What To Consider When Shopping For Roadside Assistance Coverage

Automotive Articles

Any person who has roadside assistance and experienced a car breakdown knows how good it feels to have such coverage. This is because these plans usually provide protection for unexpected events such as flat tire changes at affordable rates. However, choosing which type of coverage to buy can be challenging as several factors must be considered. This article gives you tips on how to shop for roadside assistance plans.

Do you already have some level of coverage?

There are three ways to find out if you already have roadside assistance coverage:

  • The manufacturer warranty of your vehicle still hasn't expired
  • You hold a card from a financial institution that offers such coverage to its members
  • Your current's auto insurance policy includes some of the common breakdowns that occur on the road

If your car is still under warranty, then you're automatically protected against roadside issues. The length of such warranty depends on the car's manufacturer, the type of car, and the date of purchase. The most interesting benefit of having a car under warranty is that you're being covered for free.

There are many credit card institutions that provide roadside assistance to their members. This is for instance the case of American Express, although the level of coverage is determined based on the type of credit card.

Finally, certain auto insurance policies include a roadside assistance component. While such policies almost never provide full protection, they reimburse you every dollar spent to get your car going following a roadside breakdown.

What type of coverage plan do you need?

 As you might know, there are different plans to choose from when it comes to roadside assistance. These include the plans that:

  • Essentially focus on sending help at the site of the breakdown
  • Offer permanent monitoring of your car and thus detect any breakdown that you're experiencing

The only problem with the first category of plans is that they don't cover any of the expenses incurred via the mechanical assistance that you'll be receiving. On the other hand, the second category of plans is very comprehensive since customer representatives may even reach you to make sure that you're okay.

Compare several auto insurers

When comparing several auto insurers, you want to make sure that you carefully review their pricing and policy renewal terms. Certain insurers take into account different factors when renewing a policy such as the frequency at which you've used customer assistance over the past twelve months. The higher the frequency, the more likely you'll see an increase in your premiums.

Other insurers offer roadside assistance coverage as an option. The cost is often identical to that of traditional auto insurance plans. Also, you should verify that the insurer you choose provides coverage at all times such as during inclement weather. This is one of those times when you'll be needing assistance the most, and you want to be able to count on your insurer.

Finally, you should search for consumer reviews on Internet for the insurers that you're considering. Having an idea of how other people were treated will give you an indication on what to expect from the company. If possible, find the ratings given to the customer service departments as well as those given for the average wait time before help arrives at the site of the breakdown.

Do roadside assistance feature any extras?

Roadside assistance plans do a lot more than saving you the frustration of being on your own after experiencing a breakdown in the middle of nowhere. Additional benefits that you'll get include discounts on hotels and when renting cars. 

Applying the tips mentioned in this article will help you maximize your chances of finding the right coverage for your needs.


13 January 2015

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