If you drive frequently, chances are you should get roadside assistance service in addition to your basic car insurance. This coverage protects you when your car breaks down, runs out of gas, has a flat tire, and offers additional services if you are involved in an accident.
Many auto insurance companies offer unique benefits to go along with their roadside assistance plans.
Here’s an in-depth look at some of the major players in the roadside assistance industry:
• Road America: This plan, which is offered by AIS Insurance, gives customers peace of mind if they are ever stranded and in need of fuel, tire repair, or minor mechanical assistance. Road America also features rental car and hotel discounts, customized trip routing services, and emergency message relay capability. It is a perfect option for residents of California.
• Mercury Roadside Assistance: This service offers all of the basics, from emergency towing and tire changes to fuel delivery and winching capability.
• OnStar FMV: This plan is renowned for enabling drivers to speak with an OnStar representative with the push of a button in their car. The company also utilizes the latest technology in their roadside assistance infrastructure. One limitation: it’s only available on General Motors vehicles.
• National Roadside Assistance: This provider is preferred by many travelers who drive in Canada as well as the U.S. Its main selling point is a personal concierge service, which helps people with everything from travel planning to cash transfers to gift delivery. Note that National does not offer roadside assistance for recreational vehicles.
• National Motor Club: NMC has been around for well over a half century, and its perks extend well beyond roadside assistance to include emergency reimbursements and medical savings plans. It offers a wide array of plan choices and extras, but its main drawback is a lack of online assistance with basic sales inquiries.
• Auto Road Service: This service covers all of its roadside assistance bases and also offers member’s access to Exxon/Mobil’s Travel Guide and a trip planner from FreeTrip.com. ARS covers RVs and motorcycles as well as all passenger vehicles.
• Good Sam Roadside Assistance: This company caters to RV owners: not only with coverage but also with a RV Technical Assistance Hotline. The other advantage Good Sam offers is coverage in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Its no-frills approach does not include travel planning services.
• Best Roadside Service: In addition to concierge and travel planning services, Best boasts a 30-minute on-time arrival guarantee for roadside assistance. The coverage is tied to a vehicle, not the person driving it, which is advantageous for families. Of note is the company does not provide travel interruption compensation if your vehicle needs repairs.
• Better World Club: The market niche for BW is eco-friendly consumers. So not only does the company provide coverage for bicycles as well as vehicles, it also donates a percentage of its profits to environmental causes. However, its roadside assistance plan only covers a primary member (although others can be added at an additional cost).
• Paragon Motor Club: This company’s roadside service rivals that of any of its competitors, with assistance including fluid delivery and minor mechanical adjustments. Customers can also receive perks like stolen vehicle reimbursement and discount coupons and maps — but only if they purchase the premium plan instead of the basic one.
• AAA: With over a century of experience, AAA has built the biggest roadside assistance network in the U.S. The group’s affiliations extend to the hotel, car rental, and even shoe industries. It has a plan for just about any driver, but everyone must pay a signup fee to join AAA in addition to purchasing their choice of coverage.
• BP Motor Club: Its combination of roadside assistance and travel planning services sets the gold standard in its industry. BP extends its coverage into Canada and Puerto Rico and has a long list of features including rental car discounts and legal fee reimbursement. However, it is one of the most expensive plans available.
• Allstate Motor Club: Backed by Allstate Insurance, this coverage is arguably the best in the business. Its crown jewel is a GPS-enabled mobile app that pinpoints your precise location for roadside assistance. Though it doesn’t offer emergency travel assistance, it does give customers trip-planning tools, a 30-minute on-time arrival guarantee, and discounts on lots of products and services.
So, Which Roadside Program Fits You? You Decide
Clearly, there are many options for roadside assistance, allowing a unique service for each individual. No option is exactly the same, so evaluate the services and select the one that best suits your needs.
This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms, and coverages in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.