“It’s always something!” Thats what my Grandmama told me today as I told her a story about how we had to use our roadside assistance. She is right, there is always “something” that is going on. Life will seem to be going great (or not so great) and then, wah wah “something” happens. Aren’t Grandparents the best, always full of wisdom! Just the other day we had to use our roadside assistance. Thankfully we had it and didn’t have to pay anything out of pocket. But I cannot tell you how many people think or expect that just because they have, or think they have “Full Coverage” that towing is included in their policy. We’ll talk about “Full Coverage” later, but for right now I want to focus on towing.
Towing or roadside assistance is in most cases an additional add on when it comes to your auto policy. However, some carriers can include it to a certain limit if you have collision coverage on your vehicle. Most of the time though, it would be something you need to add, along with rental reimbursement coverage.
Insurance carriers offer different limits of coverage that you can choose from. Just because you select towing and rental doesn’t mean everything is covered 100%. You may also have to pay a deductible, or you may have to pay out of pocket up front and then submit your receipt for reimbursement depending on your policy. If you don’t know if you have towing or not look at your policy or call your agent to ask.
Do you know how much towing would cost you if you needed it? Based off of some internet sleuthing, I discovered that tow companies have a general tow truck rate, flatbed rates, motorcycle rates, a mileage rating, after hours rate and a large or heavy duty vehicle rate. All of these rating factors will differ of course depending on which company you or your insurance company works with, but the general rate ranges from $75 – $125 some have a minimum charge of $50. I was talking with one of our customers who said she had her vehicle towed less than five miles and her bill was $82. Thankfully she had towing coverage and was able to submit her receipt for reimbursement.
Adding towing to your policy is relatively inexpensive compared to what it would cost out of pocket if you suddenly needed a tow service. There are also other services that towing/roadside assistance could provide such as:
- Gas Delivery
- Jump Start
- Lock out
- Tire change
Different Insurance carriers will have different coverage options and also different limits. It’s best to contact your agent and ask about the different towing and roadside assistance coverage options and see how much they are. I’d bet you’d be suprised to find out it isn’t as expensive as you may think it is.
Now, let’s come back to Full Coverage. Full Coverage is actually not an insurance term, or an actual endorsement you add on to your vehicle. When people say “Full Coverage” they are meaning they would like the physical damage coverage on their vehicle. An auto policy has different parts, the liability, physical damage and additional add on endorsements i.e. towing/rental/glass replacement etc. The liability, what we are legally required to have, covers the “other party” if you as the driver are at fault in an accident and cause property damage or bodily injury. If you have liability only on your vehicle and you cause an accident and are at fault AND your vehicle is damaged then you are fully responsible for the repair or replacement of your vehicle. If you don’t want to be fully responsible for the repair or replacement of your vehicle if you are at fault then this is where physical damage comes in.
The liability, what we are legally required to have, covers the “other party” if you as the driver are at fault in an accident and cause property damage or bodily injury. If you have liability only on your vehicle and you cause an accident and are at fault AND your vehicle is damaged then you are fully responsible for the repair or replacement of your vehicle. If you don’t want to be fully responsible for the repair or replacement of your vehicle and would like the assistance of insurance when you are at fault and your vehicle is damaged then this is where physical damage comes in.
Physical damage is your comprehensive and collision coverage in which a deductible will apply. These coverages make up what the rest of the world calls “Full Coverage”. If these coverages are purchased your company will pay for the repair or replacement of your vehicle less your deductible. Remember Insurance exists to help protect you against a financial hardship and I for one would much rather pay my deductible than fork out the money for another car right away.
If you are unsure if you have towing/roadside assistance, rental reimbusrement or physical damage check out your Auto Declarations Page. This is the document that will lay out all of your coverage limits. Still not sure what coverage you have, give your agent a call and ask those questions! It’s better to call and ask and know what you have before it’s too late. Finally, when you are done talking to your agent, call your Grandparents, because they are oh so wise! And if they aren’t available call your parents because they are just as wise. And if they aren’t available text your kids and teach them about wisdom though emojis.
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