Even with insurance, carrier flights claim for mechanic’s damaged shipment
WEST JORDAN, Utah — If you insure a shipment and it gets damaged in transit, you would expect the shipper to pay. But when a West Jordan company said it had only been offered a fraction for the cost of the damage, despite the insurance, they called the KSL Investigators.
At Ekins Garage in West Jordan, they specialize in restoring classic cars and custom automotive builds. But one of owner Derek Ekins’ clients has been forced to wait a protracted period, through no fault of the shop.
“We had an issue with a frame that got damaged in shipping,” said Ekins.
Somewhere and somehow between Ohio and Utah, the custom automotive frame got smashed.
“It was upside down. Crate was damaged. Clearly, the frame was damaged,” Ekins said.
Besides the delay in getting this project completed, Ekins said he was not too worried because he bought a $14,000 insurance policy for the shipment, but he has had little success in trying to get the carrier, Worldwide Express, to pay for the damage.
“They feel like it’s not their fault,” he explained.
Ekins said, after some back-and-forth, Worldwide Express offered to pay a measly $1,400. And then came a final offer of $4,574.06 — but that covers less than half of what he’s actually out.
A Utah small business bought a $14,000 shipping insurance policy, but when the car frame being shipped showed up smashed, he was only offered a couple grand – a fraction of what he says he's out.
— Matt Gephardt KSL (@KslMatt) September 14, 2021
“I feel like I did every step I needed to do to cover my bases and it wasn’t enough,” he said.
The KSL Investigators reached out to the shipping company, but a spokesperson refused to answer our questions.
In an email, they wrote, “Worldwide Express does not comment on unresolved customer issues, however, our team has worked toward resolution with Ekins Garage, according to the terms of the shipment. Ekins Garage is welcome to continue discussing this with us directly.”
We also spoke to transportation attorney Stevan Baxter, who specializes in shipping and freight issues.
He said shipping companies tend to load a lot of language into contracts that can make it tough for a consumer to get paid what they may think they deserve after a shipment is damaged.
“There’s different language in each policy that you have to look at and understand,” said Baxter.
So, what happens when the shipping company and their customer cannot see eye-to-eye on a fair settlement?
“Typically, then that goes to a lawsuit, where a judge gets to decide whether the terms of the policy, (and) in fact, allow the insurance company to limit the liability,” Baxter explained.
Taking Worldwide Express to court is exactly what Derek Ekins is considering.
“I feel like everybody’s trying to just brush it under the rug, hope it goes away and move on,” he told the KSL Investigators. “But I don’t move on.”
While Ekins works towards a resolution, he will not ship using Worldwide Express anymore.
Adding insult to injury, Elkins said Worldwide has canceled his contract, leaving him barred from future shipments with them.