Why A Used Car May be the Better Choice

3 Questions To Ask When Choosing A New Roadside Assistance Policy

If you're in the market for a new roadside assistance policy, you are probably already aware that it is likely to be available as an add-on to your car insurance and cell phone agreements, as well as by itself as an independent feature. However, there can be some significant differences in the services provided by the various roadside assistance companies and it is important to be aware of them when choosing your new service. Therefore, it's a good idea to ask the following questions of any roadside assistance company with whom you might consider doing business.   

#1-How Many Claims Can You Make Each Year, Month, Etc.

It's easy to overlook the fact that the vast majority of roadside assistance companies only cover a certain number of claims throughout the year or month. For instance, you may find that after your third assistance call in a year, the company may help you to find a provider, but you would be responsible for the fees that you incur. 

As a result, it is important to verify the number of assistance calls you are permitted for free as part of your policy. In addition, you should also inquire as to the spacing of those calls, as the battery you thought needed a jump actually could be a non-functioning alternator. In that instance, your service call might turn into the need for a tow and some roadside assistance companies limit you to one service call per day.  

#2-What Type Of Key Emergencies Are Covered?

Given that it's not unusual to accidentally lock your keys in your car, it only makes sense that dispatching the appropriate professional for unlocking your car door is a common service provided by roadside assistance companies. However, there is a big difference between that service and re-keying your ignition when you have lost the keys or creating new keys when you have given up on finding your lost ones. 

Unfortunately, many roadside assistance companies only unlock your doors so that you can obtain your keys, but will not pay for any other keying needs. Therefore, you should be aware of what is and is not covered for those situations when opting for your new policy.

#3-Who Pays For What When You Run Out Of Gas?

Whether you are driving at night and cannot find a gas station that is still open or you just forgot to check how much gas your car had in it, running out of gas is an inconvenience that can happen to anyone. If it happens to you, your roadside assistance company will usually be able to find someone in your area to bring you a gallon or two of gas. However, you might be expected to pay for that gas and you need to be aware of how that payment will need to be made.

Fortunately, some companies provide gas for free as part of your service call, but many don't. If you are expected to pay for your emergency fuel, it is a good idea to determine whether you are expected to pay the driver directly or if the extra sum will be added to your next roadside assistance premium. In addition, if paying the driver at the time of service, you will benefit from knowing whether cash will be required at the time or if that small sum can be placed on a credit or debit card.

In conclusion, roadside assistance is invaluable when you have a flat tire on the side of the road when it is raining, if you run out of gas or when your battery needs a jump. However, in order to get the most benefit from your use of the product, it is best to ask the questions shared above of any company providing roadside assistance.