Understanding Roadside Assistance Insurance

Roadside assistance insurance is a form of coverage you can add to your vehicle’s insurance policy in order to deal with breakdowns and other failures that can leave you stranded on the road.
If you have this coverage, your insurer will promptly send someone to help you get back on the road if your car breaks down while you are in transit.

Common examples of problems that are resolved by roadside assistance coverage include flat tires, dead batteries, mechanical failures, lost keys and running out of gas. In certain cases, towing services are also included in this kind of coverage, so if they are unable to get your car working on the spot, they will tow it to a repair station at no additional charge.

While this is a very useful service to have on your policy, some people are still confused about what it involves and they actually think that it is more useful than it is. When you call for roadside assistance, the goal is not to fully repair your car, but to get it in such a condition that it will be able to reach a service station where the necessary repairs will be performed if needed. For example, if you broke down due to a dead battery, they will come and give you a jump-start using jump-start cables so that you can get your vehicle to a place where they can repair or replace your battery; they will not replace your battery on the spot.

It also needs to be mentioned that the costs for those repairs are your responsibility; they are not covered by roadside assistance insurance (although they can be covered by other forms of coverage, if you have them).

If you have a full coverage policy you might wonder whether this also includes roadside assistance. The truth is it might, or it might not. By definition, a full coverage policy only needs to include liability, comprehensive and collision coverage in order to reach the industry standard of full coverage and none of those types of coverage inherently include roadside assistance. [1]

However, it is entirely possible for an insurer to add extra services in order to entice more clients and roadside assistance is among the most popular features. Allstate is one company that does exactly that. All of their policies automatically include roadside assistance, even if you do not purchase full coverage.

In order to be sure that your policy includes roadside rssistance, you would have to contact your insurance provider and ask them.

It is also worth mentioning that some people look at roadside assistance coverage as a way to save on frequent towing services, especially if they have an old, rundown car. However, keep in mind that it is possible for an insurer to cancel your insurance if they feel you are abusing your roadside assistance coverage. This is one reason it is often best to attain roadside assistance from a company that is separate from your primary vehicle insurance.[2]


  1. “What Does Full Coverage Insurance Cover”. CheapFullCoverageAutoInsurance.com.
  2. “Roadside Assistance, AAA”. “ImmiHelp.com”.
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