The Ultimate Guide to Roadside Assistance Plans

June 21, 2022

Americans drive more on average than anyone else in the world. They log almost 14,000 miles behind the wheel every year.

Due to the amount of driving you have to do in the U.S., you need to make sure that you stay safe while you’re out on the road. A vehicle breakdown in an unfamiliar area can be a terrifying experience.

Roadside assistance plans can help set your mind at ease. With their coverage, you can drive anywhere in the country knowing that you’re not alone.

Read on to learn about what they do and how they can benefit you.

The Basics of Roadside Assistance

Roadside assistance offers you coverage for all kinds of things that could happen to you out on the road. This often includes things like towing a broken-down vehicle, changing a flat tire, and jump-starting a dead battery.

With a roadside assistance policy, you’ll pay a monthly or yearly fee get access to roadside assistance services, or reimbursement for services you arrange yourself.

Your policy provider will be able to locate a tow truck for you or connect with someone who can help replace your tire. This means you can drive confidently knowing that you’ll always have help if your car breaks down.

What Does Roadside Assistance Cover?

Roadside assistance services are incredibly valuable. They cover a wide range of potential car issues, including many of the most common car ones.

1. Flat Tire

Even though the majority of Americans claim they can change a tire, it’s often a difficult thing to do on the side of the road. Wheels can sometimes stick to axels, some people might not have the necessary tools, and others might feel unsafe if a flat tire occurs in an unfamiliar area.

Roadside assistance can connect you with a professional who can change your tire easily. They’ll replace your flat with your spare so you can get home safely.

2. Towing and Winching

In the event of an accident or breakdown, you’ll need to move your car off the road. Towing services are typically quite expensive, so your roadside assistance policy could prove worthwhile after just one tow.

You can usually have your car towed to a mechanic or your home. Be sure to check the mileage limits associated with your policy, as some offer a limited range of free towing services.

Should your car fall off the roadway, a winch might be needed to retrieve it. Most roadside assistance plans cover this as well.

3. Jump-Starting

Car batteries tend to give out at the most inconvenient times. Even if you stash jumper cables in your truck, you’ll still need someone else’s help.

This makes jump-starting one of the most valuable services roadside assistance offers.

4. Lockout 

Few things are more frustrating than being locked out of your car. Usually, these instances occur by accident when someone mistakenly leaves their keys in the ignition. 

With roadside assistance, help is never far away. You can easily arrange for a locksmith to come to open your car door.

5. Delivery

Your roadside assistance policy can also arrange for the delivery and installation of various items.

For instance, you can have gas delivered to you if you happen to run out. While they won’t fill up your car completely, they’ll bring enough fuel to get you to a nearby gas station.

You can also arrange for the delivery of things like batteries. If your battery won’t respond to jumping and you need a replacement, your roadside assistance carrier will arrange for the delivery and installation of a new battery.

Limitations of Roadside Assistance Plans

Roadside assistance should not be confused with car insurance. You’ll still need to carry a car insurance policy to legally operate a car.

You also shouldn’t rely on roadside assistance in the case of life-threatening emergencies. If you need medical attention or are in an accident, you need to notify the authorities.

These policies also won’t cover the cost of car repairs that aren’t outlined in your policy. While they’ll often tow your car for free and can even install some new parts on the roadside, they won’t cover the cost of a mechanic.

Who Can Benefit From Roadside Assistance

All drivers will benefit from the convenience and peace of mind roadside assistance programs offer. However, certain kinds of drivers need this coverage even more than others. 

1. New Drivers

New drivers, especially teenagers, don’t have a lot of experience dealing with car-related emergencies. They probably won’t be able to change their tire or use jumper cables. A roadside assistance plan can guarantee a new driver won’t be stranded.

2. The Elderly

While older folks might know how to conduct themselves in an emergency, they might need help with some of the physically-demanding tasks. Putting a car on a jack to change a tire isn’t easy.

3. Families

Roadside assistance can help keep your family safe. You’ll be able to watch over your children while you wait for help to arrive.

4. Drivers With Older Cars

Older cars tend to break down more often and need more maintenance than newer cars. If your car is over 10 years old, you’ll benefit massively from the help roadside assistance provides.

5. Commuters 

If you rely on your car to commute to work every day, you can’t afford to go without the coverage of a roadside assistance policy. The average commute is over 40 miles and over an hour round-trip, which means there’s plenty of opportunity for a breakdown.

Roadside Assistance From Alliance Direct Benefits

Roadside assistance from Alliance Direct Benefits can keep you safe while you’re behind the wheel. They can cover towing,  jumpstarts, provide lockout service, assist with tire changes and even bring you gas if you happen to run out. Alliance Direct Benefits Members can use the app to locate a service provider nearby and then simply upload the receipt for reimbursement. 

Alliance Direct Benefits offers premium roadside assistance as part of most plans, including the Alliance Value Plan which covers your whale family from just $15/month. Join today and get access to Roadside Assistance, 24/7 Telemedicine, and more.