Know Your Tow

IBC’s position on increasing public safety and improving the towing industry in Ontario

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and its member companies strongly support the Ontario government’s creation of a Towing Task Force to establish provincial oversight of the towing and storage industry.

Unregulated and dishonest practices in the towing and storage industry drive up the cost of auto insurance paid by consumers.

A lack of oversight in the towing industry has led to a municipal patchwork of bylaws, which includes inconsistent towing rates, processes, and standards. It has also left motorists unsure on what the rules are, and how to protect themselves from fraudulent activities particularly when it comes to collision tow services.

IBC and its member companies believe the creation of a new legislative framework with a new, robust oversight model is the best way to rein in the dysfunctions in the current system.

This new framework would regulate the scene of the collision to ensure that custody of the vehicle always rests with the insurer and vehicle owner.

This can be accomplished by ending “First-to-Scene” chasing:

  1. Controlling who arrives to the collision scene;
  2. Controlling how they arrive to the collision scene;
  3. Mandating where they must take the vehicle; and
  4. Enforcing strict penalties for violations of First-to-Scene requirements.

In addition, IBC and its member companies are recommending:

  • Stronger consumer protection measures
  • An established towing and storage fee schedule
  • New enforcement and dispute resolution mechanisms

To learn more about the importance of towing industry reforms in the interest public safety and consumer protection, watch this recent report by CTV W5:  Violence and intimidation in the Ontario tow truck industry

Getting in a collision is stressful. Your tow shouldn't be.

Been In a Collision?

  • Call your insurance representative as soon as possible to report the collision. They can provide helpful, on-the-spot advice on tow options, as well as repair and car rental companies.
  • You have the right to decide who can tow your vehicle and to what location (unless otherwise directed by police).
  • A permission to tow form must be signed, and the company must provide an itemized invoice before receiving payment and commencing tow.
  • You are entitled to a receipt for tow services rendered and you have the option to pay with debit or credit card.
  • Decline offers to store your vehicle in a compound yard unless directed by your insurance representative.
  • Never sign a blank contract or take referrals from tow companies.

Click to view and download the Know Your Tow tips card.