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Boonville, city, seat (1818) of Cooper county, central Missouri, U.S. It lies along the Missouri River, 27 miles (43 km) west of Columbia. Settled in 1810 (by Kentuckians, among others) and named for Daniel Boone, Boonville was enlarged as a fort during the War of 1812 and became an important trading post on the river and the Santa Fe Trail. In the mid-19th century there was a large influx of German immigrants. During the American Civil War the first battle in the state was fought near Boonville, and the victory there by Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon's Union troops is credited with helping to establish Union control over the state. Thespian Hall (1855 - 57), considered the oldest working theatre west of the Alleghenies, was used during the war as a supply depot, barracks, and hospital. Boonville is now an agricultural trade centre. Manufactures include modular homes and heating and cooling components. Four Hopewell Indian burial mounds dating from 100bceto 500ceare preserved within Harley Park, located on the river bluffs. Arrow Rock and Boone's Lick state historic sites are nearby. The Big Muddy Folk Festival and the Missouri River Festival of the Arts are annual events. Inc. village, 1839; city, 1896. Pop. (2000) 8, 202; (2010) 8, 319.
Continuing challenges in commercial auto liability range from distracted driving to increased miles driven and vehicles on the road to higher vehicle repair costs and rising severity in liability claims. Tow trucks are no exception.
'Commercial auto in general is not going to catch a break for the next several years,' Thompson said. Most everything that's commercial auto from trucking to dump trucks to garage risks is difficult. 'Any place now where there is a human being touching an auto is warfare.'
For tow trucks, it's rear-end collisions that are 'bringing insurance companies to their knees,' Thompson said.
'Drivers are going too fast and are distracted,' Thompson said. 'When you are driving a heavy commercial vehicle, like a tow truck, and you hit a car with three or four people in it, all of those people have neck and back injuries, you total their car, you will have $30,000 worth of damage to your tow truck, and it's just a rear-end collision, which theoretically is preventable.'
Right now, Thompson and ATIG are doing damage control and just trying to keep their current clients insured. 'We are working three times as hard to keep the risks that we have but there's a lot of angry people right now. We are catching it from all sides.'
None of my markets will write a towing operation and schedule a tow truck for auto liability or physical damage.'
MGAs, other brokers, and the few insurers left in the space are swamped. 'We are trying to hold our clients' hands through this and explain what's going on.'
Thompson has even had to turn away new business. 'People are calling up panicked, they are in tears because they are going to lose their business. They expire in two days and their premium tripled but you can't help them,' he said. 'I'm at the mercy of the MGAs/brokers/insurers and they only have so much manpower. Everyone is on edge.'
The only thing towing companies can do is to manage their risk, Thompson said.
'I've got guys that are now putting cameras inside the trucks both facing outward and inward and if they catch their drivers eating or talking on the phone or texting, there is zero tolerance. They are fired,' he said.
He doesn't expect the insurance market for towing to bounce back anytime soon either. 'It will be a long time before insurers react to improved risk management in firms.'
For now, focus on driver training, he said. 'I can't specify that enough. And settle more claims out of pocket if you can legally. And if you have insurance right now, and it's semi affordable, then protect it with your life.'
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