Omaha woman pushing for further investigation into claim involving Club Carwash

One customer questions why her claim against the car wash was denied.
Published: Dec. 28, 2022 at 10:28 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - During this winter warm-up, thousands of drivers will go through a car wash.

Club Carwash, with four locations in the Omaha area, washed more than 322,000 vehicles in the first seven months of this year. Less than a tenth of 1% — 410 customers — filed damage claims.

But one customer questions why her claim was denied.

A clean car, but bubbled bumper — the result of a chain reaction incident earlier this year inside the Club Carwash near 72nd Street and Sorensen Parkway.

“The track kept the cars moving so we kept bumping into the car in front of us, or the car behind us kept bumping into it,” said Kendra Tait, a Club Carwash customer.

She filed a claim with self-insured Club Carwash.

“I have $900 estimated damage that they won’t fix,” Tait said.

Club Carwash provided video to back up the denial of Kendra’s damage claim by claiming another customer is at fault.

“Multi-vehicle tunnel incident was caused by someone at the end of the tunnel not exiting when told to go,” said Ed Orr, Club Carwash’s attorney. “If you stay there for 5, 6, 7 seconds, the car behind you will catch you.”

A police report led to insurance information for the up-front driver so car owners down the line could file a claim.

Travelers Insurance, which represents the driver of the car that stopped at the head of the line, has responded to Kendra’s claim of damage to her bumper by saying they’re denying her claim and blaming the car wash, saying they failed to stop the belt.

“We disagree with that insurance company’s analysis of liability,” said Orr.

Because of the dispute over responsibility for damage to her 2021 RAV4, Kendra says her claim is unfairly stuck in neutral.

“I shouldn’t have to put it through my insurance and pay a deductible and let my rates go up for something I didn’t cause nor was able to stop,” Tait said.

Open one year, the Club Carwash near Sorensen Parkway has washed more than 163,000 vehicles. 128 damage claims have been investigated, and 24 have been paid.

“We want people to know we are looking at it, and we do give them a fair and honest assessment and we pay a lot of claims,” Orr said.

After denials by the car wash and the stopped driver’s insurance, Kendra Tait says she doesn’t want her claim brushed aside, so small claims court is a possibility.

Club Carwash’s attorney says claims go through a three-step process, and denials can be appealed directly to him. Small claims court is the next step, and he says the company would abide by a judge’s decision on responsibility.