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Roadside Assistance Insurance Coverage

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Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency...

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Reviewed byJoel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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Many of us opt to purchase “roadside assistance” coverage as part of our auto insurance policy.

Heck; who wouldn’t want to trade as little as $1 per month to ensure they’re not “that guy” walking down the street with a gas can on a 100 degree day?

But how many of us know exactly what we’re covered against or just how much money the insurer will provide in our time of need?

Let’s take a look at what the most comprehensive roadside assistance coverage may afford you.

Be sure to ask your insurance agent or insurer exactly which, and to what extent, you are covered in each of the following situations (many don’t require an explanation):

– Towing: This coverage may be limited to a certain number of miles or total “dollar amount.” Of course you want “unlimited,” but may have to opt for an amount between $40 and $120 per incident.
– Lockout Service: Again, determine if this is covered in the first place. If yes, is it unlimited, or simply covered up to a certain amount per lockout?
– Lost Key Service: See Lockout Service.
– Fuel Delivery: Is the cost of the actual fuel included here…or just the fee for the delivery service?
– Emergency Expenses (Trip Interruption) : Insurers may pay up to $500, or $300 (or more) per day up to a maximum of $1,500 (or more) per “occurrence” if you suffer a covered comprehensive or collision loss and are 50 miles or more from your home and your vehicle is inoperable or uninhabitable (think RV on that one). This money would be for lodging, meals and transportation from the time of your loss until you get to your destination or within a specified time period.
Personal Property Coverage: Some insurers will offer a specified dollar amount of coverage, say $500, for loss or damage to personal property while located in your car (this is different than the myth that personal property is covered by an auto policy if this coverage IS NOT purchased). Read the top 10 insurance myths.
– Jumpstart Service
– Flat Tire Service
– Personal Assistance
– Trip and Routing Service
– Full Concierge Service
– Hotel and Travel Discounts

Knowing what’s included in your roadside assistance insurance coverage will ensure you make a smart financial decision.

Why do insurers offer roadside assistance?

Many insurers urge agents to up-sell roadside assistance coverage because the competition is doing so and it’s a cash cow for them. Often, isurers act as as a “referral” service for roadside assistance providers.

They sell the coverage to you at a profit by taking a small percentage of the cost, and don’t incur much real expense if a “claim” is filed for any of the services.

The company who provides the service gets access to millions of clients through the insurer and they foot the bill for the expense of the actual service. It’s a win-win-win for the insurer, the roadside assistance provider, and even us drivers.

The road can be a dangerous place. Be sure to plan ahead for all your trips and keep roadside assistance calls to a minimum to avoid any extraneous charges.

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