A Surrey man is fuming after ICBC refused to cover the damage a tow truck caused to his beloved 1992 Buick Roadmaster.
Fabian Galick, who works in security in the film business, was driving to Hope to meet up with a friend on Aug. 2, when his prized 24-year-old car with a 350-cubic-inch V8 engine blew a transmission line, which left him stranded at the side of the highway about 11 kilometres out of Hope.
Galick, 48, called his brother and asked him to call a tow truck to pick up to take it back to Surrey for repairs.
When the car arrived home, Galick was stunned to see extensive damage to the undercarriage, sides and bumper. Most perplexing, a wheel had fallen off.
“He did a lot of damage,” Galick said of the tow-truck operator. “It will be in the thousands to fix.”
Galick suspects the wheel fell off when the car was hooked up backwards and the driver began to head to Surrey. “”You do not tow a car backwards that has knock-off rims,” he said. “He hooked it up backwards and destroyed it.”
Once he figured out the extent of the damage, Galick said he made a claim with ICBC.
But he was later told his policy did not cover the damage from the tow truck.
He was told he would have to go after tow-truck company Bear Paws Towing and Recovery Ltd., in a civil action, despite his understanding he was covered if there was damage to the car when it was being towed.
“They said I have no coverage and I’ll have to sue,” Galick said of the claim.
But the big thing he said is the danger motorists faced when the self-tightening wheel fell off while the car was in tow. “Every tow truck driver is supposed to know how knock-off wheels work,” he said.
Jeff Potts, part-owner of Bear Paws Towing and Recovery Ltd., said he takes full responsibility for the damage in the tow.
“We’re going to pay him,” Potts said. “It was a bad judgment call on my part, “ said Potts of the tow.
“It is not his fault. I will square up with him.”
An ICBC official would not discuss the case, but instead pointed out people need to do their research when they call a tow-truck company. ICBC recommends hiring a tow-truck company that is one of their “suppliers.”
In B.C., it is mandatory for towing companies to purchase a “garage policy” from ICBC.
If there isn’t negligence by the tow-truck operator, the customer’s own optional insurance coverage could cover damages.
And if the damage isn’t covered under an ICBC policy, the driver can pursue a legal claim with the tow company.
Galick said after a month he has yet to see any financial compensation and wants to warn other motorists to check their ICBC policy and the tow truck’s standing with ICBC before hiring them.
“There are so many things going on here,” Galick said of the problems he encountered with what he thought was a routine tow.
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