Insurance Insights: Tow Truck Liability in Florida

The world of towing can oftentimes be risky as tow truck operators are faced with unpredictable situations that can lead to accidents or property damage. Whether it’s a tow truck backing into a parked car or an unforeseen collision when no one is around, the question of liability in Florida is a crucial one. In this blog, we will break down relevant laws and explore insurance solutions to protect your tow truck business from potential financial pitfalls. 

The Law and Tow Truck Liability in Florida

Florida, like many other states, has specific laws that govern tow truck liability. The Florida Statutes outline the responsibilities and obligations of tow truck operators pertaining to damages and accidents. To simplify these legal intricacies, here is a breakdown of key points to keep in mind:

  •  Negligence and duty of care: Tow truck operators have a duty of care to avoid causing damage to other vehicles or property while performing their services, meaning they must exercise reasonable care to prevent accidents. 
  • Liability for backing up accidents: If a tow truck backs into a parked vehicle, for example, the operator may be held liable for any damages caused. It’s vital for tow truck operators to be aware of their surroundings and use extreme caution when reversing. 
  • Unattended collisions: In the case of a tow truck being hit when no one is present, the liability for damages may be determined by the circumstances of the evidence. This can become a complex legal matter, so taking photos/videos and filing a police report can help ease the process. 

In summary, tow trucks can be held liable for damage in Florida. The state’s laws establish clear expectations for tow truck drivers to exercise diligence, avoid negligence, and take precautionary measures to avoid accidents while performing their services. 

Real-Life Liability Scenarios

Let’s explore two real-life scenarios to illustrate how these laws can play out.

Scenario 1: Backing Up Blunder

Imagine a tow truck operator is backing up to hook a disabled vehicle. In the process, they accidentally collide with a parked car and cause damage. In this scenario, the tow truck operator may be held liable for damage to the parked car as it was their negligence that caused the accident. 

Scenario 2: Mechanical Failure

Picture a tow truck operator towing a vehicle to an auto repair shop when suddenly, the tow truck experiences a mechanical failure, causing the towed vehicle to be released prematurely. This results in minor damage to the towed vehicle’s bumper. In a case like this, the tow truck operator is not held liable for the damage, as the incident was due to an unforeseen mechanical malfunction that was beyond their control.

The bottom line and determining factor whether the tow truck operator holds liability is whether the accident or damage was caused directly by their negligence or not. 

How Specialized Insurance Services Protect Your Business

To mitigate the risks associated with tow truck liability, it’s essential to have robust insurance coverage. Commercial auto insurance specifically designed for tow truck businesses can be a lifesaver. The backbone of protection for tow truck operators is liability insurance. It covers damages and injuries to others in accidents where you’re at fault. 

Additionally, collision coverage can help repair or replace your tow truck in case of an accident, whether you’re at fault or not. Furthermore, tow truck insurance, including on-hook towing insurance, is also a comprehensive option to protect the vehicles you are towing in case of damage or theft while under your supervision. 

Affordable, Tailored Insurance Solutions With Forerunner

In Florida, tow truck liability is a serious matter, and understanding the laws surrounding it are essential. Having the right insurance policies in place can help you navigate the unpredictable road of tow truck operations. At Forerunner Insurance, we can help you make informed decisions to keep your tow truck business flowing smoothly through tailored insurance services. Please reach out to us today to set up an appointment and learn how we can safeguard your assets and operations.

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