So Many Options…. What Roadside Package To Choose?
At some point, we all need roadside assistance. Whether we run out of gas, get a flat tire, or slide into a ditch in a snowstorm. But, not all insurance companies provide the same Illinois Auto Insurance Roadside Assistance services. That is why you will get different prices from different carriers. Each carrier has their own package; this article will explain the various types of benefits that we found from different carriers.
This article is not all-inclusive, but will give you a pretty good idea of the options available and what to ask your agent. These are general policy descriptions to help you understand the different types of coverages. They are not intended to modify any provisions in any contract of insurance. Example of Roadside Assistance options include, but are not limited to the following:
- Towing – not all Roadside Assistance plans are open 24/7.
- Tire Changes – may require that you have the spare tire.
- Lockouts – open car door or replace the lock for a nominal fee that is not included.
- Lost-key Replacement – only if the key can be made at the time of service.
- Fuel Delivery – up to a set number of gallons. A lot of times we see up to 1 gallon of gas.
- Jump Start Battery Service – free battery test and jump start to get you to the closest garage or your destination.
- Minor Roadside Repairs – at the site of disablement; e.g., loose hose connection, reattach loose parts.
- Trip Interruption – pays for overnight stay and food if you are stranded while your vehicle is being repaired.
Some plans offer extras:
- Roadside assistance when you’re on your bicycle.
- Discounts for drivers who own hybrid cars.
- Coverage for redoing any repair that fails within six months or 6,000 miles.
- Reimbursement for services you arrange on your own.
- Coverage for rental car breakdowns.
- Coverage for you, your spouse, and children under 21 living at home.
Additionally, different carriers offer different pricing structures. Some providers offer a yearly membership plan and some carriers have a pay-per-use roadside service option. Pay-per use roadside assistance is typically billed at a higher rate than an annual plan or option in your auto insurance policy. Average price for pay-per-use ranges between $59 for non-tow services and $129 for towing service. In fact, some roadside assistance packages restrict the number of tows per year.
When you are researching Illinois Auto Insurance Roadside Assistance packages, or talking with your agent, be sure to inquire on the number of miles included in the towing service. Some carriers offer up to 200 miles of towing, while some carriers charge $75 for 50 miles, and only if you are within 100 miles of your home. Furthermore, some towing companies may tow you to a location of your choosing, while others take you to the closest repair shop. If your Illinois Auto Insurance Roadside Assistance coverage lets you choose your towing destination, find out if you will be charged if you exceed mileage limits.
Generally, tow truck drivers are contracted by the insurance company. The insurance provider may exclude liability for any damage, injury or loss resulting from the negligence of the independent service facility. Independent contractors are solely responsible for their actions. Any arrangements made between the towing company and the insured is considered outside of the covered services and are not covered by the insurance company.
There are many restrictions to Illinois Auto Insurance Roadside Assistance services. Some of them are noted below; however, each carrier is different. Just be sure to ask your agent what services are restricted in your auto insurance policy.
- Service on taxis, buses, moving trucks, limousines or step.
- Service to unregistered, untagged or uninsured vehicles or vehicles that are otherwise not legally drivable.
- Services to vehicles which the service provider has determined to be unsafe or which require heavy duty equipment to safely provide service.
- Service to a vehicle which is snowbound, including unplowed street or driveways.
- Service on a vehicle to which a plow is attached.
- Service to an unattended vehicle.
- Service for a vehicle located at a repair facility where repairs can be performed.
- Removal of a vehicle from a closed repair facility.
- Limited number of tows per disablement.
- Requests to tow a vehicle from the street to the driveway.
- Tire service for dual-rear wheel trucks or vans.
- Towing of utility trailers attached to a covered vehicle.
- Towing not related to an accident.
- Delivery of diesel fuel.
- No coverage for towing as a result of flood or fire.
An example of a specific restriction we found with an insurance carrier is given below:
Trip Interruption expense reimbursement qualifications: Your vehicle must be involved in an accident in the United States or Canada, 100 miles or more from home, while on a leisure trip planned to include at least 1 overnight stay and, due to the accident (but excluding mechanical failure), your vehicle must be inoperable for a minimum of eight hours.
When we breakdown or need roadside assistance, we don’t have time to think about the restrictions… Am I far enough away from home? … Will my vehicle be repaired in less than 8 hours? … How far will the tow truck driver take me?
Before you buy, think about who or what the various plans cover. This can be more confusing than you think. Some auto insurers consider calls for roadside assistance to be negatives, just like accident claims. Choose a plan with the most generous towing allowance and trip-interruption benefits, especially if you frequently travel far from home. We recommend consulting with a professional insurance agent to help you select the best coverage to meet your needs.
Give us a call today and we will review your Illinois Auto Insurance policy at no charge. Click here to contact us or call our office at (618) 277-2000.
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