WHAT IS A ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE POLICY?

Three things to consider when purchasing a roadside assistance policy

1) Know what the policy you’re buying includes;

2) Consider if you do a lot of driving;

3) Compare companies that offer roadside assistance and the benefits they include.

What is roadside Assistance?

The most common and widely used roadside assistance policy is through AAA. Roadside assistance is serviced by a professional to make minor mechanical repairs and adjustments in order to get your vehicle drivable again when you become stranded on the road.  These policies usually include things like changing a tire, getting keys locked in the car out of the vehicle, changing the battery, extrication, etc. Most of these policies also include towing.

https://www.consumerreports.org/cars-driving/what-to-consider-when-buying-roadside-assistance-plan/

With the infinite number of things that can go wrong with a vehicle at any given time, these policies can be a huge relief in a breakdown situation. I personally have had a roadside assistance policy ever since I started driving. There have been countless occasions that I have been very grateful that this is a policy that I purchased. They are generally relatively inexpensive and they are usually offered through your primary insurance company. You never know when an emergency will arise.

For example, once I was driving back from Utah and I had two of my sons in the vehicle who were very young at the time.  We got a flat tire somewhere between Cedar City and St. George. Thank goodness I was able to safely pull the vehicle to the side of the road. However, driving a large SUV makes it very difficult to change the tire in the dark. The vehicle has 22 in tires that are heavy and the spare is mounted up underneath the vehicle. Fortunately, my roadside assistance company, which was AAA, sent someone within 45 minutes to my location. He was friendly, professional, and he changed my tire in less than 10 minutes.  I can recall another time when I was at the fishing hole with my three young sons enjoying a lovely evening of fishing in a small town pond. Suddenly, the weather started to change and clouds and lightening started to roll in. I started to load our supplies into my vehicle and started the vehicle. Then, one of my sons decided to shut all the doors to the car. This was at a time when it was very easy to lock the keys in the car. He shut the doors to the vehicle while the car was running and vehicle locked.  I was stranded at the fishing pond with my sons. Fortunately, a neighbor was kind enough to let us use their phone, since my phone was also locked in the vehicle, and my roadside assistance company sent someone from Cedar City within the hour to unlock the vehicle.

https://calstate.aaa.com

Hopefully, your luck is better than mine and you have not found yourselves in these type of situations. However, speaking from experience and understanding the nature of the unexpected events that happened in our lives as an insurance lawyer and a personal injury lawyer in Henderson Nevada for over 15 years, I know that many situations cannot be foreseeable. What can be foreseeable is planning for the unknown. A roadside assistance policy is generally under $200 a year and can be an absolute lifesaver literally in certain situations.

Most common situations requiring roadside assistance

Towing service

Roadside assistance policies generally provide towing service if they are unable to make your vehicle drivable safely. It is important to look at your roadside assistance policy and evaluate their different options. I did find out the hard way that the standard roadside assistance policy that I had only provided for 10 miles of towing. However, for an extra $15 a year it increased to 100 miles. You can see that that it would be a big deal if you were stranded on the highway.   Ten miles is not very far when you leave Mesquite. Look at the policy you are purchasing and make sure that you are buying the best policy for your needs. They won’t leave you stranded at 10 miles; however, you will be at the mercy of the towing company per mile for the remainder of the distance which can cost more than the policy itself would have cost in the first place.

Battery jumpstart service.

In addition to towing, often times, especially in the heat of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada, batteries can die or lose their charge. This is especially important for people driving electric cars since those vehicles can require special service. That is also important when looking at a policy to purchase; make sure that they have capabilities to charge or jump an electric vehicle. Generally, standard vehicles that use standard batteries can be jumpstarted relatively easily when service technician arrives.

Flat Tires

A flat tire can occur at any time. With the amount of construction on our roadways, it is even possible to get a flat tire with a new tire. Most vehicles have a spare tire and can be changed at the scene. However, although I do have the skills to change a tire, it can be difficult, depending on your vehicle. With the roadside assistance policy they will send someone out to change your tire and you will be back on the road in no time. I can tell you firsthand that can be well worth $200 a year to change a flat tire that can occur at any time

Locksmith service

Although many of the newer vehicles cannot have the keys locked in them, there are still many makes and models on the road where the keys can be inadvertently locked inside the vehicle. A roadside assistance technician can generally gain entry into the vehicle through the window with a special tool. If the roadside assistance professional cannot gain entry to your vehicle they will call a locksmith. Make sure you check the policy that you are purchasing to see if they cover locksmith services.

Fuel delivery service

Although I personally have never had a situation of running out of gas, it is not an uncommon occurrence and even the most diligent driver can forget to fill up timely. A roadside assistance company will bring fuel to your vehicle and get you back on the road. There may be a charge for the fuel itself, but you would pay for that in any event. Having someone bring 5 gallons of gas to you as a stranded motorist on the side of the road is well worth the cost of the roadside assistance policy.

Extrication

This is not as uncommon as it sounds. It is not uncommon to have a vehicle slide off the road especially in icy conditions. If you find yourself in a ditch or in a location where your vehicle is stuck, a roadside assistance company can send a tow truck to pull your vehicle back to the road.

An embarrassing story for me … Years ago, I went to pick my son up at school one day,  and the parking lot was not paved at his school. I pulled my large SUV into a parking space and the front portion of this parking space physically gave way and my vehicle was left on three wheels in the space. Picture a dirt mound and part of it sliding away from one of the tires LOL. And of course in front of my vehicle was a 30 foot drop off and that is why part of the dirt gave way.  Although the roadside assistance driver was a little perplexed when he arrived, he was fortunately able to wench rocks under the front tire to stabilize the vehicle in order to pull it out of the space. Hopefully, you will not find yourself in this embarrassing situation, with every parent you know staring at your vehicle wondering who that incompetent driver is was who parked there to begin with, but again, your roadside assistance company will be invaluable in a situation like that

Numerous  road side assistance polices are available. Insurance companies such as AAA, State Farm, Progressive, Allstate, AARP, OnStar, and Nationwide offer these polices.   https://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/roadside-assistance-services/# If you have a question about a roadside assistance policy and or any questions regarding a personal injury, whether from a car accident or a slip and fall or any combination of injuries, please don’t hesitate to call The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC, and Henderson Injury Attorneys for over 13 years. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence. If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices today. At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to. Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible. Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.

         At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Henderson offices. The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.

https://www.aarproadside.com/aarp/about-us

https://www.allstate.com/roadside-assistance.aspx https://www.nationwide.com/personal/insurance/auto/coverages/types/roadside-assistance