You may not think about your roadside assistance plan much, but if you end up experiencing a breakdown you will be left hoping you chose the right plan. Although spending the time comparing and vetting out roadside providers may seem like a mundane task, the truth is, there are a variety of plans out there and the plan the works best for your neighbor may not be ideal for you.
Roadside Assistance 101
Roadside assistance is the term used for a service that assists motorists who experience mechanical failure. Although this seems like a pretty simple concept, navigating the different plans and their individual options can be a bit more cumbersome.
Roadside Reimbursement Plans Roadside reimbursement plans represent the most basic type of roadside coverage. With these plans you are required to find and pay for a towing service on your own and then submit the receipt for a fixed amount of reimbursement. All though these plans are affordable, they are far from convenient in the face of a breakdown.
Full Service Roadside Assistance Plans Full service roadside assistance plans offer a variety of different coverage options depending on the provider you choose. In most cases, these particular plans do not require the member to apply for reimbursements or to locate their own towing service in the case of a breakdown. A good plan will include around the clock coverage offered through a national network of providers and at a minimum offer basic services such as towing, flat tire changes, delivering of coolants and/or gas, and help with lock-outs.
Choosing a Roadside Assistance Plan
When choosing a roadside assistance plan the first thing you need to determine is if it makes the most sense to purchase a plan that follows the member or the named vehicle(s). For example; if you are driving a friend’s car and it breaks down do you want the option of using your roadside plan or is it more important that in a scenario where your child or spouse, is driving your car that they are covered? Additionally, you will have to decide how many tows per year you prefer, how far of a tow you can receive without additional fees, and how much coverage you want for non tow required services like a flat tire. You can select a roadside assistance plan that is offered through your car insurance provider or cell phone provider, or search out a more robust stand alone roadside assistance plan. There is now even a suite of hybrid roadside assistance plans that include other valuable services such as legal coverage, prescriptions savings and more. Regardless of the plan you choose make sure it is a plan that you will be comfortable with in the dreaded case of a breakdown.
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