Imagine you are on a road trip with your partner. Suddenly, your car breaks down on the side of the road, and there’s nobody nearby to help you. Who can you turn to? Being stranded alone in an unfamiliar environment can make things frustrating.
A motor insurance claim can be helpful if you are involved in an accident and significant damage has occurred to both you and your vehicle. However, in the scenario discussed above, filing for an insurance claim seems unnecessary as you need immediate on-road assistance. That's where an add-on called Roadside Assistance cover comes in handy. This add-on allows you to take care of your vehicle’s damages when you cannot find help on the road. You can add this to your existing policy to expand its coverage.
Let's explore the Roadside Assistance Cover in detail:
What is Roadside Assistance Cover?
In case your vehicle breaks down or suffers a mechanical failure in the middle of the road, and you cannot find a mechanic or technician nearby, you can use the Roadside Assistance Cover to get on-road assistance for resolving the issue. You can add the Roadside assistance cover to your existing policy by paying an additional premium.
To avail the road assistance services, you need to contact your insurer, explain your situation to them, and provide your location details. Your insurer will provide you with the necessary assistance.
Get Your Car Insurance Premium Now
How does a Roadside Assistance Cover Work?
A Roadside Assistance Cover is handy in situations like vehicle breakdown, battery jumpstart, flat tyres, etc. If you happen to face such a scenario, all you have to do is call the insurance company. They will arrange for a mechanic or a towing van according to the situation. Then, the vehicle will be repaired on the spot by the mechanic if possible or else will be towed to the nearby garage. You can be worry-free about the expenses as they will be covered by your insurance company.
What Services are Available Under Roadside Assistance Cover?
When your vehicle comes to a halt due to mechanical or electrical issues, these damages cannot be repaired on the road. It would require technical assistance and extensive repair work. The insurance company will arrange for the towing of the vehicle to a nearby garage to get the repair work done. The towing limit and charges will depend on the limit stipulated in the policy and may differ from insurer to insurer.
When there is a minor mechanical or electrical problem with the vehicle, such as a faulty brake wire or brake pads, the insurer will send a vehicle technician to the spot for assistance. These damages don't require taking the vehicle to the garage. They shall fix the vehicle then and there.
Battery Jumpstart Service
If you are on a long road trip, then there is a possibility of your car's battery getting depleted. When your vehicle becomes stranded due to a dead battery, you need to inform the insurance company about your situation, who shall send a technician to your location to provide battery jumpstart services.
When your vehicle becomes inoperable due to a lack of fuel, and there isn't a fuel station nearby, the driver can contact the insurance company, and they will arrange for the supply of fuel. However, you are responsible for paying the fuel price. The insurance company will cover the technician's fee and the conveyance charges.
In the event you lose your keys, or if they are misplaced or locked inside your vehicle, the insurance company shall make necessary arrangements to pick up the spare keys from your home or workplace and deliver it to the place where your vehicle is present.
If your car shuts down due to an engine failure or some other malfunction in an unknown area, the insurer will assist you with nearby accommodations if the repair work is going to take quite a while. However, the accommodation charges are your responsibility.
If your vehicle breaks down in the middle of your trip and the repair work is said to consume quite a bit of time, then your insurance company will provide an alternative vehicle. Distance and charges for the alternate vehicle will be determined as per the limit specified in the policy and can differ from insurer to insurer.
If you are involved in an accident with another vehicle, legal proceedings shall be required. In this situation, your insurance company will provide you with legal assistance through telephonic consultation with a qualified legal advisor who will be able to instruct you on the necessary steps to be taken.
Please note that these services may vary from insurer to insurer.
Get Your Car Insurance Premium Now
Exclusion of Roadside Assistance Cover
A Roadside Assistance cover shall not provide coverage under certain circumstances. Make sure that you are informed of these exclusions before purchasing this add-on.
The following situations aren’t covered under a Roadside Assistance Cover-
The insurance company will not provide any sort of assistance if the vehicle has been used for racing or motorsports. And, coverage will not be provided if it is not operated in accordance with laws and regulations.
Not Disclosing Pertinent Information
Vehicle damages incurred without the insurer's prior knowledge or approval will not be covered by the insurance company. You should notify your insurer about all vehicle damages in order for them to take the necessary action. In the event the mechanic arrives at the spot, and then you notify him of any new additional damage, then the insurer is not liable for the repair costs since this information was not communicated prior to the visit.
Manual Rules Not Followed
The insurance company will not consider a claim for Roadside Assistance if the vehicle is not operated in accordance with its manual. For instance, if you caused damage to your car by over-speeding or violating traffic rules, the damages shall not be covered by this add-on.
Who Should Take Roadside Assistance Cover
If You Are Using Your Vehicle Every Day
Investing in a Roadside Assistance Cover is ideal if you use your vehicle for your daily commute or are a frequent long-distance traveller. Your car may face damage from driving for a long period of time. In such cases, this add-on can be very useful to you, as getting help in an unfamiliar place would be difficult.
If You Need A Helping Hand
Even if you are comfortable with handling car issues, you may need someone to assist you with the repairs if there are several issues. The add-on could be a real lifesaver if you get stuck in the middle of the road.
For instance, Your car has a flat tyre and has run out of fuel. It’s easy for you to fix the spare tyre since you've replaced tyres before, but finding a gas station in an unknown location proves to be a challenge. In this case, you can make use of your Roadside Assistance Cover by informing your insurance company to help you with the fuel supply.
If You Are A First-Time Driver
This add-on is perfect for new drivers who aren't used to handle any kind of car issues. By making a simple call, you can receive on-road assistance wherever you are.
How to Purchase a Roadside Assistance Cover
Purchasing a roadside assistance cover online is an easy task. Here are the steps you need to follow -
- Visit your desired insurance company’s or web aggregator/broker’s website.
- Enter your vehicle details like make and model, registration number, fuel type, etc.
- Once the details are entered, you will be diverted to the quote page.
- You can select the IDV for your vehicle and click on the drop-down for add-ons and select the Roadside Assistance add-on.
- Your premium will change once you add the Roadside Assistance cover.
- Once you have checked all the details, make the payment.
- After making the payment, you will receive the policy copy.
- The details of the Roadside Assistance cover will be mentioned in your policy copy along with the premium that you paid for the same.
How to Claim Under A Roadside Assistance Cover?
Here’s how you can make a claim under the Roadside Assistance Cover -
- If your vehicle breaks down in the middle of the road and you have a Roadside Assistance Cover added to your policy, all you need to do is call the toll-free number of your insurance company and inform them about the incident.
- Provide them with the details of your policy. You need to make sure that you give them exact location details, and explain your situation in detail.
- The insurance company will be sending their mechanic to the location shared by you.
- The mechanic will repair your vehicle and you will be good to go.
- If in case the repair cannot be done by the mechanic, the insurance company will help you tow the vehicle to the nearby garage and get it repaired there.
- The claim amount will be settled directly with the garage if it comes under the network garage of the insurance company.
- If your vehicle is being repaired in a non-network garage, you can make the payment to the garage and submit the bills and invoice to the insurer and they will reimburse you for the expenses incurred.
Now that you are aware of all the inclusions and exclusions of Roadside Assistance Cover, we are sure you will be able to make a clear-cut decision on whether or not to purchase it. It is also essential to read the policy wording beforehand to avoid any surprises later.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will I get roadside assistance service even at midnight?
This may depend on the insurance company as there are a few insurers who provide 24X7 roadside assistance and a few who don’t. So, you need to confirm this with the insurance company before you make the purchase.
2. Is paying an extra premium for roadside assistance cover worth it?
If you are a frequent traveller, own a new vehicle, or are someone who will need help with even minor issues with your vehicle - it will be a smart choice to get roadside assistance added to your policy.
Even if you are not one of the above-mentioned and if your vehicle is 5 years old or less, it is better to enhance your coverage by adding roadside assistance cover. You never know when will you need a helping hand.
3. Will my NCB be affected if I make a claim under a roadside assistance cover?
Most insurers do not consider claiming roadside assistance as a claim and hence your no-claim bonus will not be affected. However, you need to confirm this with your insurer as this may vary.
4. How many times can I claim under roadside assistance cover?
Most insurers have a cap of two claims under a roadside assistance cover. If you make more than two claims, you will be charged. It will be better if you check the number of claims allowed under the cover before making the purchase.