Does Getting Your Car Towed Affect Your Insurance?

If you’ve ever had to call a tow truck to haul away your disabled vehicle, you may have wondered about the insurance implications. Will your car insurance go up if your car gets towed?

The short answer is, probably not. Towing alone does not generally impact your auto insurance rates. However, there are a few scenarios where a tow could lead to increased premiums down the road.

This article explains how towing and impound situations affect car insurance, as well as tips for avoiding rate hikes.

Does Towing Increase Insurance Rates?

In most cases, having your car towed does not directly affect your auto insurance premiums. This is true whether you use roadside assistance from your insurer, an independent towing company, or even a police tow.

Insurers calculate your car insurance rates based on risk factors like your:

  • Driving record
  • Location
  • Age
  • Vehicle
  • Credit

Needing a tow is not usually considered an indicator of high risk. After all, anyone can have a dead battery or get a flat tire.

As long as the towing was not related to a suspendable traffic violation or claim, your insurer has no reason to hike your rates.

So rest assured that calling your insurance’s roadside assistance for the occasional tow will not cause your premium to spike.

When Towing Can Lead to Higher Rates

There are some towing and impound scenarios that could indirectly impact your car insurance costs over time:

1. Towing due to a DUI or suspended license

If you are pulled over for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving with a suspended license, your car will most likely be towed and impounded.

A DUI or suspended license violation on your record will certainly drive up your insurance premiums for several years. Insurers view these as major high-risk offenses.

So while the tow itself doesn’t increase your rate, the underlying offense does.

2. Towing due to an at-fault accident

Let’s say you cause an accident and your damaged vehicle needs to be towed from the scene. The at-fault accident, not the tow, would lead to increased rates.

Insurers will view you as higher-risk after an at-fault accident and collision claim, resulting in premium hikes.

3. Excessive roadside assistance usage

Frequently relying on your insurance company’s included roadside assistance for towing can sometimes impact your rates.

Most insurers allow three to five free tows per policy period. But if you regularly max out your allotted tows, your insurer may opt not to renew your policy or may increase your premiums upon renewal.

The occasional tow won’t be an issue. But excessive usage indicates you may have an unreliable vehicle, which presents more risk to insure.

4. Towing and impound fees left unpaid

If your car gets towed and you never retrieve it from impound, the towing and storage fees can be reported to collections. This damages your credit.

Poor credit leads to higher car insurance rates. Unpaid bills that go to collections can cause your credit score to drop significantly.

So while the tow itself has no impact, unpaid fees that hurt your credit will drive up your auto insurance costs.

Does Impound Affect Insurance Rates?

Similar to towing, having your car impounded does not directly impact your car insurance rates. The impound itself is not considered a factor by auto insurers.

However, if your car was impounded due to a serious traffic violation like DUI or driving without valid registration, that offense on your record will cause your rates to spike.

And as mentioned above, leaving your impounded car at the tow yard indefinitely can indirectly lead to increased premiums by damaging your credit.

So while impound alone won’t affect insurance, the reasons for impound might. Make sure to promptly address any underlying issues like unpaid tickets, suspended license, DWIs, etc. that caused the impound.

How to Avoid Insurance Rate Hikes After Towing

Here are some tips to help keep your car insurance affordable if your vehicle gets towed:

  • Retrieve your car quickly – The longer it sits in impound accruing fees, the more risk of it impacting your credit and rates. Act fast to get it out.

  • Address traffic violations – If you were cited for an offense like DUI or driving without a valid license, be proactive about resolving it. Taking driving courses, hiring a lawyer, and cleaning up your record can help minimize the insurance rate increase.

  • Cut down on towing usage – Try not to over-rely on your insurer’s included roadside assistance to avoid exceeding yearly tow limits. Only call when absolutely necessary.

  • Ask about accident forgiveness – Some car insurance companies offer accident forgiveness, which means your first at-fault claim won’t hike your premiums. Ask your insurer if they have this benefit.

  • Improve your credit – Any hits to your credit score could mean higher rates. Monitoring your credit, disputing errors, and paying bills on time can help offset potential drops.

  • Shop around – If your current insurer does increase your rate, shop quotes from other companies. Their pricing algorithms may weigh the towing or traffic citation less than your current company.

Do Other Insurance Policies Cover Towing?

Towing and labor coverage is not included in a standard car insurance policy. You need to add roadside assistance for reimbursement.

However, some other insurance policies may cover towing costs:

  • Motorcycle insurance – Many motorcycle insurance policies include towing coverage since bikes are prone to breakdowns. Make sure you understand your exact benefits.

  • RV insurance – Towing coverage of up to 100 miles is typically included with RV insurance in case of a breakdown.

  • Homeowners or renters insurance – If your vehicle is broken down in your garage or driveway, your home or renters policy may cover towing costs.

  • AAA membership – AAA members can get free tows up to 5-10 miles, after which mileage fees apply. Beware that excessive AAA towing can lead to membership cancellation.

If towing isn’t covered by your policy, consider adding roadside assistance for peace of mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if my parked car gets towed?

If your legally parked car gets towed by mistake, your insurance will not cover the fees. This type of wrongful towing does not affect your rates either. You’ll need to resolve the situation directly with the tow company to get reimbursement or retrieve your car without paying.

Does a fender bender increase insurance?

A minor fender bender generally won’t increase your car insurance rates, especially if you don’t file a claim. But any moderate to major at-fault accident that leads to a claim could certainly hike your premiums at renewal time. Insurers see drivers who cause collisions as higher risk.

How much is the average towing fee?

The average cost for a standard local tow is $75-$100, while a long distance tow can cost upwards of $200 or more. Additional daily storage fees apply if your car is towed to an impound lot. Avoid excessive storage fees by retrieving your vehicle promptly.

What documents do I need to get my car from impound?

To retrieve your vehicle from impound, you’ll typically need your driver’s license, vehicle registration, proof of insurance, and payment to cover the towing and storage fees. Requirements may vary by state and locality.

Does car insurance cover towing a trailer or boat?

Standard auto insurance only covers towing your insured vehicle, not trailers or boats. You would need to add trailer/boat coverage to get reimbursement for towing those items. Or you can get an affordable standalone roadside assistance plan that covers recreational vehicle towing.

Don’t Let Towing Worry You

Having to call a tow truck when your car won’t start or gets in an accident is never convenient. But in most cases, it won’t directly cause your insurance rates to rise.

As long as the tow wasn’t due to a major driving offense or claim, it likely won’t affect your premium. Don’t hesitate to call for help when you need it.

However, take proactive steps to avoid potential indirect rate impacts down the road. Address any tickets, monitor your credit, and keep towing usage within your insurance policy’s limits.

Police Towed My Car! Laws, Fees, & Insurance for Impounded Vehicles


Do you need extra insurance to tow?

Check your policy before you head out on the road. Car insurance is a legal requirement, but insurance for a towed unit isn’t mandatory. However, if you have an accident as a result of towing your caravan or trailer, it can be very costly if you’re not insured.

Can you tow a automatic car?

As we mentioned above, you can still tow a car with an automatic transmission in the back as long as all four of its wheels don’t touch the ground. With some vehicles with specially designed automatic transmissions, you can also perform this action, but with very little percentage.

How do you tow a car with a tow pole?

TOWING ADVICE With a driver in each of the vehicles, ensure the front wheels of the vehicle being towed are in line with the direction of pull and slowly pull away. While towing, the towing pole must remain parallel with the direction of travel.

How do I get my car towed UK?

The police have the power to tow away a vehicle that is breaching a parking restriction, is causing an obstruction or has broken down. Local councils also have powers to clamp cars and get them towed away. Councils might do this if a driver doesn’t have car tax or insurance.

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