Does car insurance cover roadside assistance?

Car insurance does not automatically cover roadside assistance. Roadside assistance can be purchased as an add-on to a policy and includes such perks as free towing, tire changes, locksmith service, and more. Start comparing insurance quotes below to see how much adding roadside assistance to your car insurance policy will cost you.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Brad Larsen

UPDATED: Apr 15, 2022

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Things to know...

  • Roadside assistance provides you with a convenient way to deal with vehicle breakdowns and other mishaps
  • Adding roadside assistance coverage to your auto insurance policy is only one way to obtain this benefit
  • Updating your auto insurance policy is a great way to ensure that it is fully protective and beneficial

Everything from running out of gas in the middle of nowhere to getting a flat tire, having engine trouble, and more can happen to any driver from time to time. In some cases, you may simply be able to call a nearby friend or family member for assistance, but this is not always an option to every driver.

Roadside assistance service is designed to help you overcome your challenges on the road regardless of where your journeys may take you.Roadside assistance services vary from provider to provider, but generally, you can expect to receive basic mechanical help in any location with this service.

Tire changes, opening a locked door if you locked your keys inside, and bringing you a few extra gallons of gas are some of the more common services you may receive. Such services can prevent you from being stranded for hours or more and can help you to avoid paying for expensive towing services.

You may think that this beneficial service is commonly available as a basic feature in your auto insurance policy, but this is not the case. With a closer look at how you can obtain roadside assistance service, you can take steps now to set up the service that you may benefit from in the future. Compare rates today with our FREE comparison tool above to get the best price for the coverage you need.

Options for A Roadside Assistance Service


The most common way to enjoy roadside assistance service is through your auto insurance provider, but this is not a standard coverage with most insurance companies. You usually must specifically request that this service be added to your coverage, and this means that you may need to add it to your coverage today.

However, there may be other ways to obtain this coverage, and buying optional coverage may not be necessary.

For example, some credit card companies offer this benefit to their account holders. This may be a benefit that is free for you to access as long as your account is in good standing, and it may be offered through a reputable third party roadside assistance company.

You can review your credit card benefits by calling your financing company directly or by analyzing your benefits when you log into your account online.

If you have a car lease or loan on your vehicle, you may also check with your lender to determine if they offer this benefit to you. Some lenders provide roadside assistance as part of their services. You may even have this service through your dealership for a limited amount of time after you purchase or lease your vehicle.

Because you do not want to pay to add a service to your insurance policy if you already have it available, it makes sense to check these sources before you update your coverage.

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Does your current coverage include Roadside Assistance?

If you have checked with your lender, dealership, and credit card companies and have not found roadside assistance service as a benefit, you can then review your current auto coverage.

Basic auto coverage does not usually include roadside assistance, but you may have added it when you initially set up your policy.

Calling your insurance company’s customer service phone number is a great way to review your current coverages and limits and to ask if roadside assistance is available to you currently. You may even be able to add the coverage to your policy during this phone call if needed.

Would adding Roadside Assistance to your policy be cost effective?

In most cases, there is a cost associated with adding roadside assistance coverage to your auto insurance policy. However, before you make this purchase, you should consider how cost-effective it is.

You generally can add it to your coverage for a few dollars per month, which is relatively affordable for most budgets. On the other hand, you may rarely use this coverage, and you may have limited need for it.

For example, if you have a newer vehicle in great condition and if you normally only drive close to home, you may not usually be in a position where you cannot get help quickly from a friend or family member. If you have an older vehicle or if your outings take you farther from home periodically, this additional coverage may be truly beneficial to have.

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Looking for More Affordable Car Insurance

Now that you are taking a closer look at your current coverage and limits, it may be time to update your coverage and to shop for lower rates. Doing so will help you to enjoy maximum protection from your coverage while also saving money on your premium.

Finding Lower Rates


Providers typically review similar factors when determining car insurance rates, and these factors may include:

  • Your gender and age
  • The mileage you typically drive
  • The zip code of your primary residence
  • The type of vehicle that is being insured
  • Your driving history and credit rating

Despite the fact that common factors are reviewed by most providers, the insurance rates offered by different providers can vary significantly. Make an effort to request a new quote for coverage twice per year from at least three different providers to identify the best deal possible.

By doing so, you can always have the lowest rate possible on the coverage you need. This is also an ideal time to update your coverage types and limits.

Choosing Additional Coverage that Works for You

The coverage types and limits you select for your car insurance policy also affect your premium. All drivers should purchase a policy that meets their state’s minimum coverage requirements for liability, but you may also opt for additional coverage.

Liability insurance only pays for the vehicle repairs, medical bills, and other similar expenses that you cause to other parties, and it does not pay for your expenses.

Remember that you are financially responsible for any expenses that are not covered by your auto insurance policy. Therefore, buying optional coverage and increasing limits can make sense in some cases. Some of the more common optional coverages that you may add to your basic policy include:

  • Collision insurance
  • Comprehensive insurance
  • Towing assistance
  • Roadside assistance
  • Rental car reimbursement

To keep your coverage as low as possible, only get the optional coverages that add true value to you and set reasonable limits.

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Ways to Save Money on Car Insurance


Your car insurance premium may be one of your larger expenses each month, and this is particularly true if you increase your coverage and limits. If you are looking for an affordable way to get the required and optional coverage you desire, rest assured that there are many ways to save money on your car insurance policy. These include:

  • Adjusting your deductible
  • Adjusting your coverage limits
  • Bundling your policies
  • Insuring multiple vehicles or drivers under one policy
  • Taking advantage of auto coverage discounts

Your insurance agent may also help you to identify additional ways to save money on insurance based on your specific circumstances. For example, if your credit scores are causing you to have higher rates, the agent may recommend that you focus on improving your credit scores over the next few months so that you can qualify for lower auto insurance rates.

Because accidents and mishaps can happen at any time on the road, you need to ensure that you have roadside assistance service if desired. You also should confirm that your current car insurance policy is as protective as it could be by analyzing and updating your existing policy or shopping for new coverage.

By taking these steps today, you can rest easy knowing that you are fully prepared for anything that may happen on the road. Use our free insurance comparison tool below to start comparing rates to make sure you aren’t overpaying for what you need!

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