For those who have emergency roadside assistance or towing through their insurance company, there are a couple things you need to be aware of. The owner of the above pictured Chevy Blazer had flagged down wrecker operator Joe P. while he was driving by. After pulling off the road she asked if he could help since she had already been waiting for a tow truck to come for over an hour. The tow company she was waiting on was dispatched by her insurance company’s motor club, Agero but used to be named Cross Country Automotive Services, which is a 3rd party company that contracts tow companies to provide services. These companies trade a high volume of work for an extreme discount on services. Waiting for a long period of time is NOT uncommon with these “Motor Clubs”.
Anyway, we offered to call her insurance company and request that we direct bill them or at least see what options she had rather than continue to wait. The insurance representative gave us two options for their client. Number one, pay out of pocket herself for the service and then get reimbursed or just continue to wait for the contractor. Since the contractor wasn’t able to give a decent updated ETA she opted to pay out of pocket for the service.
This is NOT uncommon and it is not the towing company, insurance company or the motor club who is getting the bad deal. It’s the customer, the one who is actually in need of service. Whenever you get a chance to talk with your insurance agent, or if you have a separate roadside assistance policy through a 3rd party, like AAA for instance, speak with one of their rep’s regarding the “fine print” of your coverage. Even if you have a new vehicle you should not disregard the fact that you may, at some point in the not so distant future, require a service. You will want to know what all of your options are and what is actually covered in case of an emergency. In an accident you may be rushed but it is worth taking a minute to get your bearings before deciding what to do. The lady we towed originally decided to have her insurance company send her a truck and she had to sit and wait much longer than needed. A Police, Sheriff or State Patrol officer may offer to call you a tow truck but that tow company has a set rate they charge for police calls. Here in Vancouver the companies charge $177.00 per hour and more for any police dispatched tow or service. If your insurance companies tow provider is taking to long, rather than letting the officer call a tow company, use your smart phone to call your own. Check their accident rates or service rates and go from there.
We will be adding to this post some additional information soon.