Imagine it’s a 40°C day and you’re driving down the freeway, when suddenly, your car engine makes a grinding, whirring, gasping sound. You pull over quickly as the power in your engine fails. Warning lights flash and other cars whizz past, while the sun blazes through your window. You turn your car off and back on again, only to hear it splutter and wheeze.
You’re stuck going nowhere without a clue what’s wrong with your car. What do you do? Who do you call? And how much is it going to cost?
You could frantically search your phone for the number of a nearby tow truck, and wait in the agonising heat for who knows how long for your car to be collected. Meanwhile, you’d need to call a taxi to take you to your destination or to the mechanic. It’s almost guaranteed as well, thanks to Murphy’s Law, that you’d break down on the most inconvenient day at the most inconvenient time, possibly minutes before a big work meeting or on your way to pick up your children from school. However, if you have Roadside Assistance, you’re in luck – with this handy cover by your side, you’ll save yourself a great deal of stress and hassle during a breakdown.
What is Roadside Assistance?
Roadside Assistance is cover for non-accident related car issues. Roadside Assistance will help you get back on the road or arrange towing for your vehicle within specified limits, if this is included within your contract. Policies offer 24/7 protection and service if you and your vehicle are stranded due to a breakdown, depending where the breakdown occurs. (Some providers do not cover all areas, so it’s good to shop around for a product that will best suit you). It’s important to keep in mind that Roadside Assistance is not comprehensive car insurance and does not cover accident, injury, or liability. The great news is Roadside Assistance is a relatively small cost with big benefits, so is a worthwhile consideration.
Roadside Assistance covers a variety of mechanical or electrical breakdowns (including battery issues) lockouts, bogs, flat tyres and in some cases, emergency fuel. This means that anyone and everyone with a car could benefit from Roadside Assistance. You never know if or when your vehicle will breakdown, so it’s a great safety net to have, just in case.
It’s important to be picky, as products are different, so make sure to choose a product that covers you for what you need. Most products offer different levels of cover, from standard through to high-level, with a range of associated premiums. Some high-level covers will even provide you with taxi fare or car hire if your car breaks down away from home, whilst other products will also cover trailers or campervans associated with your vehicle.
Be aware of the fine print!
When it comes to car insurance and especially roadside assistance, the devil is in the details! So make sure you read each policy’s terms and conditions carefully. Some products only cover you within a certain radius of major metropolitan areas, whilst others cover you if you drive interstate. Certain products cover you as the driver regardless of the car you may be driving, so even if you’ve borrowed your sister’s or your partner’s vehicle, you’ll be covered no matter what. However, other products will only cover you for one specified vehicle.
There are so many different vehicle-related incidents that could happen on the road – you might break down on the freeway, accidentally lock your keys in the car, leave your lights on in a car park, forget to top up the petrol tank, or even get a flat tyre. Save yourself the trouble of having to fork out for these repairs yourself by taking out Roadside Assistance cover.