COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Branden Elkins was in a crash on Oct. 7, 2022, just steps from his office on West Town Street in Franklinton. Another driver rear-ended him and accepted responsibility, meaning their insurance company, Founders Insurance, would handle everything.

At least, that’s what Elkins thought.

“Something happened from Dec. 5 to Feb. 1 where no one communicated,” Elkins said. “We sent multiple emails, multiple phone calls. No one communicated with us.”

The entire time, Elkins’ car was sitting in a local auto shop. Workers there were also unable to get answers from Founders. Finally, on Feb. 28, Elkins got a call from the insurance company.

“They told me that they were totaling out my car, because of the bent frame and from what the auto shop had told them,” Elkins said.

Then, on March 10, Elkins received a letter, confirming Founders determined his vehicle to be a “total loss” and presenting an offer.

“The offer letter states that they’re going to give me X amount of money for the car,” Elkins said. “And it also states that they will reimburse me if I pay for the period of time from Feb. 1 to Feb. 28, that I have to pay for my car to get out of storage, before they will even consider the claim.”

The cost to get the car out of storage — $1,204.

“I shouldn’t have had to pay the $1,204 to begin with,” Elkins said.

Still, Elkins came up with the money, and got the car out of storage, but it was turned over to Founders, while the claim was “reviewed.” Then, on April 13, the day I spoke with Elkins, he said he got a call from Founders. They told him his claim was denied.

No additional conversation, no car, and no cash.

Elkins called the Ohio Department of Insurance, who he said didn’t offer much help. Then, he called Better Call 4.

“I mean, when you’re wronged, you just feel like screaming it from the top of the mountains and nobody’s listening,” Elkins said. “I would just like to get reimbursed, like they say on the offer.”

NBC4 first reached out to Founders, emailing every department within the company. I got a couple of responses, asking for more information. NBC4 provided that, then waited to hear back.

NBC4 also contacted the Ohio Department of Insurance. A representative simply said, “We are actively working with Mr. Elkins on this ongoing matter.”

NBC4 tried Founders again, and again, and again. The last message was sent April 24, and NBC4 never heard back.

NBC4 checked in with Elkins the following week, and he had quite the update, saying that on April 24, he received a check for storage fee reimbursement. And on May 3, got another check, for the cost of his car.

Elkins said he’s grateful to Better Call 4 for speaking up for him, adding that a representative from Founders told him they had heard from us, before making the decision to reimburse him. He’s also happy to report that he did get a new car.