For those of you looking to learn more about Roadside Assistance, you might be surprised that you are not alone! The term “roadside assistance” has steadily risen in the searches for over a decade, based on Google Trends, and shows no projection of slowing down. Statistics on Google Trends show the top searched companies for roadside assistance include Progressive, AAA, Geico, and State Farm, amongst a few others. The most searched services regarding roadside Assistance were flat tire, jump start, and towing. These types of services are not limited to cars either; they can be added to all types of vehicles such as motorcycles or motorbikes, and even boats!
Let’s face it, we have all had issues at some point in our history of driving. Roadside Assistance can be the bridge to getting help when sticky situations arise. Before we get into the details of roadside assistance coverage and what it offers, let’s first break down what exactly roadside assistance is and how it differs from other vehicle insurance products.
How Roadside Assistance Works
Some issues can be covered by standard car insurance, but many minor and even major complications need supplemental coverage to fill in these gaps. Liability is the cheapest and most basic coverage you can get for your vehicle. It helps cover any car damage, medical fees, and legal fees that the insured party is responsible for if they cause an accident.
Then there is full coverage, which usually includes a combination of coverage options including, but not limited to liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage plans. Although full coverage can vary depending upon the company and plan chosen, these plans are still limited in what they can cover. You may have even heard of or been offered supplemental vehicle insurance plans such as an extended warranty. These cover things like natural wear-and-tear of your vehicle components such as brake pads, oil changes, filters, and clutches; things that require consistent upkeep throughout the lifetime of your vehicle.
Finally, there is roadside assistance, an entirely separate, yet equally beneficial type of supplemental vehicle insurance. With roadside assistance, you get help in the event of a breakdown. This is the type of insurance you hope to never use but will be glad you have if you need it. It is just like getting hospital indemnity or accident insurance in addition to your regular health plan. Simply put, it is peace of mind insurance.
Types of Roadside Assistance Services Offered
Most Roadside plans offer standard features such as battery boost, flat tire service, fuel delivery, towing, and lockout assistance. The three most common types of calls to roadside assistance are for dead batteries, flat tires, and lockouts. Many companies also offer premium emergency roadside assistance services, such as free mechanical adjustments, or engine tune-ups, and deep discounts on car rentals, products, and services.
Not every roadside assistance plan is the same, and with so many companies out there offering plans to potential customers, how can you be sure which plan is right for you?
Comparing Levels of Roadside Assistance
Comparing plans to see what each has to offer is always a good starting point. Website Cheap Full Coverage Auto Insurance has a handy company comparison chart: www.cheapfullcoverageautoinsurance.com/progressive-roadside-assistance-review.
In it you can see that most insurance companies have very similar types of supplemental coverage.
On the other hand, Motor Clubs like AAA take roadside assistance to another level. AAA has multiple membership levels that range from very good coverage to unbeatable. They cover RVs and Motorcycles, and even have bicycle breakdown coverage. In addition, they do not require you to have standard coverage with them to qualify for their plans. This makes them a great option for those looking outside of their current insurance carrier.
Allstate is interesting since it has a Motor Club level as well as a typical insurance company level. Their Motor Club level is a premium service level that offers coverage outside of the typical coverage a basic plan provides. Like AAA, Allstate’s premium level offers services such as identity theft monitoring, travel discounts, vehicle inspections, and registration assistance to its members, as well as a trip interruption guarantee.
Average Costs Associated with Roadside Assistance
Roadside plans are usually very affordable; there are even free roadside assistance plans through companies you may already have insurance with, such as Root Insurance. Other carriers, such as Nationwide, require you to have full coverage. Since AAA is a standalone auto club policy with multiple membership levels, their prices range from anywhere between $7.58 to $22.67 per month.
The cheapest roadside assistance programs are usually included with your credit card or current car insurance carrier. Although it’s smart to find out if any of the cards you already have offer complimentary roadside assistance or if your current car insurance provider does, don’t just rely on these types of emergency roadside options. There are lots of limits on these plans, and you could end up paying for most of your service bills.
Roadside Assistance Pros and Cons Review
- Supplemental coverage for emergency roadside assistance when basic coverage lacks
- Cheap roadside or free roadside assistance options through various companies and carriers
- Lots of services offered such as tow, flat tire repair, lockout assistance, and more
- Can cover multiple incidents and family members per year
- Premium services available for those with specific needs
- May have limited options on coverage depending on your current car insurance carrier, forcing you to look elsewhere for supplemental coverage
- Lots of companies and plans to research for the best options
- Fine print with certain services on your plan
For the most part, roadside assistance seems to be an overall great addition to your current vehicle coverage, and most of the time it is free or very affordable. It also seems to cover most of the nuisances that can arise when driving. The main thing is to make sure you do your research and shop smart for coverage.
3 Tips to Shop for Roadside Assistance
It could be as easy as searching, “roadside assistance near me” or you could do your due diligence and learn all you can about roadside assistance before making an informed decision on coverage.
Follow these 3 tips when doing your shopping:
Beware of Roadside Assistance Scams
Lookout for hidden fees, bad reputations, and forceful selling. Research multiple companies before deciding.
Knowledge is Power
Learn all you can about roadside assistance so you can ask the right questions and make an informed decision.
Consider Your Specific Needs
This type of coverage is great for the elderly, new drivers, Parents with small kids, those with a disability, drivers of vehicles older than a decade, people who live in remote areas, commuters who drive more than 20 miles each day, and those who frequently take long trips.
Great questions to ask a carrier would be, when and how can I use my roadside assistance, are there any additional fees outside of the ones stated, can I use my roadside assistance for multiple vehicles or family members? Reputable companies will charge their client’s fair rates and usually flat fees to avoid confusion for the customer. Reading customer reviews and roadside assistance reviews can help you make the best decision.
Roadside Assistance: Is It Worth It?
Roadside assistance coverage is great to have for many different reasons covered in this article. Just remember where your benefits begin and where they end. Roadside coverage never covers the cost of major repairs, this is where good budgeting for emergencies comes in. Although there are multiple carriers and plans to pick from, it should come down to your specific needs and budget ultimately determining your decision. Hopefully, this article has left you more informed and can aid you in your search.