Mechanical breakdown insurance coverage and roadside assistance are two types of insurance that can help when things go wrong with your vehicle. Mechanical breakdown insurance is intended to help with the big stuff, such as a motor or transmission that can cost thousands of dollars to fix. Roadside assistance is the answer to “Who ya gonna call” when you run out of gas, have a flat tire or lock yourself out of your car, just make sure you choose the right cover.
Who Should Buy Mechanical Breakdown Coverage?
Mechanical breakdown insurance isn’t necessarily needed by everyone and won’t always fit the vehicle you own or your driving needs. If you rarely travel more than 25 miles from your home and primarily use your vehicle to go to the grocery store, you might not need anything more than your ordinary full-coverage vehicle insurance because you are not placing a great amount of strain on your car. But if you are a person who has a long daily commute or that travels extensively, mechanical breakdown insurance could make a huge difference in your ability to meet the needs of your job or other obligations. If you regularly travel more than fifty miles away from your home, mechanical breakdown insurance coverage could be of great benefit to you. It’s no fun at all to be away from home and unable to return in a timely fashion because your vehicle has lost its U-joint or the transmission has seized.
With that said, many insurance companies have restrictions on what kind of vehicle can be insured. If it’s too old, too expensive or has too many miles on it, breakdown insurance might not be an option. Most companies require owners to purchase the first insurance while the vehicle is still under warranty. Once that’s done, it’s often possible to extend the insurance up to 7 years after the warranty has ended.
Who Should Purchase Roadside Assistance Insurance?
Roadside assistance can be helpful even if your vehicle spends most of its time in the carport, especially if your residential neighborhood is more than ten minutes away from the nearest repair shop. Roadside assistance is of benefit to anyone who has trouble changing a tire, anyone who regularly locks their keys inside their vehicle, or anyone who’s often busy, tired and has an older car. Unlike mechanical breakdown insurance which can have vehicle age and mileage requirements, assistance insurance is more like having a family member you can call and request a can of gasoline or for them to bring over their jumper cables to jumpstart your car. On the other hand, if you know a local mechanic or tow truck driver and you don’t require assistance often, you might be able to get by with just having the number for roadside assistance in your car or truck. Just keep in mind that if you opt for just having the number, you should also keep an emergency fund available to pay for the help requested. If you have the insurance, when you need help it will be less expensive.
Insurance is a Probability Projection
Insurance companies use statistics to tell them which vehicles are worth insuring and for how much. They are balancing out the amount of premiums their customers will pay against probably claims. Their goal is to be able to take care of their customers, pay their staff and perhaps have a little profit left over. For that reason, they place restrictions on what they will pay out and under what circumstances. When you buy insurance, you’re planning ahead for a “just in case” scenario, hoping that you will not need the insurance.