NICB Pushes For Consumer Protections Against Unscrupulous Towing Companies


(MENAFN- PR Newswire) TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Feb. 13, 2024 /PRNewswire/ --
Vehicle accidents that result in predatory towing practices remain a significant issue for policymakers across Florida and the country. After an accident, vehicle owners find themselves in high-stress situations that can create the perfect opportunity for unscrupulous towers to exploit victims. Law enforcement agencies have seen examples of towers charging accident victims exorbitant fees for a tow requiring only a few-miles – sometimes as high as $10,000 for a single, routine tow. To address this emerging fraud trend, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), a national, century-old, not-for-profit organization that works hand-in-hand with member insurance companies to combat insurance fraud, is supporting legislation to deter predatory towing practices in Florida.

"Predatory towing in Florida has emerged as a pervasive issue, significantly impacting individuals' lives and livelihoods," said Eric De Campos, Senior Director of Strategy, Policy and Government Affairs for the National Insurance Crime Bureau. "Predatory towing places significant financial burdens on unsuspecting vehicle owners because hidden towing fees and charges can escalate quickly, leaving individuals with an unexpected and hefty expense. In some situations, unscrupulous towers will delay notifying owners that their vehicle has been towed and will hold the car hostage until all towing fees are paid, while racking up significant storage fees."

De Campos recently testified before a Senate hearing that NICB is strongly supporting legislation (SB 774 ) sponsored by Senator Keith Perry (R-Gainesville)
and noted that the bill will implement critical consumer protections to help protect Floridians against predatory towing. A companion bill in the Florida House of Representatives is sponsored by Representative Melony Bell (R-Fort Meade).

"We need decisive action to combat predatory towing practices and ensure fairness and transparency for Florida's residents," said Senator Perry. "This bill would implement important measures that protect consumers and promote accountability within the towing industry."

The bill would:

  • Require reasonable towing and storage fees so that consumers don't face fraudulent or inflated charges;
  • Require towers to accept additional methods of payment to allow consumers more flexibility to pay their bills and for towers to receive the money they are owed more quickly;
  • Shorten notice of lien periods so consumers can more quickly get their vehicles released; and
  • Extend the amount of time in which vehicle owners may recover their vehicles before they are sold off.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL INSURANCE CRIME BUREAU:
Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is the nation's leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to combatting and preventing insurance crime through Intelligence, Analytics, and Operations; Education and Crime Prevention; and Strategy, Policy, and Advocacy. NICB membership includes more than 1,200 property-casualty insurance companies, vehicle rental companies, auto auctions, vehicle finance companies and self-insured organizations. To learn more, visit
.

SOURCE National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB)

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