Will car insurance cover towing?

Your car insurance may cover towing if roadside assistance is selected as an option on your auto insurance policy. Roadside assistance and towing rates are about $5-$10/mo.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

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® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: Jun 9, 2022

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Here's what you need to know...

  • If you have roadside assistance included in your policy, your tow will be covered
  • In the event that you need to be towed, call your agent to ensure you use the correct tow provider
  • The roadside assistance option in your plan will usually provide towing for situations like running out of gas and locking yourself out of your vehicle
  • Roadside and towing coverage is on average $5 to $10 a month

Whether car insurance covers towing costs after a car accident depends on the type of insurance coverage you have. Many people think towing insurance as a standard policy inclusion.

It is possible that it may not be part of your insurance package. If you are not sure, it is a good idea to either read your policy or ask your agent.

Although they go over the highlights, most insurance agents recommend that you read your insurance policy after you receive it. Still, most people do not read it since they went over the terms of the policy over the phone. This mistake could cost you money down the road.

Most auto insurance companies only provide roadside assistance coverage in your auto policy as optional coverage at extra costs. Some people think because they have a membership with the AAA, they do not need extra roadside coverage.

When you are in an accident and AAA is not an option, your insurance company can tow your vehicle provided you have 24-hour roadside assistance coverage included in your policy.

Does car insurance cover towing costs if I lock my keys in my car?

Locking your keys in your car is way more common than one may think. When this does happen, most people use a lockout service as a last resort after trying the many creative ways to unlock a car.

In the event this does happen to you there are many options for getting into your car when your keys are locked inside. Options can include; a locksmith, a local tow company, your dealer, someone you know with a spare key, or even your roadside assistance service through your insurer.

The types of coverages offered by your insurance provider determines if you’re covered in this type of roadside emergency. Making sure you check with your auto insurance provider is ideal to make sure you have roadside coverage that can cover towing to your home if necessary.

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Does car insurance cover towing costs if I run out of gas?

If you invest in roadside coverage you will be covered if you run out of gas. State troopers and other road rescue operations will discourage you from repeating this practice because it places everyone in danger if you run out in a precarious place on the road.

Most roadside assistance drivers carry a little gas just to get you off the highway and to a gas station.

Does car insurance cover towing costs if I’ve been drinking and don’t want to drive?

If your car insurance covers towing costs, it is not designed to tow you home if you have had too much to drink and cannot drive. However, this is becoming a national trend in an effort to save lives.

If you have had too much to drink, many tow truck businesses are extending their services to you.

AAA is now offering rides home to those who are celebrating the holidays and become too intoxicated to drive. Other towing businesses are following suit by offering the same to drivers who become overly intoxicated over the holiday season and Fourth of July.

At other times of the year, you are advised to park your car, and call a designated driver or take a taxi.

Does car insurance cover towing if my car is towed by the wrong towing company?

Just like in any business, there are a few towing companies that are guilty of illegal business practices. If you are in an accident, you are advised to call your insurance company as soon as possible to notify them and receive instructions.

If you have roadside assistance as part of your car insurance policy, you will be covered in the event of an accident.

Some car insurance companies have agreements with certain roadside services who perform the insurance company’s towing services.

Here are some situations you should be aware of:

  • If this is the case, you cannot call just any towing service and expect your car insurance company to pay the cost. You must use their preferred services.
  • If you are stranded or involved in an accident, ask your insurance agent or customer service representative which company you should expect to come and assist you.
  • Some dishonest companies will see you on the road and claim they are the towing company you were expecting. Once they have transported you from point A to point B they have earned their fee, whether or not your insurance will pay for them.

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Does car insurance cover towing costs if my car is stolen and vandalized?

Unless your car insurance company has a preferred towing company, your car or truck may be in the hands of a scam artist or thief. If your car is stolen by the average car thief and vandalized, your car insurance company will pay for towing costs.

If you have personal items stolen while your car is being towed, unless you recover the items, they are covered under your car insurance policy with a roadside coverage inclusion.

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References:

  1. https://cars.costhelper.com/towing-car.html
  2. https://www.aaa.com
  3. https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2014/05/how-to-choose-a-roadside-assistance-plan/index.htm
  4. https://www.live5news.com/story/25664897/police-thieves-using-tow-truck-companies-to-steal-ca

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