Be it a flat tyre, electrical fault or a minor mechanical defect, anything can disrupt your otherwise smooth car journey. It can be intimidating if your car breaks down in an unfamiliar territory. And this is when roadside assistance comes to your rescue.
It offers direct towing service in the event of problems, such as puncture, car running out of fuel and other emergency situations. Some insurance companies offer it along with the car insurance policy while such companies as AXA Assistance India and Cross Roads India Assistance offer roadside assistance as a standalone product.
How Roadside Assistance Works?
Call up your car insurer for help and it will send a crew to your rescue point in no time. Essentially all the services are free, however, in some cases you will have to bear the costs. For example, if you run out of fuel, you will have to pay for refueling.
Again, if your vehicle has to be towed, you would have to pay for it. Some companies also provide taxi assistance and hotel accommodation if need be. This facility is most useful during the monsoon season when a vehicle is more susceptible to breakdown.
What Does it Cover?
Roadside assistance offers a host of benefits to you, the policyholder. Here’s what you can get:
- Towing service
- Battery jump start
- Spare key arrangement
- Alternate battery/jump start
- Phone assistance
- Alternate transport/accommodation
- Emergency fuel
- Minor repairing
Factors to consider before taking Roadside Assistance Cover
Age of the car: As a car ages, chances of mechanical problems tend to increase. As a result, most of the service providers are reluctant to offer cover for cars aged above five years. And, just in case they do offer the cover, the annual charges would be very high. Additionally, car manufacturers also provide roadside assistance packages along with their vehicle. For example, Honda’s Roadside Assistance costs Rs 1,780 in the first year, Rs 2,950 in the second year and Rs 3,750 after the third year.
Number of services available: The cover may have a cap on the number of times a service can be availed. For example, TVS Automobile Solutions offers two types of roadside assistance packages—Gold Card and Platinum Card. The Gold Card holders can get emergency breakdown assistance six times in a year, while, Platinum cardholders get unlimited emergency breakdown assistance in a year.
Plan prices: The prices for roadside assistance depend largely on the age of the vehicle and the number of services availed by the car owner. But another key aspect is your typical travel route. If you travel within your city, your plan may vary from someone who has to travel inter-city frequently. For instance, Cross Roads India Assistance offers a City Standard plan comprising six free services in a year and costing Rs 911. However, to get highway services, you would have to take either City Premium or City Platinum plan and pay Rs 1139 and Rs 1367, respectively.
Should you take Roadside Assistance Cover?
Roadside assistance is an essential aspect of your car maintenance and protection. In the unfortunate event of a breakdown or accidents, it is of great help. If you feel your current car insurance is able to take care of such emergency requirements, you can avoid buying a standalone policy. However, if your current car insurer does not give ample features in its add-on roadside assistance plan, go for a standalone policy.
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