When your car is damaged in a collision and needs to be repaired by a mechanic, it will likely need to be towed by a towing company. Knowing your rights is imperative before accepting a tow from a tow truck company, and you should be cautious of the tow truck driver who shows up first without you calling them. In general, tow truck drivers are honest and genuine people but there is an increasing number of drivers who take advantage of people who are in a state of shock and who are often disoriented after an accident. You can take precautions to avoid being swindled by dishonest tow truck drivers before allowing them to pick up your car.
No matter what time of day it is, call the insurance company you are with. Most companies have accident hotlines. A representative will guide you along and let you know what to do. The insurance company will advise you on towing rates and assist you in choosing a mechanic within a reasonable timeframe and at a reasonable price. Insurance companies often prefer that you use their own repair shops and will pick up your car for free. If you are unable to contact your insurance company, you can still have your car towed by a towing company, but stay aware and don't sign anything that seems suspicious.
Is it actually necessary to tow your vehicle? The majority of vehicles that are involved in accidents might not need a tow after all. Assess your car to determine whether you can safely drive it to your driveway or preferred mechanic. In order to determine whether your car is safe to drive, check the following:
Does the steering wheel function normally
Are your brakes working properly
Have you noticed any fluid leaks on the car
Are all the mirrors intact
Are the front and rear lights still working, as well as the blinkers
Can the hood of the car be closed properly
Is there any damage to the wheels
These precautions are based on common sense when determining whether you need a tow or not. There is usually a police officer at the scene who can also assist you in determining whether the car is safe to drive.
Before getting your car towed make sure you take detailed pictures of the damage from all angles from inside and outside your vehicle and if possible from the exterior of the other car involved in the crash.
Be sure to take your valuables out of the car before getting it towed.
You should never use a towing service that shows up blind. Always wait for the company you called. Usually, the first towing trucks that arrive at the scene of an accident are those that sit around and listen to police radios. A growing number of people who use blind towing services end up having a negative experience.
You should always provide the tow truck driver with the exact location where you want your car dropped off. Whether it's the repair shop your insurance company provides or your own mechanic. A legit tow truck company will not try to convince you to tow it to another location unless directed by a police officer to do so.
Never sign a work order that is blank and make sure the fees you are paying for the tow are clear and visible before you sign. Make sure the location your vehicle is being towed to is also disclosed and it is the location of your choice.
Be cautious of a tow truck driver who tells you that your insurance company will cover all the towing fees they will charge you. While the insurance companies usually do cover a good portion of the price, the tow truck driver has no knowledge about your specific coverage and what your insurance will or will not cover.
When paying for your tow it is advised to pay with a credit card so you can have backup proof of your transaction in case you need it for your insurance company. If the tow truck company does not accept credit cards proceed with caution.
Its always a helpful to know your rights and the laws of your province in the event of needing a tow. If you need information on your insurance coverage, contact your insurance provider for the details of your coverage.
Wish you a happy towing experience!