When the Weather Outside is Frightful, Insurance, Tow Truck Drivers and Road Conditions Can Be Less than Delightful

The first snowflakes of the season have started to fly here in the tri-state. This probably means there will be a higher likelihood of slick streets, dicey driver decisions and increased fender benders. Naturally, it also means working with tow truck drivers, collision centers and car repair shops. If you happen to find yourself in the unfortunate situation of an accident or needing the services of a tow truck, keep in mind you do have some control of the situation without feeling like you’ve been taken for a ride.

All drivers are required to have the state minimum insurance coverage. In the event an accident does occur no matter who is at fault, proof of insurance must be carried at all times along with a driver’s license. BBB® recommends reviewing your liability limits and consider setting your coverage above what is set by law.. Compare different insurance agents and their services online at an Accredited Business Directory on bbb.org.

Next, auto club and car manufacturers may offer towing services as a member benefit. You may also purchase towing coverage as a rider on your car insurance and get reimbursement upon presentation of a receipt for towing occurrences. In either case, cost of membership dues or insurance premiums must be weighed against the cost or likelihood of your needing that service.

If you need your vehicle towed, ask the company whether the cost is based on a flat, mileage, or timed rate and if the rate may have to be adjusted for a larger size tow truck. Note that many towing companies assess a per day storage fee if your vehicle is not immediately towed to a repair facility. Also, be patient when you do need a tow on a day when the service may be delayed because weather, traffic or other circumstances beyond the driver’s control.

Finally, if the absolute worse case scenario happens: while on your way to work, a non-attentive driver, smashes into your vehicle crinkling your bumper and rear sensors practically into your trunk. Grr. Not fun. While most insurance companies have a list of their preferred shops, visit bbb.org of Accredited Businesses to find a body shop you can trust to do the work. Have them provide a written estimate on all of the work, parts and labor, whether a rental car will be provided and tell you about how long the work will take.

So take it easy out there this winter, leave a little extra following room, put down the cell phone and be cautious of the ‘other guy.’ Need help? Start with someone you Trust, bbb.org.

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About Sandra Guile

Sandra is the PR Specialist for BBB Cincinnati, promoting BBB's message of marketplace ethics through public speaking engagements, presentations, blogging, media relations, press releases, web content and other written materials. Her goal is to connect with consumers and business owners in a trustworthy environment and encouraging best practices.