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What you Need to Know About Roadside Assistance Insurance

Published April 29, 2024
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Is Roadside Assistance Insurance Right for You?

This article has been reviewed by licensed insurance industry expert Moshe Fishman on 4/29/2024.

Most car insurance companies offer roadside assistance plans. This service is beneficial in many ways and is often a deciding factor when selecting an insurance company and package.

Roadside assistance plans ensure that you are covered when commuting to work or on a cross-country vacation. Whether you experience a flat tire or have managed to lock your keys in your car, having this type of insurance will help make such events less stressful. After all, who wants to be stranded on the side of the road with a dead battery or other car trouble during a vacation road trip? Not you!

What does roadside assistance insurance cover?

Roadside assistance insurance covers vehicle mishaps that happen while on the go. These mishaps often occur when you least expect it and when you are not prepared. Roadside assistance services often handle annoying inconveniences such as flat tires, vehicle breakdowns, lockout services, battery jump-starts, and fuel delivery. 

To avoid further frustration caused by these events, consider roadside assistance insurance coverage to ensure you get back on the road as fast as possible. Here are the most common vehicle mishaps that a roadside assistance program covers:

Flat Tires

A flat tire is one of the most unexpected vehicle setbacks that can strike at any time. Whether your tire has worn out and split the tread or you ran over a nail, roadside assistance coverage will help with changing your tire or putting on a spare.


When your car breaks down without notice, it often requires a tow. Towing can get very expensive quickly. With roadside assistance coverage, providers will include a towing service to tow your vehicle to the nearest mechanic free of charge for a certain distance. Remember that fees may apply if the tow is further than the policy outlines. 

Vehicle Lockout

There is nothing quite as frustrating as accidentally locking your keys in the car when you are in a hurry to get somewhere. Luckily, roadside assistance insurance covers vehicle lockouts. While it may take some time for the technician to arrive, your keys are back in your hands without any damage to your vehicle, and the best part is it's included in the coverage. If the technician cannot retrieve your keys, they will contact a locksmith to come and help complete the task. 

Extrication and Winching

If your vehicle manages to get stuck in the ditch or the mud, you can be assured that your roadside assistance insurance will help cover the cost to extract the car. While roadside assistance may not cover the entire bill depending on the vehicle's state, it will help lower the cost and ensure you contact a reputable company to do the job. 

Battery Jump-Start 

If you have an old battery or a bad battery that struggles to hold a charge, you could end up stuck somewhere with no one there to help you jump-start the vehicle. Roadside assistance insurance providers will cover the cost to have a technician meet you where you are stranded to jump-start your battery.

Fuel Delivery

Maybe your gas gauge doesn't work properly, or you misjudged how long your tank would last when it nears the empty state. Whatever the case, running out of gas before making it to the gas station is a big headache. Luckily, fuel delivery is another benefit included in roadside assistance coverage. The provider will meet you with enough gas to get you to the nearest gas station to ensure you're back on the road in no time. 

Note: Contact your car insurance company if you have roadside assistance insurance but don't know what it covers.

Do I need roadside assistance?

Whether for your home, your life, or your car, insurance is a precautionary measure that provides people peace of mind in an emergency.

To better assist you in deciding whether to purchase roadside assistance insurance, consider the following aspects:

  • Average Miles Driven – If you stay relatively close to home on your daily commute or don't travel very far on vacation, you may not need to add this type of coverage to your policy. However, if you drive more than 15 miles to work, it may prove beneficial. 
  • Vehicle Age – Newer vehicles typically don't require as much maintenance as older ones. If you have a newer car, the likelihood of it breaking down on the side of the road is much lower than if your vehicle is older. 
  • Cost – Roadside assistance insurance comes at an additional cost with some policies. Be sure to ask what this option includes and what your insurer will charge. 

Having roadside assistance as part of your car insurance policy will put you at ease, knowing you are covered if something unexpected happens. While not legally required, purchasing this type of add-on insurance is recommended. 

Does my insurance company offer roadside assistance?

Because offering roadside assistance is an attractive benefit to car insurance plans, most car insurance companies offer a version of this kind of insurance to help promote their policy. Here are some of the more common auto insurers that provide roadside service assistance:

  • American Automobile Association (AAA) – If you are a AAA member, you’ll have three options of emergency roadside assistance coverage depending on your membership type. These coverage options can be standalone, without purchasing a car insurance policy from AAA and are typically more comprehensive than other insurer add-on offerings. One big benefit of AAA roadside assistance is their 24/7 coverage for service calls in any eligible vehicle, whether or not you are driving or riding, regardless of whose vehicle you’re in.
  • Allstate – With three tiers of roadside assistance to choose from, Allstate policyholders can select the right package for their needs. Individuals who have a short commute don't have to pay the fees that are associated with someone who purchases coverage for a longer commute. 
  • Hanover – Coverage is available and offers help to those covered regardless of where your car becomes disabled and whether you are in the continental United States or Canada. 
  • Hartford – Pays for a towing service to pick up your vehicle, wherever it breaks down, and also pays for any needed onsite repairs. 
  • Progressive – Offers the standard roadside assistance insurance program, but one of the key benefits is lower, more flexible towing fees than most insurers.

Some of the other insurance companies that also offer roadside assistance plans include Mercury, Nationwide, Safeco, and Travelers. Most insurers include the typical types of services in their coverage when you add it to your car policy. Towing, fixing a flat tire, jump-starting your battery, rescuing you from a lockout, and bringing you fuel when you run out of gas are typically included in the plan. 

However, it’s important to note that not all companies offer roadside assistance. Most require you to add this type of coverage to your existing auto policy. In addition, towing fees, free towing miles, and other plan details can vary from one insurer to the next. 

When in doubt, you may want to confirm whether or not your policy includes roadside assistance insurance by contacting your agent or car insurance company. 

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