While you are tailoring your auto policy to your needs you will most likely get the question: Do you want to add roadside assistance on that vehicle? What is your agent really asking and what truly is the offer on the table?
Roadside Assistance and Towing add a minimal premium to your policy it can cost as less as $4 a year/vehicle. It can sound very appealing and affordable to have it on all your vehicles. You may even want it on all your vehicles, but let’s dig in a little deeper to make informed decisions.
Add it to the Policy or use AAA?
We get this question often. “I have AAA so I need towing on the policy?” Or maybe it is flip-flopped, “I was thinking about getting AAA should I remove roadside assistance from the policy?”
Here is our suggestion. The endorsement is very affordable, it doesn’t hurt to have it on there. If you have AAA use it first, call them for your roadside needs. Their memberships offer great benefits, even benefits beyond roadside assistance. Now with that being said you probably have been the person to call AAA or know someone who called and their wait was an hour or more before they could get someone to help. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a back up in these situations? Use your insurance as the back-up.
Typically AAA offers a certain amount of miles for towing. Use those first since they come with your membership, then use the towing on your policy. You can get the best of both services.
Why not just have one or the other?
It doesn’t hurt to have both AAA and roadside assistance on your policy because of this…towing & roadside assistance although it doesn’t affect your rates it can affect your eligibility with a company. Insurance companies don’t want to see activity on your policy, especially activity on an endorsement that they aren’t collecting very much premium on.
If you use towing one time in 10 years, you are still coming out ahead. That’s costing you $40 while the insurance company is getting a bill for $100.
We have seen people get canceled because they are using their insurance policy as an AAA and not as an emergency option. Getting canceled by a company puts you in different eligibility tiers when now out there seeking new insurance. Potentially you could have to go to a non-standard company for a while until the activities fall out of the look back window.
Auto rates are already going up because of technology and distracted driving just to name a few reasons. It is our mission to educate our clients, you, about your policy and how to efficiently use it so we aren’t adding “irresponsibility” to the list of why rates are increasing.
Rewind a little bit.
So you have an old car that keeps breaking down.
It is often that you need help getting it started, what should you do? If you have an old car:
- Get that AAA membership! Memberships don’t follow the car they follow the member. One membership will cover all your vehicles.
- Keep jumper cables in the car. No matter where you are you can typically find someone to give you a jump.
- Keep other safety gear in the car: cones, flares, an extra quart of oil, etc.
- Keep up with regular maintenance
- Learn how to check the basic in the car: oil, coolant, tire pressure
- Buy a battery charger for your home
That old car may cause you so much hassle, but it could be easy solutions that you could fix without needing it towed to a shop. You could keep it going just enough to get it to a shop yourself.
Before removing from all vehicles, this about Road Trips…
You’ve weighed your options and made the decision. We have another point to consider. We discuss this when talking about rental car coverage as well. Do you have a vehicle that you use for road trips? If you have multiple cars in the household and choose not to get rental coverage then we suggest to get it on the vehicle you use for vacations. This is because it would be terrible to be out of state and have caused an accident and need a replacement car. Well, think about that with roadside assistance too. Maybe it’s just an option to include on your travel vehicle. Set yourself up to be the hero.
Save in your contacts:
Do you have a contact saved in your phone for insurance? Make it a couple of contacts. First, save all of our information so you can get ahold of an agent to answer your questions.
Dean Ballenger Agency
3501 Westfield Rd, Ste 107
Westfield, IN 46062
Next, save your Roadside Assistance Number, here is a list of our company’s Roadside Assistance numbers.
Last but absolutely not least, save a near-by body shop’s address & number, or local towing service. Towing is often on a reimbursement basis. You could be responsible for finding your own towing service then turn your receipt in for reimbursement. Or back to the AAA idea, the company could have a long wait but you have the ability to choose a separate towing service and be reimbursed.
Bodyshops: Renners, Harvey’s, Storey’s