise location from which we’d rented the car and asked about the damage claim. A manager said that it must be a mistake and to delete the email and everything would be fine.

A few weeks later, I received another letter from Enterprise that said there was indeed a damage claim filed under my name. I called the Damage Recovery Unit and they explained to us that our local branch had filed the claim and that a manager said it was a mistake.

I was astounded at this news because we had not damaged the vehicle. Then I visited our local Enterprise branch and a manager told me the same thing — the damage claim was a mistake. But the Damage Recovery Unit would not drop its claim.

My concern is that someone is filing a completely false insurance claim under my name. Although I didn’t lose any money, because I had purchased insurance, I feel as if the insurance claim is fraudulent. Can you help me get this claim dropped? — Sarah Baker, Culpeper, Va.

Answer

If an Enterprise representative gave you the green light after you returned the vehicle, there shouldn’t be a damage claim. (Related: Are car rental employees rewarded for finding dings and dents on your vehicle?)


Proper documentation is necessary to make a valid claim. Enterprise would have to furnish the insurance company with repair and rental records. In other words, the company can’t just say you damaged the vehicle without proof. But you say you had “after” pictures of the car that shows no damage (good job!) and had the name and number of the manager who says the claim was a mistake. So something’s not right here. (Related: An unmarried driver fee? How enterprising.)

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Was this insurance fraud, as you suspect? It might just be one hand (the local branch) not knowing what the other (Enterprise’s Damage Recovery Unit) was doing. Then again, I’m looking at another Enterprise damage claim case right now that’s almost identical to yours. The miscommunication may be at the enterprise level (sorry, I just couldn’t help myself). (Related: She lost her engagement ring in a rental car. But what’s this $452 bill?)

Hey, Enterprise, this damage claim does look a little suspicious

Enterprise’s damage claim looked a little suspicious. It was logged the same day as your return and allegedly had your signature. You would have remembered signing that document, wouldn’t you?
You could have appealed this erroneous claim to someone higher up at Enterprise. The Elliott Advocacy research team lists the names, numbers and email addresses of Enterprise’s executives in our company contacts database. (Related: Enterprise claims indisputable evidence of rental car damage.)

I contacted Enterprise on your behalf. Separately, you also contacted the police and filed a report. Enterprise dropped its claim.

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

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