What to Know About Roadside Assistance Insurance

Roadside assistance insurance has you covered when your car breaks down or gets stuck on the side of the road. Possible perks include hotel and car rental discounts.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 20, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Roadside assistance insurance provides basic help for things that go wrong on the road
  • Typical coverage includes emergency towing if needed, assistance with your battery, changing a flat tire, and lockout assistance
  • Roadside assistance can also be used if your car runs out of gas and you need a small supply of fuel brought to you

It is never a good feeling to be driving along the highway and have a tire blowout or discover you locked your keys in your car while you are away from home.

Roadside assistance insurance can give you peace of mind by providing you with a variety of assistance that can range from helping you unlock your door to towing a broken down vehicle.

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Details of Roadside Assistance

Reasons for roadside emergencies can vary widely, from an overheating car to an alternator that goes out.

Roadside assistance also comes in handy if your car ends up in a ditch or gets stuck in the mud or the snow; they will extract your car for you.

There are many types of  insurance benefits that you can get with your policy or membership.

A few roadside assistance perks can include:

  • Discounts for various hotels and car rental companies
  • Free maps and driving directions
  • Reimbursement for emergency travel expenses
  • Bail bond expenses for traffic violations
  • Legal defense assistance for traffic violations

The most valuable part of roadside assistance is knowing that if you ever get stranded, you are only a phone call away from safety.

Keep the phone number in the glove box of your car and program it into your cell phone as well.

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What Roadside Assistance Car Insurance Does Not Provide

Your primary car insurance will automatically take precedence in any regular insurance related type incident.

For instance, if you have an accident and your car becomes inoperable, then your car insurance will take care of it first.

Roadside assistance is not liability insurance, collision insurance, or comprehensive insurance.

Roadside assistance will help your car become operable if it can or tow it if it can’t, but it does not pay for any mechanical repairs to your car.

If your car gets a flat tire, roadside assistance will come out and put on your spare tire for you so that you can safely drive to a tire repair and retail shop.

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Buying Roadside Assistance Car Insurance

Almost every car insurance provider offers roadside assistance which can be added to your car insurance policy as an option.

Roadside assistance is also available from many other providers, such as auto clubs, discount clubs, various groups and organizations, and even cell phone providers.

While there are many options available, not every policy or membership will have the same benefits, so it is important to review what your actual benefits are.

Most roadside assistance insurance plans have limitations.

For example, you may only have coverage for up to four emergency calls per membership year, or towing may only be covered for up to a certain mileage or dollar amount of the expense.

Before buying roadside assistance insurance, you need to make sure you understand exactly what you are getting and what the limitations are.

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  1. https://www.edmunds.com/driving-tips/roadside-assistance-who-ya-gonna-call.html
  2. https://www.betterworldclub.com/roadside-assistance/what-is-roadside-assistance-really/
  3. https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2012/02/what-to-do-in-a-roadside-emergency/index.htm
  4. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/liability_insurance.asp
  5. https://www.calif.aaa.com/home.html?zip=92310&stateprov=ca&city=ft+irwin&devicecd=PC&referer=www.aaa.com

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