Learning how to cope when you experience a car breakdown on the road is one of the biggest lessons you learn as a driver and car owner. It gives you an appreciation for preparing and over-preparing whenever you can. Automart, Assurance.Ph’s used and repo car partner shared what you can prepare for roadside emergencies.
But what if the emergency you find yourself in is more than what you can fix by yourself? That’s where roadside assistance can help you.
The Services You Get With Roadside Assistance
Roadside assistance is a type of coverage that is either attached automatically to an auto insurance policy or as an add-on that you can request.
Roadside assistance is, essentially, professional on-site car emergency and auto repair and rescue services that rescue and aid policyholders when their vehicles break down or are involved in an accident.
As a policyholder, all you need to do is make sure you keep your roadside assistance hotline number with you and use that to call for aid during a roadside emergency.
The level and number of services offered by your road assistance provider may depend on the coverage you outlined in your auto insurance policy, but they may include but not limited to:
- 24/7 Hotline
- – Roadside assistance operates round-the-clock so you may call your hotline number at any time, when a roadside emergency occurs, or when you figure in an accident. Your roadside assistance’s contact information should be attached to your auto insurance policy in the form of a card, or, these days (of the pandemic), included in your insurance provider’s email or in the digital copy itself. (Be sure to get the hotline number ahead of time)
- – But note: while roadside assistance is available 24/7, some service providers will charge you a fee for calling for assistance if you are not involved in the accident. This expense will be charged directly to you and not covered by your auto insurance policy (and therefore, will not be paid out by your insurance provider).
- Auto Towing Services
- – If you experience a bad engine problem or a mechanical breakdown on the road and you can’t drive your car any further, you can get towing service under your roadside assistance coverage. Generally, this car towing service has limitations. The key limitation is distance. Most roadside towing services operate within a geographical limit and any rescues they need to conduct outside of that limit will be charged to you (on a per kilometer basis, depending on the distance from point A to point B). So check policy for the distance limit included in your service and be prepared for the additional cost, if any.
- – Also note: This service may also include helping extract your car if it has fallen or rolled down a ditch or canal. But do make sure that this kind of assistance is part of your provider’s towing services or is a separate clause, as more roadside assistance providers may count this as separate from towing.
- Battery jumpstart
- – This service is one of the most requested (and needed) as it can occur at any given time. There are alternatives like 24-hour battery services, but when you’re stuck in a closed parking lot with only the night guard for company, it would be a big relief to see your roadside assistance arrive.
- Tire replacement
- – Even if you can replace your tire on your own, there is a chance your spare tire may not have been refreshed or your car may not be situated in a flat even part of the road. This is where roadside assistance can really help you.
- Other services may include:
- – Assistance or referral to legal assistance if you don’t have your own attorney to help you, especially if you are involved in a major road accident.
- – Ad hoc services like locked-out services, fuel refill, and accident coordination (calling the police or traffic authorities, as well as your emergency contacts or family), and others.
Is It Always Attached to a Car Insurance? Yes and no.
Yes. Like the CTPL, which is required by LTO, most auto insurance providers here in the Philippines offer policies that include roadside assistance. You don’t have the option to opt out of getting roadside assistance since this is not an additional expense on your part. Assurance.Ph can explain this further if you want to learn more about it.
And no. You might be interested to note that there are a lot of professional roadside assistance services companies here in the country. They offer different levels of services, from towing, roadside repair and rescues, and others. Also, roadside assistance may be a perk you can enjoy if you’re joining an auto club.
Do I Have the Option of When I Can Get It?
For the purposes of answering this question, let’s presume that you mean the roadside assistance coverage included in your auto insurance plan. In a nutshell: Yes, you do.
Roadside assistance coverage is often included in your insurance policy for free, for the first year. Then, you have the option to continue adding the coverage, or not, when renewing your auto insurance---but who would want to leave it out when it is often an added perk comes with a middling cost, if not free?
If you are changing auto insurance providers in the following year, and it’s not part of the policy offered to you, you request to have it added in. The process may differ from one provider to another, so it’s best to ask first. To know where to start, ask Assurance.Ph.
Does This Coverage Also Work for Used or Repo Cars?
Say you bought a used or repossessed car, what do you do? The same process applies: you can opt to add roadside assistance when you buy car insurance, or not. It is, however, a wise investment to get roadside assistance, particularly if you buy a car that is two years or older---and it’s better for your peace of mind because you have the reassurance of support if the unexpected does occur.
Note: Most car insurance providers will place a validity cap on the vehicle age, with many limiting their coverage to cars that are 15 years old max. Best to ask your provider about it.
At the End of the Day, It’s Your Safety That Counts
Whether it’s a simple flat tire or a fender-bender, having roadside assistance when you least expect it, is the biggest benefit you can get from adding roadside assistance to your auto insurance policy. That peace of mind and assurance, knowing you have someone to help you out (and professional help at that!) is priceless. Because at the end of the day, making sure you and your passengers are safe and secure becomes the main priority when roadside emergencies or accidents happen. Stay safe!
Assurance.Ph is your partner in providing financial protection for your vehicles, passengers, your properties, and yourself in the Philippines. If you want to know more about getting an auto insurance policy, or if you’re looking for help to dissect and read through all the car insurance jargon, start a chat or call with one of our Assurance.Ph advisors today at 0915 705 2031, 0905 205 0402, or 0956 302 9631. We help vehicle owners by providing easy and affordable access to choosing the protection plan that suits their needs and budgets. You may also email us at email@example.com to know more about our vehicle insurance prices and packages.