I heard a horror story the other day. A tow company in rural Kansas had a terrible fire that destroyed nearly every car it was storing. Within hours, the tow company was getting inundated with phone calls from vehicle owners asking for the tow company’s insurance information so they could make a claim. The tow company called its agent, who was not experienced in selling insurance to tow companies, to submit the claim. After a few anxious hours, the tow company received horrible news: the tow company didn’t have garage keepers insurance and therefore the claim was denied. In a matter of minutes, what should have been an insured claim turned into a potential financial disaster. How can this be avoided?
On May 11, 2017, tow truck driver Scott Bowles was tragically struck and killed by a passing motorist in Bell County, Texas. Scott Bowles left behind his wife, Stephanie, who is also a tow truck driver, and three children. Stephanie Bowles was fortunately able to recover a civil settlement regarding the death of her husband. However, to date, the Bell County, Texas prosecutor has yet to file any criminal charges against the motorist who struck Mr. Bowles despite protests from Stephanie and the local tow community.
I have always been impressed by tow companies’ tolerance for financial risk. The expenses in the tow business are enormous and growing every day. At the end of the line, there is one company owner who has likely financially guaranteed all of these risks and the liability for the same. It is understandable that an owner might want to mitigate these risks in any way that they can.
Some tow companies will do whatever it takes to get on a tow rotation. I’ve seen tow companies come up with all sorts of creative ways to achieve this. What I’ve never seen is the Wall Street Journal covering tow rotations. I’ve also never scene a tow company facing a high profile criminal indictment for tow rotation practices. But this was exactly the case in a February 21, 2018 article captioned “10 New York City Tow-Truck Firms Indicated.”