Caught in a Pickle?
What exactly is roadside assistance? It’s support from a professional to make necessary repairs to make your car drivable again. If something goes wrong leaving you stranded, this kind of service will get you to your next destination: whether it be a repair shop for major mechanical issues or back home. Roadside assistance is an optional package offered by your insurance company.
Adding this coverage can be fairly inexpensive. The likeliness that you’ll need roadside assistance increases the older your car gets. The older the car, the pricier the coverage. If you have multiple cars on your policy, you usually need to add roadside assistance to each car, individually. There is an additional charge for each car. Some companies require you to have roadside assistance for every vehicle on your policy (they will not allow the package for only one car.) Some companies will offer a basic package providing certain coverages. For a higher charge, they will offer pricier, more extensive packages with more services covered. Keep in mind that some companies will not offer roadside assistance without already having comprehensive and collision coverage on your policy.
What can roadside assistance help you with? (Coverages vary depending on your policy and insurance company.)
- Flat tire
- Keys locked in the car
- Fuel delivery
- Battery service
- Removing your car from the scene of an accident
Choosing to add this coverage can be a major relief if anything happens to your car on the road. If you break down, call your insurance company’s specific 1-800 number (or an app if your company offers it). Your insurance company will partner with certain businesses that provide the needed services. There may be a selected member of your insurance company who will contact those services for you, or you may receive information regarding whom to call for help. The closest service available will be dispatched and on their way to provide the help you need. When you receive that service, just be aware that you may need to pay out of pocket for the services. You will later be reimbursed by your insurance company.
Insurance companies will keep track of your use of this service. If you have multiple claims involving roadside assistance, they could raise your rates, or even cancel this portion of your coverage. If you try to shop around to other insurance carriers, this could affect your pricing and whether or not the insurance company will accept your risk. Use roadside assistance in emergency instances to avoid this.