Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

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BogleMelon
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Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by BogleMelon » Wed May 03, 2017 12:22 pm

2 cars:
- Car 1 "2009 Hyundai Sonata", main car, use it to commute.
- Car 2 "2000 Honda Civic", my wife use it for little errands since she is working from home. The car is not in very good shape mechanically.

Current Auto insurance include roadside assistance for both cars at no additional cost (no full coverage is needed either)

Full coverage is currently for Car 1 ($1000 deductible)

Scenario: switching the company to Geico, would save $400/year with the same coverage except roadside assistance (and rental compensation, I dont need that anyways).

Other info: Car 2 needed a tow only 1 time during the past 4 years

Thoughts & options:
- Forget about roadside assistance completely, after all I only insure what I can not afford financially, and definitly I can afford a tow or a battery jump when needed.
- Add my car only to Geico Rdside asst. since it is qualified anyways ($14/yr)
- AAA for Car 2
- AAA for both cars
- Insure Car 2 for comprehensive with crazy high deductible ($5000), so i get the rdside asst available for it. Annual cost will be $18 for useless comprehensive coverage + another $14 for rd side (total = $32, still cheaper than AAA)

Please help me deciding. Thanks
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Nicolas
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by Nicolas » Wed May 03, 2017 5:07 pm

AAA roadside assistance is not per car, it's per person. They cover you whatever car you're driving. In fact, you don't even have to be driving, you could be a passenger in someone else's car and you'd be covered. I like it because if I get stuck somewhere there's only one number to call. I don't have to fumble around for the closest tow service's number and then get reimbursed later (or not). To me this is especially valuable for my wife. If she's out driving alone at night, for example, I'm concerned about her personal safety.

Another thing is that if you use your auto insurance company's roadside assistance you might find your premium jacked up on renewal. Not all auto insurance companies do this but I've heard of it happening.

123
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by 123 » Wed May 03, 2017 9:31 pm

Another vote for AAA roadside assistance. You can get a flat tire or failed battery regardless of the age of the vehicle. Once I called them when I had a flat tire in my apartment building, no problem. I could change a flat myself but they do it all the time so it's much safer to have them do it.

If you've got AAA roadside assistance you also get hotel, rental car, and other travel discounts. You can get the same discounts if you're AARP or a senior in most cases.

AAA roadside assistance seems to be everywhere and the towing/service companies know how it works. It's just administratively a lot easier then dealing with your auto insurance company.
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kaudrey
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by kaudrey » Thu May 04, 2017 9:11 am

I also would go with AAA - you get discounts on all kinds of things with it, in addition to the roadside assistance services.

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dm200
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by dm200 » Thu May 04, 2017 9:36 am

We have AAA. Over the years, AAA doesn't provide as much "assistance" as they once did, but it has helped us in several difficult situations. It is not just the "cost" of alternative roadside assistance, but being able to find it. With AAA, they have or find the assistance needed.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Thu May 04, 2017 12:54 pm

Nicolas wrote:AAA roadside assistance is not per car, it's per person. They cover you whatever car you're driving. In fact, you don't even have to be driving, you could be a passenger in someone else's car and you'd be covered. I like it because if I get stuck somewhere there's only one number to call. I don't have to fumble around for the closest tow service's number and then get reimbursed later (or not). To me this is especially valuable for my wife. If she's out driving alone at night, for example, I'm concerned about her personal safety.
My insurance roadside assist provides the service through a single phone call or you can submit for reimbursement, whichever works best.
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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Thu May 04, 2017 1:01 pm

In general, you should expect any such service to be a financial loss for you. Obviously, they wouldn't sell it otherwise. The reason to have it is for convenience. To me, AAA is way too expensive and I wouldn't use it. My insurance company service is significantly cheaper, and provides a level of convenience that is acceptable. I have used it several times over the years. I can call the number on my insurance card and the contracted company will take care of finding and sending out someone, or I can make my own arrangements if desired and submit for reimbursement within policy guidelines.
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TropikThunder
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by TropikThunder » Thu May 04, 2017 11:10 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:In general, you should expect any such service to be a financial loss for you. Obviously, they wouldn't sell it otherwise. The reason to have it is for convenience. To me, AAA is way too expensive and I wouldn't use it. My insurance company service is significantly cheaper, and provides a level of convenience that is acceptable. I have used it several times over the years. I can call the number on my insurance card and the contracted company will take care of finding and sending out someone, or I can make my own arrangements if desired and submit for reimbursement within policy guidelines.
I totally agree with this. Several above posters make it sound like you're on your own finding help with auto insurance roadside assistance, and I have found this has just not been the case for me. I have had roadside assistance with my Progressive insurance for several years, for $5 per car per month. That's like 16 cents a day. And whenever I have had to use it (tow to repair shop, dead battery, my daughter got a flat tire, etc) all I have had to do is call the number and they take care of the rest.

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dm200
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by dm200 » Fri May 05, 2017 9:47 am

And whenever I have had to use it (tow to repair shop, dead battery, my daughter got a flat tire, etc) all I have had to do is call the number and they take care of the rest.
Are you saying that when you need such assistance, the insurance company finds it for you at the time (such as a tow?)

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri May 05, 2017 10:26 am

dm200 wrote:Are you saying that when you need such assistance, the insurance company finds it for you at the time (such as a tow?)
There's a toll-free number to call. This connects to a service, probably contracted by the insurance company. They get the information and make arrangements.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

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dm200
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by dm200 » Fri May 05, 2017 11:13 am

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
dm200 wrote:Are you saying that when you need such assistance, the insurance company finds it for you at the time (such as a tow?)
There's a toll-free number to call. This connects to a service, probably contracted by the insurance company. They get the information and make arrangements.
OK, good to know.

Silk McCue
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by Silk McCue » Fri May 05, 2017 11:17 am

I pay $86 per year for AAA membership for my wife and I. Basically $7 per month. I end up using it a few times each year to get cheaper hotel rates which completely covers its cost. It's a very good deal for me.

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HueyLD
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by HueyLD » Fri May 05, 2017 11:24 am

Towing through AAA does not show up in your CLUE but the same through your insurance company's coverage will show up in your CLUE and may impact your premium.

There is no free lunch.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri May 05, 2017 11:45 am

HueyLD wrote:Towing through AAA does not show up in your CLUE but the same through your insurance company's coverage will show up in your CLUE and may impact your premium.
People say this often, without any really backing. I asked my insurance company specifically, and they don't use it for premium setting. After all, these are not at-fault claims that go to your likelihood of being in an accident. In that regard they are similar to comprehensive claims.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

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HueyLD
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by HueyLD » Fri May 05, 2017 11:49 am

I asked my insurance company and they mentioned that minor records in the CLUE among other factors were all considered in their rate setting process.

YMMV.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri May 05, 2017 11:59 am

You specifically asked if roadside assistance claims would go to setting rates for liability and collision? Did you ask them the reasoning?
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hulburt1
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by hulburt1 » Fri May 05, 2017 12:00 pm

I use AAA for roadside 100+a year.

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HueyLD
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by HueyLD » Fri May 05, 2017 12:06 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:You specifically asked if roadside assistance claims would go to setting rates for liability and collision? Did you ask them the reasoning?
They would not provide more specific information. But that's enough for me to be suspicious of ANY potential claim with the insurance company.

I have insurance for large potential liabilities, not for small claims which I can easily afford to pay out of pocket.

RudyS
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by RudyS » Fri May 05, 2017 12:08 pm

One has to know the relative costs of the insurance from AAA (include the AAA membership in the total) vs. other companies (include any extra for the road side assistance).

Yossarian
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by Yossarian » Fri May 05, 2017 1:19 pm

Some Chase and American Express credit cards include roadside assistance as a free benefit. Maybe if you have one of them, you don't need AAA or insurance roadside assist at all.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri May 05, 2017 1:22 pm

Yossarian wrote:Some Chase and American Express credit cards include roadside assistance as a free benefit. Maybe if you have one of them, you don't need AAA or insurance roadside assist at all.
Is that a reimbursement or a service?
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

UALflyer
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by UALflyer » Fri May 05, 2017 2:01 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:You specifically asked if roadside assistance claims would go to setting rates for liability and collision? Did you ask them the reasoning?
Front line insurance reps don't know the reasoning, nor does it really matter, as you don't get to convince them one way or the other.

Just because you are told by your insurance company that a roadside CLUE claim does not affect the renewal premiums does not mean that the answer won't change tomorrow, as insurance companies are constantly tweaking their underwriting criteria. It also means that while a roadside CLUE claim, in and of itself, may not impact anything, the same claim in combination with something else could easily affect it. Likewise, you don't know whether more than one such claim within a certain time period may have an effect on your premiums, nor do you have any way of figuring out whether other insurance companies out there do things differently, which could affect your ability to save money by switching.

This is the reason that I never accept roadside assistance coverage through auto insurance companies, as the risk vs. reward ratio just makes no sense to do so. There are plenty of standalone roadside assistance plans (not just AAA) that are priced very competitively, and many premium credit cards automatically provide coverage up to a certain dollar limit. There's simply no upside to doing this through your auto insurance.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri May 05, 2017 5:42 pm

But none of that means that they do or will. Why would they?
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UALflyer
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by UALflyer » Fri May 05, 2017 6:04 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:But none of that means that they do or will. Why would they?
Some insurance companies do already factor all CLUE claims into their underwriting.

Like I mentioned above, given the number of inexpensive ways of obtaining roadside assistance without suffering a CLUE claim that you always get by doing so through your auto insurance, there's plenty of risk, but virtually no benefit to using auto insurance based roadside assistance plans.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sat May 06, 2017 9:42 am

The cost of the alternatives I have seen is significantly more than I pay. I think that there is essentially no chance that using roadside assist affects your insurance rates.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

Lexi
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by Lexi » Sat May 06, 2017 9:53 am

AAA was completely unreliable when I needed them even though I had the premium plan (maybe because they did not want to tow more than a few miles). I would never pay them a dime and would look for competitors in your area.

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dm200
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by dm200 » Sat May 06, 2017 10:05 am

In one situation, I called AAA because my car would not start. Turned out my battery was dead, and they replaced the battery at a very reasonable price - on the spot.


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F150HD
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by F150HD » Sun May 07, 2017 7:51 am

/Current Auto insurance include roadside assistance for both cars at no additional cost /

most roadside I've seen bundled w/ auto insurance is about worthless (major ins carriers). A tow of like 10 miles and you have to pay for the hook up fee (attach vehicle to tow truck etc). Completely worthless. maybe times have changed.

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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by Copper John » Sun May 07, 2017 5:49 pm

As one of the prior posters stated, roadside assistance is a convenience that I am willing to pay for and not a classic self insurance situation where for the amounts involved I would normally self-insure.

The free roadside assistance plan for my 3 year old Suburu has just expired and I have chosen to go with AAA Plus for $127. My decision was based on a recent incident where my car had to be towed and I applied the roadside assistance options I was looking at to this incident.

Situation :

- Car broke down 60 miles from home
- Nearest Suburu dealer was 20 miles from where I broke down
- The dealer I wanted the car towed to was near my home 60 miles away

Suburu Roadside - Cost $79/year I waited an hour for a tow truck. The plan only covers tow to the nearest dealer and I had to pay the fee for towing my car the extra 40 miles to the dealer near my home. These are usually stressful situations and I want the problem taken care of quickly and with the least amount of hassle. This plan did not satisfy my criteria and I will not renew the plan.

State Farm Roadside Plan - Cost $5 year. Will cover towing to the nearest service option and will only cover the situation for one hour of service. In this situation I would have had to pay for about a 55 mile tow and it would have exceeded an hour. Plus I assume like Suburu their network of contracted tow companies may not be as extensive as AAA.

AAA Plus - Cost $127/ year. This plan covers a tow to where ever you want up to 100 miles. So in this case I would not have had to pay any additional fees to tow my car to the dealer near my home.I have had AAA in the past and they have always been very quick to the scene and this is the biggest reason I would pay more for them. Plus this plan covers winching/extricating of a vehicle which State Farm did not cover.

BogleMelon
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by BogleMelon » Mon May 08, 2017 12:23 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
HueyLD wrote:Towing through AAA does not show up in your CLUE but the same through your insurance company's coverage will show up in your CLUE and may impact your premium.
People say this often, without any really backing. I asked my insurance company specifically, and they don't use it for premium setting. After all, these are not at-fault claims that go to your likelihood of being in an accident. In that regard they are similar to comprehensive claims.
Check this:
http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/201 ... rance.html
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BogleMelon
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by BogleMelon » Mon May 08, 2017 12:24 pm

Thank you all, I have decided to go with AAA
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

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Nicolas
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by Nicolas » Mon May 08, 2017 7:06 pm

BogleMelon wrote:Thank you all, I have decided to go with AAA
Good choice.

ncbill
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by ncbill » Wed May 10, 2017 3:27 pm

AAA.

Read on a forum not too long ago a post from a tow truck driver who pointed out the insurance company roadside assistance plan I was considering paid him the least, so those calls got answered last.

AAA is cheaper if you let it lapse then re-up when they mail promo offers.

I re-uped for 14 months (required a credit card number, I used a temporary one) for 3 drivers for $45.

squirm
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by squirm » Wed May 10, 2017 4:11 pm

What are you guys doing to your cars? We drive at least 25k miles per year, never had a flat or was stranded. Battery died once, my fault,I knew it was on the last leg but milked it and lost. Had wife drive over to parking lot and jumped it.
If wife gets stranded told her to call me and I'll come and take care of her.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by Doom&Gloom » Wed May 10, 2017 4:23 pm

squirm wrote:What are you guys doing to your cars? We drive at least 25k miles per year, never had a flat or was stranded. Battery died once, my fault,I knew it was on the last leg but milked it and lost. Had wife drive over to parking lot and jumped it.
If wife gets stranded told her to call me and I'll come and take care of her.
The sentence I bolded is where we differ. 8-) Same principle applies to DS.

He has used AAA a few times for himself and his friends. DW has used it for a flat tire and a dead battery.

I have not used it, but the last time I changed a tire on a busy interstate was the last time I changed a tire.


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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed May 16, 2018 6:39 pm

These things aren't predictable. I had a flat from apparently running over something the cut the sidewall. Batteries sometimes give you notice that they're going out, but other times the first indication is "dead as a hammer". You can have various mechanical breakdowns of one sort or another.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

djheini
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Re: Switching Auto Insurance, need advice on Roadside assistant

Post by djheini » Wed May 16, 2018 8:24 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Fri May 05, 2017 1:22 pm
Yossarian wrote:Some Chase and American Express credit cards include roadside assistance as a free benefit. Maybe if you have one of them, you don't need AAA or insurance roadside assist at all.
Is that a reimbursement or a service?
I don't know about others, but my card (Chase Sapphire Reserve) covers up to $50 of service rendered, and you call them and they dispatch someone. I've never used it myself yet so I can't say how well it works first hand.

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