I wonder how many people are paying for road hazard insurance unnecessarily. I used to pay the annual fee to a big-name motor club for the promise to help me or my wife out if we had a flat tire, dead battery or needed a tow.
My decision to discontinue the coverage was easy the first time I called for help after being told that it would be over an hour before someone would come to change my flat tire on I-25 in Denver. Ordinarily I would change the tire myself, which is what I ended up doing.
I enrolled in the plan with my wife in mind, but they covered both of us for the same price so I thought I would try it out. On the day I called for help, my motivation was driven by the fact that my blowout occurred in rush hour traffic in the midst of one of Denver’s famous summer afternoon monsoon gully washers. We discontinued the coverage the next time they sent me a payment due notice.
It wasn’t until recently that I realized I had been wasting my money with the policy anyway. It turns out the full-coverage policy we’ve had with State Farm all these years comes with roadside assistance. I found out about it only recently while scanning my semi-annual premium notice into the computer. I looked into it a little deeper and found that it’s basically the same service I had been paying about $100 a year for once upon a time.
If we ever get locked out of our car, or have a dead battery, or need a tow, we’re covered. You have to call a special toll-free number to take advantage of it but no biggy; we just keyed the number into our cell phones.
Takeaway: Check with your current auto insurance provider to see if they offer roadside assistance. If so, don’t even think about paying another “motor club” for the same service.