Roadside Assistance Coverage Explained

Last Updated on April 17, 2021

When it comes to making sure that you’re protected on the road, roadside assistance insurance can go a long way. Most people already carry insurance on their vehicles – as it is required by law – but it is often liability insurance, which is the only kind of coverage that is required by law. However, with some types of insurance, roadside assistance already comes included. If it doesn’t, it is something that you can add on to more comprehensive insurance plans if you sign up for them. Understanding what roadside insurance is and how it works will allow you to decide whether or not you need it.

What Is Roadside Assistance Insurance?

Roadside assistance insurance is an insurance plan that offers protection if you break down. You have probably heard of roadside insurance programs such as AAA, but what you may not have realized is that the same assistance can be offered as part of a comprehensive insurance plan. Roadside assistance insurance is there when you have trouble, and it covers some specific types of situations that can happen while driving. These situations would typically require the help of a friend or calling a mechanic, but roadside assistance insurance can keep you from having to pay for those services when problems happen.

Why Should You Have Roadside Assistance?

There are some pretty compelling reasons to get roadside assistance. Besides the peace of mind that having roadside assistance insurance gives you, you’re probably going to save money if something does happen. You see, the insurance company is betting against your car breaking down, and you are betting for it. In other words, you have this insurance because you believe there is a chance that your car may break down at some point and the cost of the repair or other services associated with the breakdown will be more than you would have paid for the insurance. This is often the case, and it is one of the most compelling reasons to get roadside assistance insurance.

What Does Roadside Assistance Cover?

What your roadside assistance insurance will cover will depend upon your specific insurance plan. There are lots of insurance plans out there, offered by dozens of insurance companies, and each one is a little different; but here are some of the things that might come with a roadside assistance plan so that you can get an idea of what is available and what to look for in your own insurance plan.

Changing Tires: If you get a flat tire, having roadside assistance insurance can often pay for the tire to be replaced. However, most insurance plans are pretty limited when it comes to this feature, and it will only pay for someone to come out and put on your spare not repair the actual tire.

Running Out of Gas: Running out of gas is never fun, but if you cannot find a friend to come out and bring you some gas until you can get to the gas station, roadside assistance insurance may cover someone bringing you a gallon of gas or so. Some insurance plans will have someone come and fill your tank for you, but most will only give you enough gasoline for you to get to the next service station.

Locksmith Services: If you lock yourself out of your vehicle, roadside assistance insurance may cover having a locksmith come out and opening your door for you. This type of coverage will often pay for itself very quickly because locksmith services can be costly. However, this type of insurance does not usually cover getting a key replaced, so if you have completely lost your keys, you will probably have to pay for that yourself.

Roadside Winching: Getting stuck is never good, and if you are good and stuck and have tried everything you can to get out, then having someone come out and pull your car out of the mud or snow can be a great thing.

Towing Services: If you need to be towed, this insurance may cover it, and that’s another significant expense that can make it worth having this insurance.

Automobile Repair: Sometimes, roadside assistance insurance will cover auto repairs up to a certain amount. You want to check your insurance plan carefully to see if that is included.

Jump Start: If you need a jumpstart, roadside assistance insurance might be able to send someone out to charge your battery or provide you with that jumpstart until you can get to an auto parts store and replace your battery or find out what other problem your car is having.

Other Emergency Fluid Delivery: There may be other fluids that you need in an emergency. Roadside assistance insurance may be able to bring those fluids to use of the can get back on the road and get the problem fixed.

Where to Find Roadside Assistance Coverage

There are lots of insurance companies out there, and many of them provide roadside assistance insurance. Sometimes, this comes with comprehensive insurance plans, and sometimes you have to add on roadside assistance to your existing policy. To help you decide which company/service to use, please refer to the chart below:

CompanyPriceTowingBatteryFlat TireLockoutFuel DeliveryWinching
AAA$52Up to 100 milesYesYesUp to $100YesYes
GEICO$15.60/yearUp to 100 milesYesYesUp to $100YesYes
State Farm$4.56/yearYesYesYesYesYesYes
Urgent.lyPrice varies$99 for 0–10 miles$75$75$75$75$75

Talk to your insurance agent to see what roadside assistance services are available to you. Make sure that you do your research to get the best deal. Roadside assistance insurance can be a terrific option for anyone worried about the costs associated with breaking down and needing a vehicle repair.

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