Allstate Insurance Company is suing a family-owned, Houston-based tow truck company for deceptive business practices. The company, an automobile towing, storage and repair company leads a list of seven defendants accused of over-charging for routine tow services and disassembling vehicles belonging to unsuspecting accident victims.
The charges in court documents filed Wednesday by Allstate Insurance Company in Harris County are alleging fraud and false representation involving more than 100 Houston area motorists . The lawsuit is seeking actual and exemplary damages totaling more than $180,000.
Industry experts say phony insurance claims cost consumers an extra $200 to $300 annually in the form of higher premiums.
It is alleged that the Defendants routinely falsely represented their towing and storage services were requested or initiated by the vehicle owner, and then significantly higher rates for towing and storage services were charged.
Furthermore Defendants have allegedly falsely claimed that “tear downs” of vehicles in their possession were authorized by the vehicle’s owner. Tear down is a process used by body shops to evaluate damage to vehicles and estimate repair costs – leaving the car or truck in pieces and more difficult to move to a repair facility potentially preferred by the vehicle owner.