Browse Day

January 13, 2019

Breakdown Cover – The Commuter’s Friend

You might have heard of breakdown cover or roadside assistance. What you might not know is that you will need a commuter policy in order to be covered if you drive your vehicle to work each day.

Levels of Breakdown Cover

Like many insurance policy types, breakdown coverage comes in a variety of types and levels. This means that you can select the type you need for your driving objectives.

The types are as follows:

  • Social and Domestic – Visiting friends, driving to the store, or going to personal appointments
  • At Home – Takes care of mechanical failure or driver error on your driveway or within ¼ mile of your home. Great for rundown batteries or locking your keys inside the car
  • Commuter – If you drive to work or even if you drive to the commuter parking lot and catch a train or bus, this is for you. Social will not cover this.
  • Holiday – Extended coverage for motor holidays, can include help with itinerary planning
  • European Holiday – Hotline in English, so you don’t have to negotiate repairs in an unfamiliar language, assist with border crossings, vehicle recovery if your vehicle isn’t ready to leave when you must return
  • Business – If you use your vehicle to make money, you need this. Business plans are typically a little more expensive than social, at home, or commuter.

Other Divisions of Coverage

In addition to these general sorts of cover, breakdown insurance can also be divided into:

  • Personal – Any vehicle you drive is covered
  • Vehicle – Anyone who drives your vehicle is covered
  • Family – Extends coverage to two or more related individuals
  • Business Fleet – Covers your company cars or trucks
  • Roadside Assistance – A licensed mechanic will make repairs on the spot that take thirty minutes or less. Delivery of gasoline or tires is included, but possibly not the cost of the supplies. Includes reasonable towing if the repair is not simple enough for a roadside process.
  • Assistance with Bill Pay – Usually only available to vehicles less than 15 years old, with fewer than 10,000 miles on the odometer. The vehicle should be in good repair at the time of application. Special rules, such as needing to apply while the vehicle is under warranty might apply.

Decisions, Decisions

Whew! That’s a lot of choices, and to make it even more interesting, you can select one or more categories for your breakdown cover policy – and should. Types of coverage and the names for them will vary from company to company but vehicles and human activities are similar across the board, so the differences are not too great.

Best Way to Select

Be honest with your agent when signing up for insurance. Tell him or her the number of miles you are likely to drive daily, whether you are a retiree or student and if you are picking up some extra dollars by moonlighting for Uber or delivering pizza. Inaccurate information about your activities can create disappointment by invalidating your policy. By giving your agent accurate information he or she can connect you with the best policy selections for you. Giving inaccurate information, such as minimizing the number of miles you normally drive when commuting, will make it difficult for your agent to advise you correctly.

Bottom Line

Breakdown policies are not usually included in your basic insurance policy, although they can be added. The cost for breakdown insurance is negligible compared with the cost of calling a garage directly and having to be towed in without a plan in place. In many cases, it is more affordable than taking the family out to dinner, especially if you have three or more children.