How To Handle A Tow After An Accident

An accident, even if you are left uninjured, can leave you rattled. This is why it can be easy to overlook certain things during the heat of the moment. Know what to do if your vehicle must be towed away, so that you can be prepared if you ever are in an accident. The following guide can help you understand the best process.

Talk to your insurance

If it's possible to call your insurance company before the tow truck arrives, then do so. They will send one of their approved tow trucks to pick up the vehicle, so you probably won't have any out-of-pocket costs right away. Keep in mind, this doesn't mean you won't be later held responsible for the costs. How the tow is covered depends on whom is found to be at fault and whether insurance covers towing, so you may have to pay part or all of the tow fee at a later point.

Remove your valuables

You don't want to leave anything in the car when it is towed, as you may not be given access to the car again right away. Remove all of your personal affects, including the items in your glove box like registration and insurance information. If your insurance company does total the car, you will only be given a limited window to retrieve anything, so it is best to take it sooner rather than later.

Know who is towing

In most instances, the tow driver will take your vehicle to a salvage holding yard or an impound lot. Take down the name of the tow company, the driver, and their plate or license number. Also, get the address of the lot where they are taking your car, along with a contact number.

Avoid bringing it home

It's generally a bad idea to have the car towed to your home. If you live in an apartment, rent, or have a homeowner's association, you could be in violation of the rules to have a wrecked, non-running vehicle on the property. Also, if you live far from the accident site, there could be additional towing charges for a long tow, which the insurance companies won't pay. In most cases, it is better to allow the tow truck driver to take the car to their standard lot or the lot the insurance agency uses.

Although an accident is stressful, arming yourself with knowledge about the towing procedure can help make it easier. Consider putting the number of a tow truck company, like Express Tow & Recovery, into your phone in advance so that you're prepared if you ever find yourself needing a tow.