An automotive accident of any kind can feel scary, extremely frustrating, inconvenient, and stressful, especially when the collision means that your vehicle requires towing away from the scene.
If you have minor injuries or no injuries, you may find yourself waiting at the scene between the time of the accident and the arrival of a tow truck. Even if you know to first contact the law enforcement and your insurance company, you may not know exactly what to do during this waiting period.
In this latest news article, we list five important steps to take after a car accident, but before a tow to simplify the insurance claims and vehicle repairs processes.
1. You have the Right to Choose Where Your Car is Towed To
After the accident, the police may call a tow truck company. However, you don not have to go with the police officer’s choice for towing. You have every right to call your own towing company. You may want to ask your insurance provider for a recommended towing company, especially if you have collision coverage or towing and roadside assistance coverage, so your towing fees will be covered.
2. Ask About Towing Restrictions Under Your Policy
In most cases, when vehicle owners are left on the side of the road after an accident, they use the time to begin filing a claim with their insurance company. Whether you are already on the phone with a representative or you have to make a new call to get this information, you should check the towing restrictions under your policy.
Your insurer may only cover towing services from certain companies or from companies within a specific mile radius. Failure to comply with these restrictions could leave you with the bill for services that should fall under your auto insurance coverage. The last thing you need is another unexpected large tow bill. The final bill might be in the high hundreds; towing and storage bills over $1,000 are not uncommon.
If your insurance company has preferred towing providers, then the representative may send out a towing request on your behalf. Otherwise, you will need to get the information of a qualified towing company and make the call yourself. Feel free to contact us and we can refer some reputable tow companies that we work with daily.
3. Consider Towing Services From an Auto Body Shop
When you are choosing between towing companies, you should think about the future of your car, not just your preferences in the moment. A tow truck from an impound lot may be closer and take less time to get to you, but an impound lot may also cost more in out-of-pocket storage fees. Many tow companies are available 24 hours a day and take your vehicle directly to the shop instead of a remote storage lot.
4. Beware of Towing Scams
Beware of towing scams. Most towing companies are honest and fair, but occasionally, a tow truck will show up at an accident scene unsolicited, take your vehicle, and charge you exorbitant amounts of money. Use a towing company recommended by either your insurance company, the police, or trusted auto body shop. Confirm the responding truck is in fact the one you called, and do not sign any papers you do not feel comfortable signing. If you have been scammed by a tow truck driver, report this to any appropriate authorities.
5. Get Official Documentation From the Tow Truck Operator
Trusted towing companies ensure that their clients have adequate information about the towing process. If a tow truck arrives and you don’t recognize the company name as the one you or your insurer called, or the truck operator seems hesitant to give you information, the truck could be part of a scam and you should wait until the tow truck company you recognize arrives. You can always check with the tow company’s dispatch to confirm the driver’s name as well.
A reputable tow truck operator will offer you a receipt for your car and provide you with the location where your vehicle will be stored. Because accidents can be disorienting, you may want to ask for the company’s address and phone number in writing so you can reference it later.
6. Remove as Many Personal Items From Your Car as Possible
Before your vehicle is loaded onto the tow truck, remove as many personal items from it as possible. You will have the opportunity to take items out while the car is in impound, but you may have to wait for specific business hours.
Additionally, if your car is totaled, you may have a short period of time to claim your possessions before the car is hauled away.
7. Update your Insurance Company or Agent
Inform the insurance company where the vehicle was dropped off and have them schedule an adjuster to inspect the vehicle for a preliminary estimate.
Use these tips to make confident, well-informed decisions about how your time between an accident and your car’s transportation to a local impound lot or auto body shop.
For reliable towing services as well as professional auto collision repair, trust the team at VIVID Auto Body Shop.