Secondary towing of the future

Secondary tows. What are they? And why do they cause headaches for so many?

Most auto theft recovery damage claims and vehicles involved in accidents will be towed immediately from the scene to a temporary holding location such as an impound lot, storage facility, or customer’s driveway. The damaged vehicle will then get evaluated by an insurance adjuster and moved for a second time (secondary tow) to an approved DRP (direct repair program) location or another repair facility for the actual repair to begin.

For insurance carriers, this means logistical nightmares caused by a lack of transparency that often result in inflated payouts to impound lots, car rental facilities, and in some cases, body shops. For Service Providers, secondary tows are a headache as they require extensive paperwork, upfront payment of release fees, lots of phone calls, and wasted time. This has been the acceptable norm for decades. But at HONK, we didn’t look at this as a problem, we saw it as an opportunity.

The towing and roadside industry is going through a much needed technological revolution. An industry that has often been apprehensive, if not strongly opposed, to change is now slowly opening its arms to progress.

Today HONK is using self-built technology to automate the process of dispatching and completing secondary tows. This includes the management of the vehicle’s release, the pre-payment of all the service’s fees, and ultimately the scheduling of the vehicle’s pick-up. Making the process more efficient has benefits for all parties involved.

For an insurance carrier, secondary tows lack transparency and can cost them hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in unnecessary payouts. HONK solves these issues in 4 easy ways:

1. Getting damaged vehicles to a designated DRP facility faster

This minimizes storage fees, payout fees, transport costs and the cost of paying for their customer’s rental vehicle over a longer period of time.

2. Providing full transparency over the course of the job

HONK’s Client Rescue Dashboard provides the insurance client with real-time system updates that allow them to place a service and then monitor the process from start to finish. HONK’s automated system also emails the Claims Adjuster when the secondary tow job is complete for full transparency.

3. Reducing the repair cycle time

After FNOL (first notice of loss), HONK is able to move the damaged vehicle to a repair facility faster than ever before. This ensures that the customer will have their vehicle back sooner – minimizing the number of days without their vehicle and subsequently reducing rental car costs.

4. Providing ultimate reliability of the HONK Service Provider Network

Secondary tows are provided by HONK’s vetted and background checked network of trained tow truck professionals ensuring that the customer’s vehicle is in good hands.

What should not be lost in all this is the massive effect that enhancements like these will have on the customer. Experiencing a car crash, or needing to have your car repaired is stressful. Few people want to drive a rental car. Even fewer want to feel like their insurance carrier isn’t there to help in the worst of times.

By getting their customer’s vehicle back to them faster, an insurance company is proving that they are there when they need them most. This can increase the customer’s satisfaction. Happier customers are loyal and will be less inclined to switch insurance carriers if their experience is good.



Now when it comes to Service Providers, they often scoff at the idea of taking a secondary tow. This is mostly due to long wait times, unpaid release fees and mountains of paperwork. Technology is solving this, and HONK has introduced advancements to its platform to do just that.

By automating much of the process Service Providers can focus on one thing – picking up and dropping off a vehicle. HONK manages the logistics of the job so the tow truck operator doesn’t have to. This is accomplished by coordinating the release details in advance with the impound lot, pre-paying release fees, preparing release documents and then sending out the secondary tow request to the HONK network.

This allows HONK Partners to dispatch a truck and complete the service just like any other job. When a secondary tow is placed a Service Provider will be sent all relevant information to their HONK Partner App. These notes will inform them of the release fees that have been paid and the paperwork that has already been sent over for the vehicle’s release. All they need to do is show up and load the vehicle. No phone calls, no paperwork, no up-front fees. HONK takes care of all the logistical issues so they don’t have to.

The enhancements that HONK has made to its secondary towing services enables cost saving measures and increased chances of customer retention for insurance companies and provides much needed logistical relief for Service Providers. The injection of technology into this industry will continue to prove beneficial for all parties involved – this is none more apparent than looking at what secondary towing used to be and what secondary towing is today.