Roadside Service: Worth the Extra Cost?
FleetMatics occasionally publishes guest posts with helpful and interesting content we believe our audience will find relevant. Lisa Pell is a freelance blogger, writing on behalf of www.carinsurance.org.uk, a car insurance website that can help you find deals.
Roadside assistance, an add-on product of many car insurance policies, is often derided as unnecessary; that is, until you find yourself in need of a tow in the middle of nowhere. As with the concept of insurance as a whole, paying an extra amount on top of your standard premium in the very unlikely event that you’ll need it might be a bit much for some people. When you consider the cost of paying for roadside assistance out of your own pocket, however, the extra coverage may not seem so bad after all.
You Get What You Pay For
When you are working out the details of your auto insurance policy, some agents will ask if you are interested in their company’s roadside assistance service. Typically, the company will provide 24 hour, seven days a week aid to motorists with problems. However, For each additional service there may be an additional cost. The services may include changing flat tires, a procedure that many people think they can do in theory, but when it comes down to it, it’s a lot trickier than it looks. Having to do it on a busy highway in less than perfect weather is another reason why people often cough up for the extra help. In the event that your battery dies because you left your lights on all night, having roadside assistance coverage can get you out of a serious jam. A representative or mechanic can easily be sent to your location and help recharge or replace your battery. The same procedure may be followed in the event of an empty gas tank. Just make sure that your cell phone is charged so you can make that call. Similarly, if you lock your keys in your car, an assistance plan may include sending a tradesman to unlock your car and retrieve them.
Another event roadside assistance may cover is any situation where your vehicle is unable to be driven and requires a tow. You should check your policy details carefully on this one, as many policies specify the number and distance of tows per year. If you exceed the totals, you can expect to pay just like anyone else. Obviously the best thing to do would be to get a more dependable vehicle.
The key to deciding is to look at what kind of services you might need. If you have a new, very dependable vehicle, you are far less likely to need roadside assistance. If, on the other hand you drive an old jalopy which is constantly having problems, you definitely need some coverage, although in truth, you might be better off buying a new vehicle altogether. Some other items to consider are where and what you drive, as many insurance companies only cover your personal car and not rented vehicles. If you travel a lot and use rental cars, you would be better off getting a roadside assistance plan through a general automobile association. Roadside assistance can be a lifesaver in many situations but can also be a service that drains your bank account and one which you never make use of. You should really ask yourself if you are the kind of person who can get yourself out of a difficult situation or at least prepare well for one. If not, and you are prone to leaving your lights on, forgetting to check the fuel gauge, and locking yourself out of your car, roadside assistance is well worth the money.