Breakdown coverage is far better for road trips than an extended warranty. Breakdown insurance is more flexible when it comes to selecting a repair shop. However, something to keep in mind is the miles you will be traveling and how close you are to the 100,000-mile cut off for coverage. If you are getting close, you might consider roadside assistance instead of or in addition to your breakdown coverage.
Save on Tickets and Enjoy the Scenery
It might seem like a good idea to save money on airplane, bus or train tickets by driving across country, but do it yourself transportation has the same hazards as many DIY projects: when trouble starts, there aren’t any experts to call unless you set up a contingency plan.
Mountains, Vehicles, and Towing
It is fun to watch those shows about big rigs and towing, but it isn’t nearly as much fun to be involved in a situation that requires a tow truck. It is even worse when you are hundreds of miles away from home and there really isn’t anyone to call. That’s where breakdown coverage or roadside assistance or both can be amazingly helpful. First, you have someone to call. Help is only as far away as your cell phone. If you have your regular vehicle insurance through the same company as your breakdown insurance, you only need one number for your vehicle emergencies.
Second, by adding roadside assistance to your breakdown coverage, you can have help for those minor problems such as a flat tire or a loose muffler. Most roadside assistance companies cover 1 hour of roadside help, which is usually plenty of time to change a tire, or to assess a problem that is going to require a tow truck.
Safety for You
It was in 1971 that the Doors recorded “Riders on the Storm,” a song that includes a verse that details the perils of picking up hitchhikers. While you probably know better than to pick up strangers, when your vehicle breaks down, you are vulnerable, especially on lonely stretches of road. The person who stops and asks if you need help is probably one of the good guys but could possibly be one of the not so good guys. When you call your insurance company and a uniformed person with correct credentials and a company vehicle shows up, you know that you are going to receive help. If you have no one else to call, remain in your vehicle and contact the local highway patrol.
Breakdown coverage or roadside assistance are usually inexpensive policies. Whether you are traveling alone or with your family, it is good to know that there is someone to call.
Your Towing is Covered
Sometimes those road trips are a little more expensive than anticipated or you have a little more fun than you had planned. When this happens, you can find yourself short on cash. While there are limits to how far either your breakdown coverage or your roadside assistance contract will allow for towing, you can count on arriving at the nearest repair shop that will work on your type of vehicle. That can be comforting if your funds are a bit more limited than you anticipated.
Just a Little Layer of Comfort
Breakdown insurance or roadside assistance can create a little layer of comfort between you and the harsh reality of being stranded because of something simple like a flat tire or because of a real disaster such as a broken timing gear. Just think of it as a security blanket for commuting or for those long road trips.