Different Types of Emergency Roadside Assistance
Emergency roadside assistance is a service that helps people who are stranded on the side of the road or in an accident. It’s available through many car insurance companies and is a convenient way to have help on hand when you need it.
Some drivers opt for roadside assistance because they travel a lot or have young children who are learning to drive. Others do it because they want peace of mind that they have a reliable way to get help when needed. Regardless of your reasons, it’s best to take some time to look into the different options for emergency roadside assistance before you get stuck in the middle of the road.
Credit Card Programs
Some credit cards offer complimentary roadside assistance as a benefit to their members. These programs typically require a valid membership card and are only good for the vehicle the card member drives. These programs are not as comprehensive or cost-effective as an insurance policy that can include additional roadside coverage.
The manufacturer of the vehicle you own may offer roadside assistance as part of the factory warranty, which is usually for a few years. While these programs won’t be as extensive or as convenient as an insurance plan, they may be worth considering if you drive frequently and are concerned about the cost of a repair.
Most auto clubs offer roadside assistance as a part of their membership. These organizations usually have a network of service stations in the area and will send a driver to help you with your car problems. Some even offer emergency fuel deliveries and other services.
Cell Phone Plans
Some mobile phone companies also offer a roadside assistance service that’s included with a monthly or annual fee. These plans may have higher limits, but they can be expensive and will only cover a small percentage of your towing costs or repairs.
Your auto insurance provider can also sell you a separate emergency roadside assistance rider as an add-on to your insurance policy. These rider policies can be very affordable and offer additional protection if you are a frequent driver or have young children or a new driver in your family.
Excessive claims can raise your auto insurance rates, but most auto insurers won’t consider them a risk if you use the plan only occasionally and don’t make too many calls for service. If you use your plan often, it’s a good idea to set aside some money into an emergency car fund each month to be prepared for unexpected expenses.
Dedicated Roadside Assistance Organizations
If you are an owner of a motorcycle, boat or RV, it’s a good idea to check with your local automobile association or the manufacturer of your vehicle for a list of nearby tow-truck services. Alternatively, you can call your state’s department of transportation or your auto insurance company for information about tow-truck services in your area.
Most people don’t know that most insurance companies offer roadside assistance as an optional part of their policy. If you have a deductible, you might not be eligible for any discounts. Fortunately, most insurance providers offer a simple online form that lets you add roadside coverage to your policy or start a quote.