Chicago Towing Company in Waycross.
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Waycross, city, seat (1872) of Ware county, southeastern Georgia, U.S., on the coastal plain, about 50 miles (80 km) west of Brunswick. Early settlers had built blockhouses in the area by the 1820s as a protection against Native Americans. Originally the hub of stagecoach and pioneer trails, Waycross developed as a sawmill, turpentine, and farmingcommunity . The city's name signifies its location at the junction of roads and rail lines. The economy is based on tobacco and light industry; manufacturing centres on wood and paper products. Dixon Memorial State Forest, containing Laura S. Walker State Park, and the northern entrance to the Okefenokee Swamp Park and Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge are a short distance to the south. Waycross is the birthplace of actor Burt Reynolds. Inc. 1874. Pop. (2000) 15, 333; (2010) 14, 649.
Continuing challenges in commercial auto liability 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.
'Commercial auto in general is not going to catch a break for the next several years,' Thompson said. Most everything that's commercial auto from trucking to dump trucks to garage risks is difficult. 'Any place now where there is a human being touching an auto is warfare.'
For tow trucks, it's rear-end collisions that are 'bringing insurance companies to their knees,' Thompson said.
'Drivers are going too fast and are distracted,' Thompson said. 'When you are driving a heavy commercial vehicle, like a tow truck, and you hit a car with three or four people in it, all of those people have neck and back injuries, you total their car, you will have $30,000 worth of damage to your tow truck, and it's just a rear-end collision, which theoretically is preventable.'
Right now, Thompson and ATIG are doing damage control and just trying to keep their current clients insured. 'We are working three times as hard to keep the risks that we have but there's a lot of angry people right now. We are catching it from all sides.'
None of my markets will write a towing operation and schedule a tow truck for auto liability or physical damage.'
MGAs, other brokers, and the few insurers left in the space are swamped. 'We are trying to hold our clients' hands through this and explain what's going on.'
Thompson has even had to turn away new business. 'People are calling up panicked, they are in tears because they are going to lose their business. They expire in two days and their premium tripled but you can't help them,' he said. 'I'm at the mercy of the MGAs/brokers/insurers and they only have so much manpower. Everyone is on edge.'
The only thing towing companies can do is to manage their risk, Thompson said.
'I've got guys that are now putting cameras inside the trucks both facing outward and inward and if they catch their drivers eating or talking on the phone or texting, there is zero tolerance. They are fired,' he said.
He doesn't expect the insurance market for towing to bounce back anytime soon either. 'It will be a long time before insurers react to improved risk management in firms.'
For now, focus on driver training, he said. 'I can't specify that enough. And settle more claims out of pocket if you can legally. And if you have insurance right now, and it's semi affordable, then protect it with your life.'
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