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What is Roadside Assistance in Car Insurance?



What is Roadside Assistance in Car Insurance_

Car breakdown is a very common problem faced by most car-owners. Reasons can be manifold: be it a simple flat tyre or a major battery or engine issue. Whatever the issue is, car breakdown is always distressing. Getting stranded in the middle of nowhere can get into one’s nerves. And that is why roadside assistance came into existence.

These days, vehicle insurance providers have included roadside assistance as an added benefit. This can be availed along with the basic policy by paying some nominal charges. The main purpose of this service is to provide better, extensive, and hassle-free coverage. The insurance premium is dependent on a number of factors but the age of the car is the most important consideration. As the chances of breakdowns are more for old cars, higher premiums are charged for older cars.

The terms of coverage in regards to the roadside assistance differ from insurer to insurer but there are certain services which are provided by all the insurers as a standard which include:

  • Battery failure: In case the battery is drained out or the vehicle is facing a cold start problem, the insurer will provide assistance for the battery breakdown.
  • Flat tyres: Flat tyre is a very common problem and car owners face them more often than not.
  • Minor repairs: Minor repairs are taken care of by service professionals sent by the insurer.
  • Towing services: Towing services are provided in case the car is stranded in a location where there are no garages or service stations nearby.
  • Fuel delivery: Fuel provisions are sent by the insurer in case the vehicle gets stranded due to an empty tank. A service professional goes to the location with enough fuel to drive the vehicle to the nearest gas station.
  • Lockout and locksmith service: These services are provided when the driver cannot gain entry to his/her own vehicle. Reasons being: the driver left the keys inside the car or lost the keys.

Though these are the most common benefits provided under every roadside assistance plans, there are certain other features which might differ from plan to plan like:

  • Telephonic assistance: This service is provided in case of minor faults which can be taken care of by the driver himself with minimal supervision.
  • Cab service: Cab or rental car service is provided to the driver in case the insured vehicle needs service to an extent where it will take a considerable amount of time.
  • Accommodation: Hotel accommodation might be provided by the insurer in a place near the breakdown/accident area.
  • Message relay: The insurer may relay messages about the driver’s whereabouts to family or friends as per the request made by the driver.
  • Legal advisor: Insurance companies might connect the driver to a legal expert to ease the legal troubles after meeting with an accident.

Keep in mind that whatever services are covered in the roadside assistance plan, the charges for availing the same are to be met separately. The insurer is responsible for ensuring the availability of the services only. However, it’s important you buy a roadside assistance cover along with your regular car insurance. Having a roadside assistance plan provides you protection against unpredictable roadside emergencies.