How To Choose The Right Roadside Assistance Plan
Updated: Aug 7, 2019
Choosing the right roadside assistance club or plan can be daunting. Never fear, we are here to break it down and point out the hidden costs.
We will do our best to make sure you get the best value and the best service.
Take the time to do your research on each plan. When choosing, consider the benefits, not the price.
Warren Buffet explains that "Price is what you pay, value is what you get. "
Usually, when you pay by the month you get less value. You are essentially paying an extra finance fee to have the bill stretched out over the year. Don’t jump on the cheapest plan, consider getting at least the next plan up.
Your auto Insurance company roadside assistance plan will be very different from a national roadside assistance club like AAA or MCA. The benefits will vary drastically.
Unlimited everything from your insurance company for a low monthly price sounds great until you find out it will just be added onto your insurance somehow later.
Another thing to think about is that clubs like AAA, MCA, etc do not report your roadside emergency in any way. If you use them multiple times in a year, you would just use up benefits until they run out.
Would your insurance roadside assistance keep track of every flat tire, jump start, or lock pop to access risk? It is hard to say if your roadside emergency history could affect your rates or risk factor.
Be aware that many new Apps like Honk 4 Help are run by insurance companies.
These apps are not any better and in fact, in many cases can be the worst service providers just because they were never intended to provide a service but only to pick the lowest bidder.
Ask NASA how using the lowest bidder works for them.
Whatever you decide, you should know the limitations of most roadside assistance memberships.
Most are NOT intended to be an “emergency rapid response” like many think.
There are different types and levels of emergency. No one is going to call 911 for a flat tire yet it is still a dangerous situation in need of very fast response.
Sitting on the side of the road is inherently dangerous all by itself.
The longer you sit there the higher the chances of getting hit.
Although sitting in a parking lot in an unfamiliar neighborhood can be just as dangerous in its own way, and no less stressful. Just because your emergency is not of the highest 911 or ambulance level, you still need immediate service for many reasons.
Wrapping your head around the fact that roadside assistance plans do not provide a fast response is not easy, but you must accept this basic fact before we move on.
Yes, on occasion some have experienced a fast response in the past. But that is not guaranteed, you just happened to catch them just at the right time.
Do you want to gamble that they will always be that fast?
Is it worth the risk to your safety to rely on them to arrive in a timely manner?
If they were honest about it up front and told you it would be a long wait, what would you do?
You would quickly call someone else. So, they lie to you, over and over.
At first, they will usually say 45 minutes knowing full well they are about 4 hours behind.
Most people wait about a 1-½ hour to 2 hours before they call back wondering how much longer service will be.
Then they are lied to again and told “another 45 minutes”.
So many fall for this and end up waiting 4-6 hours for a service they expected to arrive in less than an hour.
There are work shifts that last 4-6 hours and this roadside assistance plan wants, no, expects, you to wait on them for an entire shift is ridiculous.
A roadside assistance club is only a network or list of providers, most of which have agreed to provide service at a huge discount in exchange for work in volume. I have yet to think of a service where this type of business model has helped you, the end customer, in any way.
You don't get better service since they have cut rates so much, not only are all corners cut, but a few sides have been blown off, too. The actual workers just don't get paid enough to care.
Lower paid labor means a much higher risk of unnecessary damage to your vehicle. An employee that is paid less is usually trained less, too. Is this the type of worker you want to touch your car or truck, the second most expensive investment after your house?
You don't get faster service. The wait is an average of 3–4 hours and way too frequently exceeding 6-8 hours of waiting on the side of the road for service.
If you thought the wait on the side of the road for hours was bad, getting roadside assistance from your residence is difficult. Many clubs like AAA will not even provide service at your home address at all since it is not on the ‘roadside’. If you call for service from home, the wait can be 2 days, if they will provide service at you home at all.
That cheap insurance company plan might seem like a great deal, but when you go to use it, will they even answer the phone? Many insurance roadside assistance plans are not accessible after hours. Just because you get an 800# type number does not mean they are available all the time. Check to make sure the number they give you is specifically labeled as open 24 hours.
I am not saying that roadside assistance clubs and plans are not of great use.
It is insurance that you should definitely have.
Just know what to expect and how to fill the gaps.
Understand how they work and when to use them.
For instance, if you have an accident, always call your insurance company.
An accident is never covered under any kind of roadside assistance.
Not calling your insurance would only delay you getting the proper help that you would need since roadside assistance most likely will not have the right equipment with them. Most roadside assistance plans may refuse service and make you order a new service so they can get the credit for an accident though insurance claims resulting in you waiting even longer.
Follow our blog to know what to look for in order to get better service. There are ways to get a true emergency rapid response from a towing company.
Visit our blog for more tips, tricks, and secrets to save you money and keep you and the family safe while traveling.
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Stay safe to stay mobile. Remember, planning ahead only takes a few mins.
Author: Robyn Hart
Social Media Director