Most full coverage auto insurance plans will come with additional protection for emergency road service and towing and labor if the insured vehicle should suffer a breakdown or other problem and help is needed. That can be a great relief for the many people who have no idea how to do something as simple as change a flat tire or jump start a vehicle. But for others, that also can be a waste of money.
Many types of emergency road service plans will pay the cost of sending a tow truck or other emergency responder who will do anything from helping get into a locked vehicle when the driver has left the keys in it to adding some gas to an empty tank. Changing a tire or jump starting a low battery are some of the most common services provided, and jump starts are very common in cold climes when the temperature drops significantly below freezing for the first time and saps power from the battery.
But there are limits on how often and which types of services are provided. Generally, no more than five gallons of gas will be provided, and then only once every six months, if a plan so stipulates. And if the vehicle cannot be jump started, the owner might simply be stranded as many times the responding vehicle is not a tow truck capable of removing the car, truck, van or SUV and taking it to the owner’s home or a repair shop.
In such instances, it is preferable to have a towing and labor coverage rider attached to the car insurance plan. With that additional protection, a tow truck will show up and remove the vehicle and take it to either a repair shop or the owner’s home. Advantages of such plans are obvious in they can mean the difference between being stranded in what might be the dead or winter or in the high heat of the summer. And if traveling with the family or perhaps a young child or baby on board, there could be a real danger to the lives of some of the passengers.
So having a towing package on the car insurance literally could be a lifesaver in addition to a very handy way to get home if there is a breakdown of the vehicle. On the other hand, there are limitations to what will be done with towing and labor coverage.
As the name implies, the policy will cover the costs of towing and the labor involved in getting it done up to policy limits. And those limits often include total distance to be towed. If near home, that distance might be as little of 50 or 75 miles. And if traveling away from home, it could be as much as 125 miles – but only to the nearest approved repair facility or other destination. Any additional miles towed come out of the pocket of the policyholder. And such plans many times will require the policyholder to pay up front for services and then seek reimbursement from the insurer, which could take up to two months to receive.