If a breakdown leaves you stranded miles from home, you'll be glad you have roadside protection for towing or help with emergencies like a flat tire, lockout, dead battery, or running out of gas. But do you know if your current roadside assistance plan really is the best deal for you?
That depends on the kind of protection you need, according to consumer experts.
If you want towing available on any vehicle you drive and use additional services like travel planning, an auto club may be the best choice for you. One
popular plan costs $56 a year for five miles of towing. Add $18 for the first additional driver and $36 for each driver after that. You can choose fancier plans with more benefits, including one with coverage for 200 miles of towing for $124 a year.
But if you really just want basic roadside assistance for your own car, you'll likely save money with Towing & Labor reimbursement coverage from your insurance company. At PEMCO, you select the amount of towing coverage you want ($100 is common) instead of mileage. The $100 option would cost about $10 a year per vehicle – regardless of the number of drivers. To be eligible, you must maintain Bodily Injury and Comprehensive coverages on each covered vehicle.
Because it's reimbursement and there's no deductible, you don't file a typical claim. You just fill out a
reimbursement form online with a few details including your invoice number from the towing company. It's still considered a "claim," and as with any kind of claim, Towing & Labor reimbursement does have the potential to impact your premium.
Before you pick any plan, see if you already have free roadside assistance coverage as a perk through another provider, like your car manufacturer (often good for three to five years on new cars) or a credit card company. Cell phone companies are getting into the roadside assistance business, too, and charge based on the number of lines you have.
For more information about PEMCO's Towing & Labor coverage, call 1‑800‑GO‑PEMCO or your local PEMCO agent.