LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — When you're involved in a car crash, your insurance helps repair your vehicle. That's what insurance is for. Unfortunately, it's not always so simple.
As 13 Action News anchor Tricia Kean uncovers, the pandemic is creating some complications and you could be stuck in the middle.
"I pay a lot of money for car insurance a month. They can't help me out at all? It's kind of ridiculous honestly," says Skylar Koszer.
He's frustrated and doesn't know what else to do. The 23-year-old was involved in a crash back in June.
So AAA insurance put Skylar in a rental car, while repairs were made to his 2013 Honda Accord. There's just one problem.
"They said that they needed an SRS module, that was on backorder," says Skylar.
An SRS module controls a car's airbag. Without it, your airbag won't deploy and it's the one part the shop is waiting for, in order to finish fixing Skylar's car.
PLAYING CATCH UP
"They told me that Honda shut down a couple of months ago during the pandemic and now they're trying to catch up on all parts. They can't make parts fast enough," says Skylar.
So three months after the accident, Skylar is still waiting to get his car back. That delay has led to another problem.
NO RENTAL CAR
AAA provided a rental car for only 30 days. He can't afford to rent a car on his own and Skylar says AAA isn't willing to extend the rental.
"They pretty much told me that's not our problem. That's on you. We fulfilled what we had to do," says Skylar.
So Skylar reached out to 13 Action News. We contacted AAA for answers but were told they couldn't discuss Skylar's case due to privacy policies. We also left messages with the repair shop, but they never returned our calls. So we went to a third-party mechanic.
SHORTAGE OF PARTS
"It is true. There's a shortage of a lot of parts. Some people just have to be patient," says Manager Steve Oliva with Honest-1 Auto Care.
He says car part shortages are leading to major delays at his North Las Vegas shop.
"Sometimes it's weeks. Sometimes it's months," says Steve.
He checked on the SRS module for Skylar's car and verified, it's not available.
"I found out that it's on backorder, indefinitely," says Steve.
It's a problem nationwide.
"The car part shortage has a lot to do with the pandemic because what we saw was manufacturers of car parts slowed down their production," says Janet Ruiz with the Insurance Information Institute.
She admits the entire insurance industry is seeing delays in car repairs. The shortage in rental cars is also very real.
"You got to plan for this as a consumer and know that it might take a while or you may get one and then you may not have it as long as you would've in the past," says Ruiz.
In the end, Ruiz stresses the importance of reading your policy and communicating with your insurance company about your needs.
"It is taking more patience because we're seeing the repairs take longer, the shortage of vehicles... But we're all in it together and we're certainly looking forward to these shortages ending," says Ruiz.
As for Skylar, his case is closed. After we contacted AAA, he says they called him back and gave him almost $13,000 for his vehicle. Skylar says he's happy, all he ever wanted was to get back on the road.
"Either cut me the check and take the loss on my car or get me a rental car," says Skylar.
If you're in a dispute with your auto insurance, consider talking to the Nevada Division of Insurance.