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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Last Updated: December 12, 2018

Some car insurance policies cover towing costs, while other car insurance policies do not. Some policies cover towing costs in certain situations, while others never cover it at all.

Confused? That’s okay. Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about towing coverage and auto insurance costs.

Does My Car Insurance Cover Towing Costs?

A full coverage car insurance policy may include towing as part of the base coverage offering. Depending on your car insurance company, you may not need to purchase towing coverage as an add-on if you have collision and comprehensive coverage.

If you only have the bare minimum car insurance, however, then towing may not be covered under your policy. Base coverage offering liability plans may not provide any coverage for towing.

Generally, if your car insurance covers physical damage to your vehicle (i.e., you have collision and comprehensive coverage), then your car insurance policy will cover the costs of towing.

However, don’t assume you have towing coverage. Even if you have a comprehensive policy, towing may not be included as part of your plan. Some insurance companies will offer towing coverage as an optional add-on.

If you’re concerned about whether or not towing is covered on your plan, contact your car insurance company or check your car insurance policy. Typically, towing will be labeled under a section like “Towing and Labor Coverage.” Towing and labor coverage covers more than just towing: it also covers the costs of basic roadside assistance.

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Towing Coverage is Optional

Towing coverage is not mandatory on any car insurance policy in any state. It’s not a part of basic liability insurance, and it’s not necessarily a part of full coverage.

With many insurance policies, you will need to pay extra to cover the costs of towing – even with a full coverage policy. Towing coverage is optional and not included in all plans.

What is Covered by Towing and Labor Coverage?

If your car insurance policy has towing and labor coverage, then the costs of towing a vehicle should be covered by your policy. Typically, towing and labor coverage will cover all of the following expenses:

Your towing and labor coverage may include coverage for all of the above. Like all other types of car insurance, your insurance will have a set limit. Your policy will cover costs up to that limit.

What Happens If I Don’t Have Towing and Labor Coverage?

Towing and labor coverage is optional. Some car insurance companies include it as part of a standard full coverage package, while other car insurance companies charge an extra amount beyond full coverage.

If you don’t have towing and labor coverage, then you will need to pay for all towing and labor expenses out of pocket.

Typically, towing companies charge a flat rate to show up to your location. They will also charge hefty per-mile fees along with other expenses. With towing and labor coverage, this amount will be charged to your insurance policy. Without towing and labor coverage, you’ll need to pay for everything yourself.

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Do I Need Towing and Labor Coverage?

If towing and labor coverage is not included in your plan, then it may be available as optional coverage.

Typically, towing and labor coverage won’t add a significant amount to your insurance premiums. You might pay $10 to $15 more per month, for example, to add towing and labor coverage to your policy.

Is towing and labor coverage worth it? Like all other insurance questions, you’ll need to answer that question yourself depending on your budget and aversion to risk.

If you want to save a little bit of money every month in exchange for added risk, then you might want to skip towing and labor coverage.

Alternatively, if you are willing to pay slightly more per month in exchange for better coverage, then towing and labor coverage may be worth it.

Some people are not comfortable changing tires on the side of a road. Other people may not carry jumper cables. Some people might drive an old vehicle prone to breakdowns. If you fall into any of these categories, then towing and labor coverage may be worth it.

Some drivers are comfortable changing tires. Some drivers have a jumpstart kit inside their vehicle. Other drivers drive newer cars that are not prone to breakdowns. In these situations, towing and labor coverage might not be worth it.

Towing and labor coverage might also be worth it if you frequently drive long distances between cities. If you commute from one city to another, for example, or drive long distances regularly, then your car might break down in the middle of nowhere. Towing companies charge a per-mile rate, and the long distances can quickly cause an out-of-pocket towing job to add up. Depending on how far you commute, towing and labor coverage might pay for itself with one tow job.

As with all forms of insurance, it’s up to you to decide whether or not towing coverage is the right choice for your unique needs.

How to Compare Car Insurance Policies with Towing Coverage

Comparing car insurance policies with towing coverage is as straightforward as comparing car insurance policies without towing coverage. Request a few quotes online to get started. Then, pick the plan that meets your unique needs and budget.

Some car insurance policies include towing on any full-coverage plan. Others allow you to add it as an option.

Whether towing is optional or included, your car insurance policy will mention it when you request a quote. The car insurance policy should indicate everything included, making it easy to see exactly how much car insurance will cost with and without towing coverage.


Towing coverage isn’t necessarily included on all car insurance policies. Some full coverage car insurance policies include towing and labor by default, while others make towing and labor coverage an optional add-on. Depending on your auto insurance needs, you may wish to add towing coverage to your policy at the cost of a few dollars per month.

Check your policy to ensure you have towing coverage. If you drive an older vehicle prone to breakdowns, or if you do not feel comfortable jumpstarting a car or changing a tire, then towing and labor coverage may be worth it.