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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records approximately 16 million traffic crashes in the U.S. each year, resulting in 10.9 million tows. Expenses related to towing and storage of these vehicles in 2010 was $412 per claim, or about $4.5 billion a year. It follows that abusive towing practices can cause major insurance headaches.

Abusive towing involves a wide range of misconduct, including excessive or unbundled fees, failing to notify vehicle owners about a tow, failing to provide information about where the vehicle is being stored, lack of standards for statements or receipts and intentionally vague language or stalling surrounding release procedures. Corrupt towing is often compared to a hostage situation because vehicle owners are left stranded and mis- or un-informed. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), reported fraud incidents doubled between 2009 and 2010.

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