Getting a flat tire or running out of gasoline may disrupt your daily commute or derail a holiday road trip. An estimated 69 million breakdowns happen on America’s roadways annually, roughly equal to one for each three motorists.1 Roadside assistance insurance can come in handy in case your automobile leaves you stranded. There are quite a few strategies of getting coverage, and prices can vary from $0 up. This is how to compare.
- Roughly 1 in 3 drivers encounter vehicle trouble which needs roadside assistance every year.
- Roadside assistance insurance can cover various scenarios, from flat tires to towing to lockouts.
- Auto insurance companies, AAA, along with your credit card issuer are a few of the choices for getting roadside assistance coverage.
- Having this policy does not necessarily mean that you won’t have any out-of-pocket costs.
Roadside Assistance Insurance: What Is It?
Roadside assistance insurance is intended to assist you in the event that you encounter vehicle problem on the road or even in your home.
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The assortment of services it covers may vary. But generally, you may be covered for things such as:
- Towing to the nearest repair place
- Flat tire replacement
- Jump begins if your battery goes dead
- Locksmithing services if you get locked out
- Gas delivery if you run out of gas
- Extrication if your car gets stuck in sand, snow, or a ditch
- Rental car discounts if you Want to rent a car temporarily
Roadside assistance coverage differs from standard car insurance. Car insurance is designed to protect you and your automobile in case of accidents, vandalism, theft, or damage related to acts of nature. It may cover repairs to the car, in addition to medical expenses and personal liability for injuries to others or their property. You may have the ability to find roadside assistance as part of your automobile insurance policy, but they are two separate things.
Whether you’re qualified for roadside assistance coverage through your auto insurance carrier or any place else may depend on your car’s age and mileage.
How Roadside Assistance Insurance Works
For those who have roadside assistance insurance, then you may use it like you would any other insurance.
Specifically, for those who have a situation that you believe requires assistance, you would begin by calling the business that you have your policy through. Some roadside assistance providers also have a mobile app you can use.
You’d need to spell out the sort of vehicle issue you are having, along with the roadside assistance company would immediately review your coverage to be certain it’s covered. Assuming it is, a partner company (for example, a towing firm ) will be dispatched to where you are to aid you. You would be responsible for paying any out-of-pocket costs not covered by your roadside assistance policy. And if the policy has a deductible, you would be responsible for paying that, also.
There may be limitations on how far a car can be towed without needing additional towing fees.
Where to Get Roadside Assistance Insurance
There are several ways to get roadside assistance insurance policy, including:
- Auto Insurance Businesses
- Roadside assistance membership services (like AAA)
- Vehicle manufacturer’s guarantee
- Mobile Phone firm
- Credit card firm
- Membership organizations
The two main things to consider when comparing roadside assistance insurance are what is covered and what you will pay for it. Concerning cost, you might pay $15 to $60 per year for coverage through your existing vehicle insurance policy. Registering for a roadside assistance membership program may cost anywhere from $50 to $360 annually.
Credit card companies may not charge another fee for this policy; rather, it is included as a card advantage. However, you may still pay an annual fee for the card and there may be some out-of-pocket costs you must pay to benefit from this feature. Mobile phone companies may also offer this as an add-on to your account. Based on the kind of plan you have, this may or may not need a modest monthly fee.
If you’re purchasing a new or newer car that is still covered by the manufacturer’s guarantee, free roadside assistance services may be included automatically. You may ask the dealer whether it is included, what it covers, and how long it lasts.
Roadside assistance coverage that is provided as part of an auto manufacturer’s warranty typically lasts for a specific time interval or a certain number of miles.
Belonging to some membership organizations may also unlock roadside assistance benefits. By way of instance, if you belong to a college alumni association or a professional organization, you might have the ability to receive membership in AAA or a similar service at a discount.
When reviewing roadside assistance coverage, pay close attention to what is included in the coverage –and what exceptions may apply. By way of example, there might be limitations on which towing businesses you may use or how many vehicles are insured. In addition, it is useful to ask about adding many drivers to your coverage if you are not the only person who drives your car. That may involve an extra fee.
There might be a limit on the amount of service claims it is possible to make each year via your roadside assistance insurance plan.
Do You Need Roadside Assistance Insurance?
There is no legal requirement to have roadside assistance insurance, as there is in most nations with frequent auto insurance.
When deciding whether it is worth buying roadside assistance, think about things like:
- The age and condition of your vehicle
- the Amount of people in your home who generally drive your vehicle
- How many miles you typically drive in a year
- How often you commute versus taking longer road trips
- How proficient you or other members of your household are in managing minor car troubles, like changing a flat tire
Maintaining your vehicle well maintained and regularly serviced can help decrease the probability of a breakdown. And in the event you typically only drive short distances, coping with car trouble if it happens may not be a significant inconvenience.
But if you are concerned about being stranded on the side of the street, roadside assistance insurance can provide some reassurance. Make certain to compare costs and policy so that you know what you are getting. And if you are buying coverage through your auto insurance carrier, ask if any discounts are available which could help you save money.
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