Wednesday, August 16 2017
Orlando, Fla. — We live and work where most people consider the land of opportunity. Owning a highly productive business requires discipline, knowledge and compliance.
When you own a tow trucking business, you may be seen as a hero when a family or person is in trouble while in the road, be it an accident or just a flat tire. Your role is very important for those involved in the situation and those others also indirectly affected because your quick response may be the difference between getting in time or not, to their destination.
The story is written a little different when it comes to vehicle removals from unauthorized parking spots.
As stated in the 2017 Florida Statutes, the towing or removal of any vehicle or vessel from private property without the consent of the registered owner or other legally authorized person in control of that vehicle or vessel is subject to strict compliance with a series of conditions and restrictions.
For example, when a person improperly causes a vehicle or vessel to be removed, such person shall be liable to the owner or lessee of the vehicleor vessel for the cost of removal, transportation, and storage; any damages resulting from the removal, transportation, or storage of the vehicle or vessel; attorney’s fees; and court costs.
When towing is perceived as an aggressive business practice in certain areas, local authorities may take action to prevent potential abuse against customers. That was the case in the International Drive, where customers (tourists in many instances) had dinner in one place and decided to take a stroll around the shopping area only to find their car had been removed with all the inconveniences that brings.
Orange County imposed new rules that took effect Nov. 1, 2015 — and were intended to stop predatory towing and lessen the headaches for unlucky motorists who had their vehicles dragged away.
The new rules require that tow-away zone signs direct motorists to a county website for information about their rights when they have been towed.
As much as you are seen as a hero in certain circumstances, tow-away situations will make you the villain of the movie.
If that wasn’t enough, as a tow truck driver you work in a dangerous world. Having to deal with angry drivers everyday, dangerous driving and road conditions, near misses while operating heavy equipment, and close calls on U.S. freeways while hitching up wrecked vehicles.
Another important issue is an insurance market with fewer and fewer carriers willing to write the business because of the continuing challenges in commercial auto liability which range from distracted driving to increased miles driven and vehicles on the road to higher vehicle repair costs and rising severity in liability claims. Tow trucks are no exception.
Given the situation, some insurance carriers made a profit and exited, some others lost money and exited, and some decided they didn’t want to write the class of business anymore.
Does that mean you need to run your business unprotected? — No.
You just need to find the right insurance specialist who will find you the carriers and options that will help you continue your business uninterruptedly. A local agent, as an expert in your area, can help you mitigate the effect of new ordinances, laws and regulations on your current insurance needs.