Many auto insurers provide roadside assistance coverage. They may market it as an add-on to your policy for just a few dollars a year.
But it can damage your bottom line to the tune of much, much more than its cost according to money expert Clark Howard. He calls this coverage “a cynical attempt of the auto industry to cheat its policyholders.”
Read This Before Calling Your Auto Insurer for Roadside Assistance
That claim will likely get recorded on your C.L.U.E. report, and that's not a good thing. A C.L.U.E. (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) report contains seven years' worth of information about you and any insurance claims you've made over that period. Insurance companies use them to help determine your rates.
“When you try to go to shop with someone else for auto insurance, you’ve got that poison pen letter right there that destroys your ability to get good premiums,” he says.
Clark adds that there may be auto insurers here and there that don’t treat roadside assistance as an at-fault claim, but he doesn’t want you to take the chance.
The good news is that there are plenty of other places to get roadside assistance coverage.
3 Places That Offer Roadside Assistance (Besides Your Auto Insurer)
Here are some other credit cards that offer roadside assistance:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve | (Read our review on this card.)
- Capital One Venture Rewards card
- Chase Freedom Unlimited card
- Platinum Card@ from American Express
Be mindful that some of these cards may come with introductory or annual fees.
Although the motor club offers many benefits, AAA is perhaps best known for its roadside assistance. I’ve been a member for some years now.
An annual membership can cost as little as $37, but it depends on where you live.
Cell Phone Providers
Some cell phone companies offer roadside assistance as an add-on subscription alongside your phone plan.
T-Mobile offers it through a partnership with Allstate Motor Club. You'll need to download the T-Mobile SyncUp Drive app (Android | iOS) to use roadside assistance, which covers four tows a year up to $100 each. Additionally, you need to connect the SyncUp Drive device, with a data plan that starts at $10 a month, to your vehicle.
For $4.99 a month, Verizon covers roadside assistance. All customers are eligible.
Clark says to protect your wallet from higher rates, don’t get roadside assistance from your auto insurer — with one exception:
More Car Insurance Resources From Clark.com:
- Best and Worst Home Insurance Companies
- How To Save Money on Car Insurance
- How Much Car Insurance Do I Need
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