Posted on: 19 June 2015
If you're an apartment complex owner or manager and you're looking for a towing company that can provide contracted service for the complex's parking lot, be aware of what insurance the companies carry. You likely know to check that the companies carry liability insurance, but that often doesn't cover specific circumstances -- ones that could occur very easily. And if the tow truck operator encounters one of those situations and doesn't have the right insurance, then you might find yourself in some legal crosshairs.
Look for Towing Companies That Recognize the Need for Protection
The issue is something called on-hook insurance. This is a form of liability insurance that covers the car being towed when it is actually on the tow truck's hook. CarInsurance.com uses the following as an example: A car being towed by a tow truck is vandalized by people throwing rocks from the sidewalk. That's not the tow truck driver's fault, but it does result in damage to the car during the towing.
That's a rather obvious example, but what if the damage is scratched paint or a small dent in the corner of the bumper -- something that could have been pre-existing but not noticed by the tow truck driver?
If the driver has on-hook insurance and the driver confirms something happened during towing, then the owner of the car can get the car's repairs covered, though the claim might have to be filed by the tow truck driver. But if the company doesn't have on-hook insurance, then there might be no coverage. The towing company's liability insurance might not want to pay up, even if the towing company agrees that the insurance should pay and if the customer claims his or her car was damaged during towing.
Look for Ways to Avoid Being Singled Out
That's where you might start to have problems. Even though you didn't touch the car, you were the one who had it towed. The driver, if vindictive, could try to hold you responsible, claiming that if you'd just waited a few minutes, he or she would have been back outside, moving the car. Whether that would hold up in court or not can't really be predicted. But even if it wouldn't hold up, that wouldn't stop someone from trying to sue you.
Good tow truck companies try to carry as much insurance as possible. They are about keeping parking lots and streets free of cars that shouldn't be there -- not damaging cars. The owners and drivers are aware that things can happen during towing that aren't the driver's fault, and they will want to ensure someone's car is protected during the tow. If you want to know more about how tow truck companies use on-hook insurance, contact companies in your area, like Arctic Thunder Towing & Recovery.Share