Should I Buy Roadside Assistance from My Auto Insurance?

It is usually more economical and easier to buy roadside assistance from your car insurance company. Normally, it is included on your policy as an add-on benefit to your insurance coverage at a fraction of the price it would cost to buy a membership from an independent recovery services provider like AAA. Often people buy these services because they offer additional peace of mind just in case, so a much cheaper provision offered by your carrier may be enough to be there if you ever need. People may want to consider more extensive and detailed independent providers if they are often taking long road trips and traveling to rural locations.

Most major auto insurance companies like GEICO, Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, Travelers, Farmers and American Family offer good roadside assistance coverage with your car insurance. Roadside assistance services from auto insurers can provide many of the benefits offered by membership recovery services at a fraction of cost. Here are some of the benefits.

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 mechanical repairs (provided by only few)Trip interruption reimbursement with some

It is hard to argue that AAA or similar roadside recovery memberships offer several levels of extended benefits as well as many discounts on various other amenities like hotels and restaurants. They are also more likely to respond faster and offer better assistance on the roadside like checking if they can actually get your vehicle going by fixing small issues. But they cost more especially if you sign up for more exclusive benefits and require motorists to contact another provider that comes with additional contract, billing and carrying their membership card or contact details.

On the other hand, insurers can add these provisions 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 meet most of your emergency assistance requirements, especially if you live in urban areas and hardly ever venture out far and wide.

If you aren’t sure if you need it or not, an insurance company providing roadside assistance may be an economical backup plan to have just in case. You still need to check what they offer and they are reasonably priced. On average it costs about 1/3 of the price of a basic membership with independent recovery services providers to add roadside recovery to your auto insurance.

However, there may be some conditions, shortcomings and differences between these two different providers. 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. But companies like Allstate sell their roadside assistance as a standalone product and you can even use it as a pay-per-use arrangement when you need it. So, there are a few variations in the market.

One of the major shortcomings of auto insurance companies providing roadside assistance is that they usually don’t provide mechanical 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. Progressive is the only company providing small mechanical repairs coverage with their roadside assistance.

Another concern motorists may have is will insurance go up for using roadside assistance? This is a legitimate concern since you make a claim on your roadside assistance coverage and it is seen by your automobile insurer. However, it is unlikely that carriers will take roadside assistance calls into account when they calculate your car insurance premiums.

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.

On the plus side, some vehicle insurance companies offer trip interruption reimbursement if your trip plan is disrupted because of the breakdown. Nationwide, is one of the companies offering up to $500 coverage for trip interruption if they cannot tow your vehicle because of the distance.

It often makes sense to choose one of the fairly cost-effective options instead of taking a chance because towing costs can be high. Besides, you need to start searching for towing companies instead of having the number to call in hand. So, it is worth having them even if you have a brand-new auto and not worried about a thing. You never know what happens out there and this is the whole point behind their existence.