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NICB Praises Florida’s New Legislation on Predatory Tow Truck Practices

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The Nationwide Insurance coverage Crime Bureau is hailing a brand new Florida regulation that goals to discourage predatory tow-truck practices and restrict the charges that tow corporations can cost.

Home Invoice 179 was signed by the governor in March and it’ll take impact July 1, addressing an issue that has grown in Florida and different states lately.

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“Predatory towing locations important monetary burdens on unsuspecting car house owners as hidden towing charges leaves people with an surprising and hefty expense,” Eric De Campos, senior director of technique, coverage and authorities affairs for NICB, mentioned in a information launch.

DeCampos and different supporters of the invoice have mentioned that regulation enforcement businesses have reported that some predatory towing corporations have swooped in after auto accidents and have charged as a lot as $10,000 for a single tow. Others have positioned liens on vehicles and bought off the autos shortly, earlier than house owners may pay the charges, invoice advocates have mentioned.

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The regulation will:

  • Require counties, cities and the Florida Freeway Patrol to submit their most allowed towing and storage charges on their web sites; in addition they should set up a course of for investigating complaints on charges which might be greater than these most charges.
  • Improve the minimal time-frame allowed earlier than a towed car could also be bought.
  • Require tow corporations to simply accept extra types of cost, and can make plenty of different modifications to the principles.

“Upon receiving a replica of a certificates giving discover of the posting of a bond within the required quantity and directing the discharge of the car or vessel, a towing-storage operator should launch or return the car or vessel to the occasion that posted the bond,” the invoice reads.

HB 179 was sponsored partially by Rep. Melony Bell within the Home, and by Sen. Keith Perry within the Senate. The complete invoice may be seen here. A legislative evaluation is here.

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At the least 4 different states have accepted laws this 12 months that will regulate towing corporations or would require extra transparency on charges, a NICB official mentioned:

  • Virginia HB 1073 – Prohibits towing corporations from soliciting autos house owners on the scene of an accident after police have initiated a tow (despatched to governor).
  • Virginia SB 94 – Prohibits tow corporations from recruiting others to solicit accident scene victims on the tower’s behalf (despatched to governor).
  • Utah HB 204 – Prohibits a tow firm from charging towing and storage charges till the tow has been reported to the Motor Car Division (enacted).
  • Kentucky SB 107 – Requires towers to submit their price sheet with the closest Kentucky State Police submit and establishes {that a} tower could be faraway from the Kentucky State Police’s wrecker for noncompliance (despatched to governor).

Arizona lawmakers additionally launched HB 2269 this 12 months, which might require a towing agency to register with the state Division of Public Security. Final 12 months, Virginia’s legislative physique accepted a regulation that now prohibits tow truck operators from refusing to permit the proprietor of a towed car, upon proof of possession, to entry and take away any private objects from the car with out paying any payment.

Subjects
Florida
Auto
Legislation
Virginia
Kentucky

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