All vehicles break down at some point, even new ones. It usually happens at the most inopportune moments like when you’re running late for work or your starting a road trip. While it doesn’t happen often its good to have a roadside assistance plan in place so you can get that tow when you need it, or even better get the car fixed at the side of the road so you can be on your way again. Some auto insurance policies include roadside assistance as a part of the but it is often a very basic policy. If you want complete peace of mind or if your auto insurance policy doesn’t include roadside assistance you may want to buy an additional policy from your insurer or a motor club.
Before you start shopping for roadside insurance, double check your auto insurance policy first to check if you are already covered, and what services are included in your policy. You can also find roadside assistance deals through your cellphone provider, your credit card company, or vehicle warranty from your car dealer. Read our guide below for more information on the different types of roadside assistance available and some things to bear in mind when you’re shopping around for the best policy for you and your family.
Make sure that you always read the fine print when it comes to coverage. Will the service help you, no matter what vehicle you drive, or is it specific to one vehicle? Is it available in your state? If it covers your vehicles, will it include rentals, RV’s, or motorcycles, or are you limited regarding the vehicle type? Look for a roadside assistance company that offers the best coverage, then just add on additional services you think you will need.
Limitations & Exclusions
There are some companies, like AARP, who will offer roadside assistance for specific ages, like 50 and older. Some will cover you so long as you have your valid driver’s license. Make a note of other exclusions that could be deal breakers.
This is the most important factor when purchasing your roadside assistance service. You should be able to access this policy 24/7. They should be able to help you get towed to the nearest gas station, or help you if you get a flat tire. If unfortunately, your car slides off the road and gets stuck in a ditch, they should be there to help. If your luck runs out and you lock your keys inside the car or if you run out of gas, they should also be there to help you. Helping you out with dead batteries is also a given. Some companies will also offer emergency assistance that is travel related, like travel interruption reimbursement or something similar. The AARP even provides money for legal help if you get a speeding ticket. Also look at the response time of the company. You would not want to be waiting in the rain for 5 hours for help. Also, verify the number of occasions you will be able to call them for help in a given year, and how much to add another family member to your coverage.
If you own a variety of vehicles, make sure all of them are covered. These companies base it on weight capacity (usually up to 4,000 lbs), so cars up to light trucks may be covered. But if you have trailers, boat trailers, or motor homes, make sure you are covered. And if you are traveling with your vehicle while pulling a trailer, make sure the company will haul both cars in case you run into problems.
Others Things To Think About
Check how extensive the services are offered within the plan. For instance, how many miles are covered for the towing before you get charged additional? Or do they compute by dollar costs? We recommend looking for plans that cover distance rather than price since it is easier for towing companies to add on charges or fees that can eat away the total unnecessarily.
Also look at other add-ons or even premium membership for benefits that may be of use to you. For instance, some plans offer travel perks, while some offer to cover legal fees for violations. This may be more expensive, so make sure it will be something that you think you will need. As for travel perks, some companies offer concierge services that can help you book hotels and activities.
Who We Recommend
Lastly, go for a company that has good customer service. It’s bad enough that you find yourself needing roadside assistance, you don’t need the additional stress of rude and inefficient customer support. Based on all we discussed above, here are some companies that we recommend you take a serious look at, as their services offer more scope and value for money:
AAA is a popular option, as they not only offer good quality roadside assistance but also offer discounts on other services on retail and car rentals. They also offer a low annual cost, and their elite policies provide legal defense reimbursement, trip planning services, etc.
2. ALLSTATE MOTOR CLUB
One of the best things about the Allstate Motor Club is that spouses can be added to your plan without having to pay extra. Two for the price of one, you could say, in terms of value for money. They also offer a range of services that cover lockout assistance, tire changes, and extrication.
3. BETTER WORLD CLUB
This company offers a unique service of eco-friendly options, which also includes roadside coverage for bicycles.
4. GOOD SAM ROAD ASSISTANCE
One of the best in its field, this company offers unlimited towing. This is a huge perk over the other companies, who are quite stringent in implementing their limits on towing services. They also offer an extensive plan, covering a variety of vehicles, such as motorcycles and trailers and RV’s.