Most auto insurance carriers today partner up with various tow truck companies so that they can offer their customers the convenience of not having to find a company on their own in the event of an accident or break down. Companies like Geico and State Farm generally charge their customers a certain fee which is added into their premium for what they call “roadside assistance.”
Now, although many drivers are happy to know that they won’t be stranded on the side of the road for an extended period of time, how do you know if your insurer is actually using a reliable tow truck company to come out and pick up your vehicle?
Unfortunately, this question is a rather difficult one to answer.
When we looked into Geico’s Emergency Road Service coverage, the company says that having this additional feature on your policy will only cost you a few extra dollars per vehicle and it will cover the following:
- Jump start for dead batteries
- Labor to change a flat tire
- Towing, however, it cannot be accident related.
- Lockout services.
After your vehicle becomes disabled, all you need to do is contact Geico and they will dispatch a tow truck to your location to tow your vehicle. Now, you can question which company they are going to be sending out and even take the time to look them up to determine whether they are reliable or not, but many often neglect to do this as they assume their insurer would only work with companies that were qualified and certified to be in business.
Now, looking at State Farm’s Emergency Road Service Coverage, the company states that they will also cover you if your vehicle breaks down or becomes disabled given you are insured through them. Some of their emergency services include:
- Mechanical labor at the breakdown site (up to one hour).
- Towing to the nearest repair location if the covered vehicle is not drivable.
- Towing if the covered car is stuck on or immediately next to a public road.
Nowhere on their website does the company explain which tow truck companies they use to send out in the event you need to take advantage of their emergency road service coverage. Now, although most individuals would be inclined to trust their insurer and accept whatever help that is sent out in the event their vehicle breaks down, here’s why you might want to find out who your company uses if you have purchased roadside assistance.
Back in August, the owner of a Buick contacted their insurer, State Farm, to come out and pick up their disabled vehicle. The company dispatched Irvine Auto Towing who then sent one of their driver’s out to pick up the vehicle. Little did the owner of the Buick know, Irvine Auto Towing company did not have a valid motor carrier permit to tow cars. In fact, the towing company had multiple violations filed for things like “hiring unlicensed drivers, towing cars without safety restraints, and failing to carry workers comp insurance,” according to NBC Bay Area.
Unfortunately, at the time the Buick was being towed, it detached from the tow truck and hit a San Francisco utility worker who was repairing a leaky water main, resulting in her death. The father of the young woman decided to file a lawsuit against both State Farm and the towing company, although he wonders why State Farm allowed a company with such an adverse history to come out and pick up this vehicle.
Based on this case, one may assume that insurers aren’t always sending out the most reliable tow truck companies. Therefore, it is recommended that you contact your insurer to find out which companies they are contracted with so that in the event of an emergency, you know which companies you would prefer to come out and tow your vehicle in the event your vehicle becomes disabled.
If you were recently involved in an accident with a tow truck in San Francisco and sustained injuries, you may qualify to file a personal injury claim in an effort to recover compensation for the damage caused.
Now, if you were involved in an accident with a tow truck in San Francisco, California, you will need to hire a truck accident attorney. The fact is, our truck crash attorneys in San Francisco, CA can help prove whether the company was negligent and/or if they were operating without a license. And if they can prove negligence contributed to the accident, you stand a chance at winning your case and recovering the compensation you need and deserve.