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Before you go any farther in this article, ask yourself one important question: what if you were driving down the road tomorrow on your way to work, and your tire blew out? What would you do? Do you have a spare in your trunk? Do you know how to change a tire yourself? Would you get in trouble for being late to work if you had to change your entire, or wait for your vehicle to get towed? Would you have the money to tow your vehicle to a shop and pay for a new tire? In other words, how much would a common roadside incident, like a flat tire or an empty gas tank, disrupt your normal life?
With roadside assistance coverage on your policy, you won’t have to worry about spending too much time or money taking care of such a situation. And for most car insurance policies, adding roadside assistance coverage only cost an extra few dollars. But there are some pitfalls to roadside assistance coverage that you may want to be aware of before you sign up. And we will explain them to you now.
If, for whatever reason, your car is suddenly rendered undrivable while you are on the road, you will likely require roadside assistance services in order to get it up and running again. Many auto insurance policies come with a fairly comprehensive list of roadside assistance services, such as:
Keep in mind that some of these services have a limited range and number of uses per policy term. With Progressive, for example, your towing benefits are limited to an approved repair facility within 15 miles of the point from which you tow the vehicle, or the nearest acceptable facility if it happens to be beyond 15 miles. Furthermore, other companies may put a limit on how many times you can, for example, call for a battery jump start. If you exceed that maximum number, they may force you to pay for the service out of pocket or treat it as a claim against your policy and up your rates on the next renewal.
For starters, there are alternatives to purchasing the roadside assistance coverage option offered by your car insurance company. You could potentially get these services from an auto club, one of your credit card companies, or the dealership that your vehicle comes from. But if the roadside assistance options offered by your automotive insurer are more attractive than alternate options, you should still keep the following factors in mind before you make a final decision:
Hopefully, some of scenarios above can give you a better idea of what sort of benefits you could get from a roadside assistance package on your policy.
While most major auto insurance providers do, in fact, offer roadside assistance, there are some smaller entities out there who either don’t or can’t provide such coverage. Obviously, you will need to get in touch with your insurance company and ask them if roadside assistance is available for your policy. You should also ask them specifics about what their roadside assistance package includes; unfortunately, these optional coverages are not uniform or universal across all providers. Your insurance company has the freedom to decide which options they can offer, and the limitations of them.
Furthermore, you are auto insurance companies and the only source of roadside assistance. Some credit card companies, especially if you have exceptionally good credit, offer roadside assistance as a bonus perk to their valued customers. You can also purchase roadside assistance from the auto club, like AAA. These organizations specialize in not only roadside assistance, but offering people discounts on hotels, restaurants, goods and services that you would need on a road trip, or deals on things that have nothing to do with travel (but most people would like a discount on anyway). Although most auto club memberships are significantly more expensive than roadside assistance from your insurer, many drivers feel that the goods, services, and discounts they get in exchange are well worth the money.
If you think you might benefit from roadside assistance, then you’ll also have to take into consideration which company can give you the best options for your money. Sometimes, that company will also give you a better rate on your auto insurance policy overall; other providers, however, may have the roadside assistance package you need but not the best price. How can you find out which one is which? By comparing rates right now, of course! Using our website to compare quotes today can help you find out not only which company is offering the best price for your monthly premium, but which one will give you the best service in the future – whether or not that includes roadside assistance.