Deciding Whether It Pays To Have Roadside Assistance Coverage

When you're traveling out on the road, whether you are miles away or just a few blocks from your home, it may pay to include roadside assistance coverage on your auto insurance policy. That way, you will be covered when the unexpected happens. Since it's an add on to your policy, you pay more, but the cost is often worth the security it offers.

Why buy roadside assistance insurance?

Even if you don't usually travel far from home, there's always the chance that your vehicle may leave you stranded along the side of the road or in a parking lot. Engines stall, batteries go dead, and tires go flat. But if your auto policy includes roadside assistance coverage, help can be on the way with a phone call. You won't even have to tend to the details. Your insurance company will take care of everything for you.

The cost of roadside assistance insurance varies depending on where you live and the make and model of the vehicle you drive. Many insurers offer it cheap if you carry comprehensive and collision coverage on the vehicle. Some insurance companies even offer limited roadside assistance service free.

Benefits of coverage include:

  • Towing services if your vehicle breaks down or won't start. Most plans will tow your vehicle to the nearest qualified repair shop.
  • Sending someone to change a flat tire with your spare.
  • Jump-starting a dead or low battery.
  • Help if you run out of gas. Someone will deliver fuel to your vehicle, and you only pay for the cost of the gasoline to get you on your way again. The service and delivery are free.
  • Locksmith service to get you back in your vehicle if you get locked out.

Flip Side of the Coin

While taking advantage of your auto insurer's roadside assistance benefits can save you money out of pocket if you find yourself in a dilemma, you could see your premium rate go up if you rely on them too often. Using roadside assistance may be a minor factor when it comes to calculating the insurance rate you pay, but if you have other negatives against you, it could tip the scale.

When You Don't Need the Extra Coverage

You don't need to buy roadside assistance coverage as an additional option to your insurance policy if you purchase a new vehicle and get a roadside assistance plan as part of the deal. Auto dealerships and manufacturers often offer free roadside assistance that comes with a vehicle's warranty.

In addition, if you're a member of an auto club, you may already have roadside assistance services. However, the extent of the services you receive generally differs depending on your level of membership. When protection isn't adequate, you may still want to consider getting a plan from an auto insurer like Hug Jeff Insurance.