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With Tow Truck Scams on Rise, Allstate Offers Tips to Help Prevent Drivers from Being Taken for a Ride

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12/02/2010 - Northbrook, IL

When a car breaks down, drivers are anxious to have their vehicle towed quickly to a safe place. Increasingly, stranded drivers are finding themselves at the mercy of potential scam artist tow truck operators, Allstate Insurance Company cautions.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, reported claims of inflated towing or storage bills increased 103 percent during the first nine months of 2010 when compared to the same period last year.

A tow truck scam may take many forms, including the practice of patrolling the nation's highways searching for broken down motorists and offer their services... at an astronomical price that consumers are unaware of. These scams often leave victims paying hundreds, if not thousands, in hidden charges for roadside assistance.

Allstate encourages drivers to take steps to help prevent becoming a victim of these "Bandit Tow" scams.

  • When possible, use a towing operator pre-screened by your motor club or roadside assistance program. Allstate offers a new pay-as-you go program, Allstate Good Hands® Roadside, which will allow drivers to opt-in to the program only when they need it and gives them access to pre-screened, legitimate tow truck operators countrywide.
  • Never give a tow truck operator permission to take your car if they weren't called by you or by law enforcement personnel.
  • Do not provide a tow truck operator your insurance information.
  • Make sure all signage on the truck and documentation provided is identical and consistent.
  • Whenever possible, have your car towed either to your home or a repair shop of your choice to avoid any storage fees or additional fees.
  • Make sure you receive a printed price list that includes daily storage fees and miscellaneous charges as well as printed documentation of where the vehicle will be towed.
  • Make sure you sign below the dollar amount quoted, not necessarily the bottom of the document.
  • Always remove personal items and valuables before having your car towed.

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®" slogan, Allstate is reinventing protection and retirement to help more than 17 million households insure what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow. Consumers access Allstate insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada, as well as via www.allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate®.

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Christina Loznicka
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www.allstatenewsroom.com
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