What Is Roadside Assistance and Why Do You Need It?
Imagine driving on a multilane highway, and your car suddenly stops due to a dead battery, a punctured tire, or mechanical failure.
Or, you are in the middle of a long ride, and you suddenly notice that you are running extremely low on gas, and you know that the nearest gas station is still a good 40 miles away.
Anybody in such predicaments will know all too well the importance of having a Roadside Assistance Plan. Car breakdown can occur due to several reasons. While older cars are more vulnerable to mechanical failures, the newer models are not immune to them either.
However, the good news is that almost all vehicle service contract administrators offer emergency roadside assistance. The latter is often included in the vehicle protection plan itself, or one can add it to his existing plan at a little extra cost.
Roadside Assistance: What Does It Cover?
The services covered under emergency roadside assistance may vary from one vehicle service contract provider to another. However, there are some standard features/services that you can expect from pretty much all of these emergency support plans.
1. Lockout Assistance
If you cannot get into your car (due to a lost or stolen key or simply because you’ve locked yourself out of the car), a road assistance service will send a locksmith to unlock the car door. The service fee and the travel cost of the locksmith will be either fully or partially borne by your vehicle protection plan provider, like Red Shield Administration, depending on the terms of your contract.
2. Fuel Delivery
Sometimes, we forget to check whether we have enough fuel for any particular ride or trip. In such cases, if you suddenly notice that you are running low on gas, you may contact your vehicle protection plan provider, and they will send a technician to your specified location. They will refill your car enough for you to reach the next gas station. The costs of the refill will naturally be your responsibility.
3. Towing Services + Vehicle Removal
Suppose a mechanical failure means you cannot start your car. In that case, roadside assistance will bail you out by sending a tow truck carrying your vehicle to the nearest accredited repair facility.
You will also be happy to know that the roadside support extends to vehicle retrieval and removal in the unfortunate incident of your car falling down a slope or overturning it. Remember that if the nearest service station is 50 or 100 miles from where you’ve got stranded, you may need to pay extra for the services rendered. Read your policy document carefully to check on this beforehand.
4. Flat Tire Changes
Again, if it’s a punctured tire that happens to cause your immobility, a technician will be dispatched to your location who will replace the flat tire. Note that unless you specifically request so, the technician will not carry any tire with himself and will only use your spare tire.
5. Battery Jumpstarts
Another common reason behind stranded cars is dead batteries. In such cases, a service technician will arrive at your location to jumpstart the dead battery and get your car moving.
Jumpstarting is, of course, not a permanent fix for the problem, and since batteries are rarely covered under any vehicle service contract plan, you will need to bear the cost of the replacement yourself.
So, you can see why having your vehicle service contract policy cover roadside assistance is a great idea. Once your car refuses to start in the middle of a journey (for whatever reason), getting it moving again does cost not only money but also precious time. You’ll have to make the calls and make all the arrangements yourself.
Now, compare this to the services provided by roadside assistance coverage (as discussed above), and you can see how convenient (and cost-effective) it is to be covered by such a plan.
Also, having a wrecked car on a multilane highway or in some remote place in the middle of nowhere for any considerable amount of time compromises your safety.
You need to get it moving as fast as possible, which is what a roadside support plan does for you. It gives you peace of mind knowing that if anything untoward occurs while you’re on the road, your vehicle protection plan provider is there to bail you out.
Vehicle Protection Plans and Their Costs and Benefits
A vehicle service contract or a vehicle protection plan is an optional add-on coverage you can purchase when you buy a car (new or used). This type of coverage affords drivers that extra peace of mind since it covers repair and maintenance services once the original manufacturer’s warranty on your car has expired.
Depending on your coverage plan, a vehicle protection plan from Red Shield Administration can come into effect alongside the limited car manufacturer warranty. So, if you need all-around protection for your car, it might be a good idea to opt for a vehicle protection plan that covers parts that your manufacturer warranty doesn’t.
As for the costs of vehicle service contracts, you can expect to pay anything between $150 and $1,000 monthly, depending on your coverage. Since vehicle protection plans are optional, many drivers still wonder whether or not to invest in such a policy.
However, considering today’s high repair and auto parts replacement costs (which have been on a continuous rise since the pandemic), it can be safely said that vehicle protection plans are worth every penny you spend on them. Often, a single covered repair can pay for an entire protection policy.
Red Shield Administration
Red Shield Administration is one of the leading vehicle protection plan providers in the U.S. The most popular coverage options provided by the company include Red Shield Select, Red Shield Guard, and Red Shield Essentials.
And the good news is that all these coverage programs include Roadside Assistance at no extra cost. Red Shield auto protection programs’ additional benefits or value-added perks do not end with roadside assistance only.
The other benefits include trip interruption coverage, first-day rental car service, nationwide protection (meaning you can take your car for repair to any accredited repair shop all across the country), and transferrable coverage (which allows you to transfer your existing policy to the new owner of the vehicle if and when you plan to sell your car).
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