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Tips for avoiding tow truck and storage scams

June 21, 2017

A tow truck driver may be paid a referral fee by a vehicle repair or body shop to have damaged vehicles towed there. These types of tow truck drivers are known in the industry as "chasers." A tow truck driver may be breaking a municipal bylaw by recommending a repair shop without being asked. To recover these referral fees, tow truck drivers and vehicle repair or body shops may "pad" their bills. In the end, you and other policyholders end up paying. 
 
Many "chasers" are owned or controlled by vehicle repair shops. Insurance companies may or may not do business with these shops. If your vehicle is towed to a repair shop and you later choose to have it towed to a different shop, you may still be required to pay the original repair shop for the towing service, storage and possibly other administrative fees. These fees can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and your insurer may not cover these fees. If you or your insurance company refuse to pay them, the Repair and Storage Liens Act permits the vehicle repair shop to sell your vehicle to cover the fees. 

 

 

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