Sometimes NBC 5 Responds helps by reaching out to a company to fix a consumer issue and sometimes our stories inspire help from unexpected places.
The latter happened to one viewer who ended up driving off in a brand new car.
When NBC 5 Responds first talked to Amanda May last week, things looked bleak. She thought she had loan lease payoff insurance or gap insurance, but she later learned it was not going to cover the amount she owed on her totaled car. The insurance only covered 25 percent of the actual cash value of the car.
"[The insurance company] offered me around $9,000," she said. "My heart sank. So I still owe $2,700 on my vehicle."
The latest news from around North Texas.
So May was without a vehicle. Sam Pack's Five Star Chevrolet in Carrollton business manager Ricardo Rivas was watching our report that morning, though.
"I'm gonna fix this," Rivas remembered saying to himself. "I'm going to get her a car and I'm going to make sure that she doesn't have to come out of pocket for that $2,700 balance."
When May arrived at the dealership, she got to see her car for the first time. The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu has On-Star navigation and plenty of room for car seats for her two daughters.
The dealer not only paid off the $2,700 balance of May's original loan, but also knocked $4,595 off the price of the car so May could afford it.
And this time, May bought gap insurance through the dealership.
"The gap insurance policy that we use covers up to 150 percent of the actual cash value of the car," Rivas said.
May's new policy will be far better than the one on her old vehicle and she left the dealership with praise for those who made it happen.
"It restores your faith in car dealerships and in people," she said.
While May is happy with the terms of her gap insurance, experts say you should be careful about buying gap insurance through the dealership. because it's generally more expensive and might be rolled into your monthly payments.
Here's the NBC 5 Responds Team's advice when buying gap insurance.
- Check first with the agent for your current auto policy. That way, you may only have to file one claim if you total your car.
- Get policy details in writing before you buy. For example, you gap insurance may reimburse you for your extended warranty on your totaled car.
- Check the policy's limits. Some gap insurance will pay the balance in full. Other policies have caps.