Towing Coverage and Your Car Insurance Policy

Almost all car insurance companies offer towing and labor services as part of their comprehensive or collision policies. Towing expenses can be costly and add up to more than the additional fee on the policy itself. You would have to pay not only the towing company out of pocket, but also the mechanic or garage to fix your car if it breaks down.

Towing costs are not cheap, especially if you are traveling far distances. Towing companies charge their own rates because they know that drivers need them and are willing to pay. Towing companies incur costs from maintaining their vehicles and paying their employees, so they pass that expense to the driver. If you have the option to add towing and labor to your current car insurance policy, take advantage of it to save yourself money.

How is Towing Coverage Used?

Towing coverage is used to cover expenses if a driver is in an accident and his vehicle is no longer operational. Drivers who have towing coverage may also use the coverage to pay for repairs if their car breaks down on the side of the road. You do not have to be in a physical car accident to benefit from this towing coverage.

What Does Towing Coverage Cover?

The most obvious expense, towing services, are covered with this option. However, it can also pay for repairs such as changing or repairing a flat tire, locksmith services if you lock your keys in the car, and other maintenance-related issues. In an emergency, some policies also cover the cost of gas and oil, along with the cost and labor required to replace a dead battery. Make sure you know what your policy covers because you will be responsible for any repairs outside the coverage limits. Some companies will reimburse you for the full amount of your towing costs, while others will pay up to a certain mileage.

Know what is covered and the maximum amount your insurance will cover for towing services. There may also be a limit to how many times per year you can take advantage of these services.

Is Towing and Labor Expensive?

You can purchase towing insurance coverage by itself for a relatively low cost. However, when it is included as part of a roadside assistance plan through an insurance company, it is still relatively affordable, especially if you know you will have peace of mind in the event of an emergency.

Some car companies offer towing services through an extended warranty so make sure your car is not currently covered through this option before you purchase towing coverage. Sometimes these towing services are not thorough and they may not provide the best service or rates to meet your needs.

Do I Need Comprehensive Coverage?

Most car insurance companies include towing and labor coverage as part of the comprehensive plans but not in their collision plans. Comprehensive coverage is the most complete type of coverage you can purchase. It covers vehicle damage, vandalism, and natural disasters, as well as towing costs and services.

Collision coverage, on the other hand, only covers vehicular damage, not any extra expenses that incur as the result of an accident or a breakdown. Sometimes, a car insurance company will let you build a policy around your needs and your budget, but you pay for each piece of the policy separately. You could pay much more than if you were to purchase a set policy in the first place.

How is it Offered?

Depending on the insurance company, towing and labor services can be offered either specifically as “towing and labor coverage” or as an “emergency roadside service plan.” People who have comprehensive or collision coverage policies typically receive towing and labor services automatically with their policy.

Allstate offers a separate towing and labor coverage plan that reimburses drivers for towing expenses and any roadside-assistance costs you might incur in the event of an emergency. Progressive and Geico, on the other hand, offer a complete emergency road service plan that covers lockouts, dead batteries and flat tires. Progressive’s plan also covers emergency fuel and fluid delivery in case you run out of gas or your car overheats. You are only required to pay for the cost of the fluids; both the delivery and service are free of charge.

Safe Auto offers a quality roadside assistance program to its customers at no extra cost. Assistance is offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week and includes lockouts, flat tires, jump-starts, fluid delivery, winching and towing. Additionally, the coverage includes minor roadside repairs, during which the customer must pay for the materials, as well as concierge services such as rental cars and arrangements, overnight accommodations, alternative transportation, phone calls to tourist bureaus for information if not in a local area, and even locations of nearby ATMs.

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