Roadside assistance coverage through your auto insurance policy may help get you going again. Just be sure to understand what your plan covers, and what it doesn’t, before you find yourself frustrated and stranded on the side of the road.
Here are five important things to know about roadside assistance to help you better understand the coverage:
- It’s a policy add-on: Your auto insurance likely doesn’t include roadside assistance coverage unless you added it to your policy for an extra but oftentimes nominal charge. It’s such a commonplace option nowadays that many independent agents recommend it, and many customers ask about it. However, it’s still possible to come away with a new car insurance policy that does not include roadside assistance. Sometimes it just gets overlooked, so be sure to check your policy and add the coverage, if you like.
- What you get depends on whom you get it from: Different carriers or auto clubs will offer different coverages with their roadside assistance plans. Oftentimes you’ll have assistance for:
- Fuel delivery.
- Battery jumpstart or boost.
- Flat tires.
- Mechanical breakdowns, including towing, if needed.
Know what your plan covers so you know what to expect when trouble strikes. For example, with most plans, you pay for the services upfront, as part of your car insurance premium. That typically means you won’t incur any additional charges at the time you use the services, but that could depend on your individual policy terms and on the situation at hand.
- Towing restrictions may apply: Your roadside assistance plan likely puts a cap on how far – and maybe even how often – you’ll be towed before incurring additional fees. If you break down in a remote area and require a lengthy tow, you may have to chip in for some of the cost. Check your policy for details.
- It’s not just for cars: All shapes and sizes of vehicles are typically eligible for roadside assistance plans. But, did you know that RVs, classic cars, motorcycles and even boats typically are, too? With classic car coverage, check whether your roadside assistance plan offers flatbed towing. For boats, coverage is typically available for your trailer and towing vehicle. Plus, your carrier may offer on-water assistance for such things as fuel delivery, towing and more for your watercraft. If so, this would be a separate option to add to your boat insurance policy.
- Supersize it: Standard roadside assistance oftentimes includes the coverages discussed above. But, what if you break down and have to spend a night or longer in a hotel while your car undergoes repairs? All of a sudden you have unexpected lodging expenses to cover, not to mention the cost of food and other necessities while you’re delayed. Standard roadside assistance likely won’t help you with these expenses, but an emergency assistance package or trip interruption coverage in addition to your roadside assistance plan may. Ask your independent agent about this enhanced coverage if you feel it’s right for you, whether for your car, RV, motorcycle or something else.
Stay Safe While Waiting for Roadside AssistanceIf you experience any type of car trouble, turn on your hazard lights at once and do your best to pull all the way off the road and onto the shoulder, safely out of traffic’s way. Do this before calling for roadside assistance. Your vehicle emergency kit may help keep you comfortable and safe while you wait for help to arrive.
We offer free policy reviews on all insurance policies even if we are not your agent and can help you determine if you are covered in these situations. Give us a call today and one of our agents would be happy to help you.