Should I Buy Roadside Assistance from My Auto Insurance?

You have the option to purchase roadside assistance from various sources, but it’s typically more cost-effective and convenient to obtain it through your car insurance company. In most cases, this service is available as an add-on benefit to your existing insurance coverage, often at a fraction of the cost you’d incur when purchasing a membership from an independent recovery services provider like AAA. People often buy these services to gain additional peace of mind in case of emergencies. Therefore, the more affordable option offered by your insurance provider may provide adequate coverage if you ever require assistance.

However, individuals with specific needs, such as frequent long road trips, travel to rural areas, or the desire for coverage while driving other vehicles or traveling as passengers, may want to consider more comprehensive options provided by independent service providers. These independent providers often offer more extensive and detailed coverage tailored to various scenarios beyond standard roadside assistance discussed below.

It is hard to dispute that AAA or comparable roadside recovery memberships provide numerous tiers of extended benefits, along with a range of discounts for various amenities such as hotels and restaurants. Moreover, they are generally more responsive and offer superior assistance when you find yourself stranded, including attempting to fix your vehicle to get you back on the road. However, it’s worth noting that these memberships can be more expensive, especially if you opt for more exclusive benefits. Additionally, they necessitate motorists to engage with an additional service provider, which entails managing a separate contract, handling billing matters, and carrying their membership card or contact information.

Roadside Assistance from Your Auto Insurance

On the other hand, insurers can add roadside assistance to your vehicle insurance policy while you arrange coverage, collect the additional charges with your premium and overall provide you more convenient buying experience and cheaper prices. If you ever need them, insurers can often provide emergency assistance in various circumstances that may meet your needs, especially if you live in urban areas and hardly ever venture out far and wide.

Most major auto insurance companies offer good roadside assistance coverage you can buy as an add-on to your car insurance. Then, they can assist you in the following roadside emergencies and cover the costs:

Emergency jumpstart when you have flat batteryEmergency fuel delivery when you run out
Locksmith service when you are locked outFlat tire chance
Ditch extrication and winching serviceTowing to nearest garage or limited distance
Small repairs (provided by only few)Trip interruption reimbursement with some

If you’re uncertain about whether you require roadside assistance, having it as an option through your insurance company can serve as a cost-effective contingency plan for unexpected situations. It’s important to review the specific services they provide and ensure they are reasonably priced. On average, adding roadside recovery to your auto insurance costs around $20 a year, which is roughly one-third of the price you’d pay for a basic membership with independent recovery service providers.

Independent vs. Through Insurance Roadside Assistance

However, there may be some conditions, shortcomings and differences between these two different providers.

  1. Often car insurance companies may only add roadside recovery to a policy if it has Collision and Comprehensive coverage. If you usually buy a full coverage policy this may not be a problem but you may not be able to add it to a Liability-only policy.
  2. One of the major shortcomings of auto insurance companies providing roadside assistance is that they usually don’t provide repairs on the side of the road. This is one of the key services independent motor club recovery service memberships like AAA provide. They have a look at to see if the issue stranded you is fixable there and then so that you can go on your way with minimum interruption.
  3. One legitimate concern among motorists is whether using roadside assistance will cause their insurance rates to increase as these calls are visible to the auto insurer. Generally, it is unlikely that insurance carriers will consider individual roadside assistance calls when calculating your car insurance premiums. They might only take such calls into account if you have an excessive number of emergency service requests.
  4. And you need to make sure that you have similar roadside assistance coverage from your new auto insurance provider when you switch companies. You don’t have this concern when you have them independently from each other.
  5. Independent roadside recovery memberships may offer the advantage of covering the individual rather than a specific vehicle, allowing you to access assistance when driving someone else’s car or even when you are a passenger. In case of insurance arranged roadside assistance, the coverage typically extends to vehicles on your insurance policy.

In conclusion, independent roadside recovery memberships offer comprehensive services and peace of mind, albeit at a potentially higher cost, making them a suitable choice for those who prioritize these provisions.

Conversely, obtaining roadside assistance coverage through your auto insurance provider is a sensible option if you anticipate minimal issues but still want basic assistance as a precaution. This approach is cost-effective and can save you from high towing and other similar expenses. Additionally, it eliminates the need to search for services when in need, providing convenience and readiness. The key takeaway is that unexpected situations can happen on the road, which is why these services exist in the first place.