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Georgia, seat (1853) of Dougherty county, southwestern Georgia, U.S. It lies along the Flint River at the head of navigation, about 90 miles (145 km) southeast of Columbus. Founded in 1836 by Colonel Nelson Tift, it was named for Albany, New York, and was early established as a leading cotton market. In 1857 a railroad connected it with Macon. Later, six other rail lines converged on the point to make it a transportation hub. The city served as a Confederate food and cotton supplier during the American Civil War. Cotton growing declined in the Albany area after a serious boll weevil infestation in 1915. Subsequently, a wider variety of crops were raised, with emphasis on papershell pecans and Spanish peanuts (groundnuts) and on livestock.The Albany Government Center, Albany, Ga. Twister3328 The city's economy is now based largely on services and diversified manufacturing (paper products, tires, food and beverages, and pharmaceuticals). Albany State University (1903) and Darton College (founded in 1963 as Albany Junior College), a two-year institution, are located in the city. Cultural institutions include the Albany Museum of Art and the Thronateeksa Heritage Plaza. The Parks at Chehaw, located just north of the city, include a wild animal park and are the site of the annual Chehaw National Indian Festival (May). A large U.S. Marine Corps supply depot is nearby and is a major employer. The Albany area has become renowned for its quail hunting. Singer Ray Charles, trumpeter and bandleader Harry James, and track-and-field star Alice Coachman were natives of Albany. Inc. 1841. Pop. (2000) 76, 939; Albany Metro Area, 157, 833; (2010) 77, 434; Albany Metro Area, 157, 308.
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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Closely Related Topics: Mobile automotive service workshops.
Related Statewide Reading Topics: Georgia - Mobile automotive service workshops.