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Should I get roadside assistance?

Auto Insurance

By Anne Valentino | October 13, 2017

We’ve all been there. You’re driving along happily headed to your destination and all of a sudden a tire blows or maybe it is that the vehicle just stops running altogether and you are essentially stranded along the side of the road unsure of how to handle the situation. This is when the question of whether or not to get roadside assistance really comes into play. It may not be at the forefront of your thoughts because most of us never plan for or like to think about breaking down along the highway but it is a very real possibility—one for which it is important to be prepared.

Did you know that many insurance companies actually offer roadside assistance as part of your car insurance policy; some may include it as a free service while others allow you to add it to the policy for a small fee. Considering that the alternatives can get quite costly looking into a good roadside assistance program can be a lifesaver in the long run.

What Does Roadside Assistance Cover?

As the name suggests a roadside assistance plan provides help in the event that something unexpected happens while you are driving and your car is no longer in a position to continue on. Most standard programs cover the basics: flat tires dead batteries fuel shortages lockout situations and general breakdowns. Essentially what happens is that in the event that your car can no longer run you would simply call the roadside assistance number provided explain the issue and they will send out a service technician to address the problem. If the vehicle breaks down to the point where it is not serviceable in that particular area your roadside plan will send a towing service out to bring your vehicle to a repair centre.

How Do I Find a Good Roadside Assistance Program?

As with anything else you want to shop around. Now of course if your insurance company offers a roadside assistance plan either free or for a small fee you can trust that they have vetted the available programs and are thus offering their customers one of the better plans. If you are searching for roadside assistance provider on your own you may want to consider the following:

  • What do you need? Depending on the age of your car some things may actually still be covered roadside via the manufacturer. See what is offered versus what you actually need.
  • What are the limits? Some plans may put restrictions and limits on what exactly they will cover. Carefully review the components of the plan.
  • Are there any extras? Some companies may offer services such as trip planning help discounts on car repairs and reward programs. Look into the extras.
  • What are the towing requirements? Some may only tow a certain distance or to a certain shop. Find out what exactly is involved as far as the towing portion of the plan is concerned.

If you are interested in a roadside assistance plan it’s a good idea to firsttalk to your insurance broker. They may already have one in place. If not they can probably point you in the right direction!

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