Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Former Farmers Insurance CSR

UPDATED: Nov 12, 2020

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Auto insurance with roadside assistance coverage is there to help drivers who experience breakdowns on the side of the road. Nearly every insurance company offers this “add-on” to car insurance policies (auto insurance add-ons can be explained here).

Roadside assistance coverage works like this — insurance companies employ a network of roadside assistance businesses to help policyholders who get “stuck” on the side of the road. If you experience a breakdown and need assistance, you can call up your insurer’s roadside assistance number and they will dispatch someone to come help you.

Insurance companies offer this service for a small annual fee. Most roadside assistance options include battery jumpstart, towing, and fuel replacement. It’s even possible to get car insurance with free roadside assistance. Continue reading below to learn more about affordable auto insurance roadside assistance coverage so you can determine whether or not it’s right for you.

Knowing how to compare auto insurance quotes will help you get the best coverage for your price range. Get car insurance quotes with roadside assistance now. To easily find affordable auto insurance with roadside assistance, compare rates by using our free quote tool.

When Roadside Assistance Can Help

What to do when your car breaks down? First, put on your hazards and move out of the road, if possible. Roadside assistance is there to get your vehicle moving again (without taking it to a repair shop) if it stalls on the side of the road. Here are some common scenarios in which your auto insurance company’s roadside insurance coverage can help you out:

Emergency Jumpstarts

If your battery dies, roadside assistance can deploy somebody to you to give you a jumpstart or even replace your battery with a new one. This service can be especially useful for people who frequently leave their lights running or drive an older vehicle.

Flat Tires

When you get a flat, you probably have a lot of questions, like “How did this happen,” or “Will auto insurance over a flat tire?”

If you don’t know how to replace a flat tire or you don’t have a spare, roadside assistance can do it for you. Even if you do know how to replace it yourself, it’s oftentimes more convenient and safer to have roadside assistance do it for you. Imagine you’re driving alone at night during a snowstorm when you get a flat. Pulling over to the side of the road and getting out of your car to replace the tire would be extremely dangerous.

USAA, Progressive, and Geico offer roadside assistance for flat tires, as do many other insurance companies.

Fuel Delivery

If you run out of gas while driving, roadside assistance can actually come and deliver fuel to you. Unfortunately, they will not come and fill up your tank for you on the spot. Usually, they will just give you enough fuel so you can make it to the nearest gas station.

Lockout/Locksmith Service

If you get locked out of your car, roadside assistance can help. A lockout service will first try to gain entry to your vehicle by using a wedge, a “Slim Jim,” or a reach tool. If they cannot help, a more expensive locksmith will be deployed who can pick the lock (in older vehicles) or reprogram the key.

Extrication/Winching Service

If your vehicle gets stuck in a ditch, the snow, or any place it can’t get out of, roadside assistance can use their tools to try and dislodge the vehicle.

Towing Coverage

If roadside assistance fails to get your vehicle up and running again, they will tow your vehicle to the closest in-network repair shop. They can also help tow your vehicle to your home or to your preferred mechanic, but that might cost you extra.

It’s worth noting that different companies may offer different towing distances. In your area, the Farmers Insurance towing distance my not be the same as the State Farm roadside assistance towing distance or USAA roadside assistance towing distance. It’s important to contact an agent from your insurance company for specifics.

For help finding roadside assistance quotes and comparing car insurance rates with roadside assistance from reputable companies, use our quote tool below.

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Who Should Get Roadside Assistance Coverage?

Roadside assistance provides you with the peace of mind of knowing that there’s always somebody to help you out if your car breaks down on the side of the road. If that’s not enough to make it worth it to you, you should really still consider adding roadside assistance coverage to your current policy if one or more of the following conditions are met:

  1. You Drive an Older Vehicle – Old cars break down more often than new cars do. Newer cars drive smoother and have fewer issues. Sometimes, they even have complimentary roadside coverage from their manufacturer’s warranty. Old cars, however, seem to experience one issue after the next. If you drive an older car, roadside assistance coverage might be a wise investment.
  2. You Drive Long Distances – If your daily commute is lengthy, you might consider getting roadside assistance coverage, especially one with towing benefits. Being stuck far away from home in a broken-down car is not fun.
  3. You Know Nothing About Car Repair – If you have no clue how to fix or maintain a vehicle, roadside assistance coverage is a must. Instead of having to locate a local mechanic or towing service every time your vehicle experiences the slightest issue, you can simply rely on your insurance company’s roadside assistance. Not only is it convenient, but it’s also cost beneficial.

For some statistics about roadside assistance services, check out the chart below.

Roadside Assistance Programs Summary
Roadside Assistance ConditionsStatisticsFrom Experts...
Drivers helped by AAA roadside assistance in 201532 millionnewsroom.aaa.com
Percentage of new cars sold without a spare tire33%newsroom.aaa.com
Typical cost of annual roadside assistance plan$40-$60consumerreports.org
Number of stranded motorists helped by the state of Arizona75,235azdps.gov
Number of car crashes nationally from 2005-20072,188,970nhtsa.dot.gov
Percentage of those crashes caused by tire damage9%nhtsa.dot.gov
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As you can see, roadside assistance can be very beneficial.

How much does roadside assistance coverage cost?

The cost of roadside assistance coverage all depends on the amount of coverage you purchase and which auto insurance company you use. In most cases, however, roadside assistance plans pay for themselves after just one use. For example, Geico charges $14 per year for roadside assistance coverage. In comparison, just one tow can cost over $200. Below, let’s compare some roadside assistance plans from major American insurance carriers.

How much does roadside assistance cost without insurance? Remember, auto insurance is required in almost every state, so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to purchase roadside assistance without first having auto insurance. Full coverage policies from many companies can include collision and comprehensive car insurance with roadside assistance.

Insurance Companies That Offer Roadside Assistance

If you contact agents from these various companies, they will usually provide a roadside assistance quote. See the roadside assistance options offered by several companies below. Geico insurance offers roadside assistance coverage and tire repair.

  • Geico
    Cost: $14 per year, per car
    Includes: Emergency Jumpstart Services, Towing (to the closest service station), Vehicle Lockout (up to $100), Flat Tire Service
  • USAA
    Cost: Depends
    Includes: Emergency Jumpstart Services, Towing, Emergency Fuel Services, Vehicle Lockout, Flat Tire Service
  • Progressive
    Cost: $10-$18 per policy period
    Includes: Emergency Jumpstart Services, Towing (15-mile radius), Emergency Fuel Services, Vehicle Lockout, Flat Tire Service, Extrication/Winching Service, One Hour of Labor/Mechanical Repair
  • State Farm
    Cost: $5-7 per policy period
    Includes: Emergency Jumpstart Services, Towing, Emergency Fuel Services, Vehicle Lockout, Flat Tire Service
  • AARP
    Cost: $58-74 per year
    Includes: Emergency Jumpstart Services, Towing, Emergency Fuel Services, Vehicle Lockout, Flat Tire Service, Extrication/Winching Service, Labor/Mechanical Repair

Other options are available, as well, such as Travelers auto insurance roadside assistance coverage. Listed above are simply some of the most popular. Cheap roadside coverage options can be found at almost every major company; however, it’s important to determine what options you’d like included before deciding on a policy. Geico offers 24-hour roadside assistance, as do many other insurance companies.

Final Word on Roadside Assistance Coverage

Before purchasing roadside assistance coverage through your auto insurance provider, first, check to make sure that you don’t already have roadside assistance coverage through another outlet. Many credit cards, such as American Express, offer free roadside assistance to all cardholders.

If you have it, make sure that American Express roadside assistance offers all the types of assistance you might need. It’s worth noting that “liability only” policies may not come with vehicle emergency road service or other types of roadside assistance.

Additionally, if you’re a AAA member, it should go without saying that you probably already have adequate roadside assistance coverage. As mentioned above, new vehicles still under their manufacturer’s warranty might have roadside assistance coverage included. There are many ways to receive auto insurance with free roadside assistance.

Roadside assistance coverage, regardless of how you get it, can be a very useful type of insurance. It can offer you peace of mind, convenience, and can even save you money. It’s an invaluable service, especially to those who drive an older vehicle or have long commutes. If you think roadside assistance coverage is right for you, call your insurance provider today to see which plans they offer.

If you’re ready to look for cheap quotes for car insurance coverage with roadside assistance, use our FREE quote tool below now to compare rates.