Ask Amy: Help dealing with insurance after a car accident, bank fraud mess

Car accidents are already a headache and then you have to deal with the insurance company. Sometimes getting help for your consumer problem is all about knowing which agency regulates the business you are having issues with. From dealing with insurance after a car accident to a bank that is taking too long fixing fraudulent bank charges, we have answers to common issues many of you might also be facing.

Have you ever had to play phone tag with an insurance company? It’s not fun. Miriam emailed Amy after her parked car was hit in a parking lot back in September.

Q: “We contacted the other party’s insurance company and they are just giving me the runaround. The lady handling my case has sent us numerous excuses. The insurance representative only emails us, we have never talked to her. All I want is for them is to fix my vehicle, please help me!”

A: The Texas Department of Insurance regulates the state’s insurance industry.

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If you are having trouble getting an insurance company to respond to you, file a complaint and they will work to resolve it. Last year, TDI returned $46 million dollars to consumers through refunds and higher claim payments.

Viewer Viki had five fraudulent checks wipe out her checking account and she’s tired of waiting on the bank to fix the problem.

Q: “(My) Bank allowed 5 fraudulent checks to wipe out my checking account in two days in the amount of over $4,000. It has now been 20 days and the account has yet to be corrected. Only one check was reversed timely. I am told it will take up to 30 days. My only option is to open a new account with more personal money. Is this normal?”

A: One good resource you can try to get the bank moving quicker is This the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s website, the federal agency that regulates banks. You can call or email and they will reach out on your behalf.

Holiday shopping warning: Have you ever been approached by one of those salespeople in the electronics department of a big box store, asking you to switch your cell service? We did a story this week on what started out as a question about this. A Houston couple says they took the bait and signed up for a new cell plan with a guy who said he worked for AT&T. We found out he is actually a third-party contractor. When the couple didn’t get the phone they paid for, that made it very difficult for AT&T to find their order and straighten things out. See what you need to know before considering a cell switch.

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About the Authors:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.