DES PLAINES, Ill., May 26, 2021 — The National Insurance Crime Bureau is pleased to announce the passage of changes to the city ordinance requiring additional licensing to improve towing safety by the Chicago City Council in a vote held earlier today.
“We are grateful the Chicago City Council voted and passed these changes to the ordinance ultimately safeguarding Chicagoans from years of unsafe and unscrupulous towing service practices,” said Tim Lynch, senior director of government affairs with the National Insurance Crime Bureau. “We are especially thankful to Alderman Gil Villegas for his untiring leadership guiding these changes within the City Council improving safety and ending the schemes responsible for taking thousands of dollars from the pockets of all of our neighbors here in Chicago.”
According to data received by members of the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Chicago ranks as the second most affected major city in the nation for towing abuse. Furthermore, a survey of several insurance companies identified Chicago as one of the “most problematic” cities nationally for towing-related abuses.
“We believe strengthening licensing provisions and implementing stricter penalties is a step in the right direction to reduce the number of bad actors and improve the safety of innocent drivers,” said Lynch.
Changes to address deceitful towing practices are not unique to Chicago. The city of Philadelphia implemented towing regulations which ultimately safeguarded tow customers and reduced the potential for insurance fraud. California similarly passed regulations prohibiting tow companies from stopping at an accident scene unless called by the vehicle owner or law enforcement and requires all tow companies provide written estimates of all charges to the vehicle operator before proceeding with a tow. Arizona has similar laws and Ohio allows civil action by insurers against a towing company operator to recover a vehicle.