Does Car Insurance Cover Towing Costs in an Accident?

If your vehicle breaks down, is involved in an accident, has a flat tire, runs out of gas, gets stuck in water, snow or mud, the battery dies or your keys get locked in your car — you will most likely need to be towed to the nearest auto mechanic, gas station, locksmith or junkyard. Individuals with car insurance may wonder how towing costs factor into their policy. If you are involved in a collision or another situation, where your car needs to be towed — who will pay the towing costs? In the following information, we will answer the question: “In the event of an accident, will your insurance company leave you stranded?”

The answer to this question depends on whether the policyholder has the necessary coverage. Special additions to your policy such as, roadside assistance and tow truck coverage are optional. It is a good idea to look over your policy information to see if you can determine whether you are already paying for tow truck coverage or contact your insurance company for verification. If having this type of coverage is important to you — talk to your insurance representative about having tow truck coverage added to your current policy.

There may be certain limitations concerning the tows that will be covered on your insurance policy. Many times, the insurance company will specify a certain number of tows on the policy or will require the policyholder to use a particular towing company or stay within a limited number of miles (e.g. – the insurance company will pay to have your vehicle towed to any facility as long as the facility is within a thirty mile radius, otherwise the policyholder would be financially responsible). Therefore, it is a wise choice to re-read your policy information to know what you will be covered for, in the event of an accident.

Before you have your vehicle towed, it is a good idea to call your insurance provider ahead of time in order to ensure the entire tow will be covered. Often times, insurance companies have a contract with a particular towing company and in these cases, there may be pre-negotiated rates. Insurance companies pay the towing bill, after you have paid up front. If the insurance company determines the towing rates are excessive (or if they do not like the rates of the particular company you have chosen) — they may only pay part of the towing costs. So, it is important to call ahead.

Policyholders that have roadside assistance are able to receive tow truck service, even if they are not involved in an accident, as well. For instance, if their keys are locked in their car or a tire goes flat — roadside service will pay for the cost of the tow. This service is optional and costs a little extra, however, in the event that your car needs to be towed (especially if it needs to be towed, frequently) — roadside assistance and tow truck coverage can be a lifesaver!

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