IBC: Roadside Assistance Protection Act will protect drivers

Toronto, Ontario — April 17, 2014 —  The Ontario government’s Roadside Assistance Protection Act (RAPA) is long overdue and will bring clarity to consumer interactions with tow truck operators.

The Bill will help improve disclosure and transparency for consumers requiring towing services so that prices are upfront and authorization is clearly provided.

“We support the government’s initiatives to protect drivers requiring towing services. A Consumer Bill of Rights is a positive step. In addition to protecting consumers from unscrupulous operators, this Bill will help combat insurance fraud, and may ultimately save consumers money and make our roads safer,” says Ralph Palumbo, Vice President, Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). “We are hopeful that these measures in the bill will address concerns about fraud as noted in the Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force Report.”

These are positive developments. The Insurance Bureau of Canada’s Towing Working Group, in response to a Ministry of Consumer Services consultation, is focused on towing and storage issues in order to create an environment that is fair to all stakeholders. Recently, the Working Group recommended to the Government:

  • Establish a provincial tow license and include tow trucks within the Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR)
  • Implement a standardized invoice and tow authorization form
  • Enact the Fair Value Guidelines principles
  • Shorten the notice period in the Repair and Storage Liens Act

“We look forward to working with the government on these important issues. Once all of these items are addressed, our roads will be safer, and consumers will be better protected and informed,” says Palumbo.

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