Will Auto Insurance Pay to Jumpstart Your Car?
Dead batteries can strike at any time. When your battery dies, can you expect car insurance to pay? Or are you forced to pay for a jumpstart out of pocket?
Ordinary car insurance will not cover the cost of jumpstarting your vehicle. Even with full coverage car insurance, you may still be required to pay for a jumpstart out of pocket.
The only time car insurance will cover a jumpstart is if you have roadside assistance coverage. Roadside assistance coverage is always optional. For a few extra dollars per month, roadside assistance coverage will cover dead battery jumpstarts, fuel deliveries, tire changes, towing, and other incidents.
All major car insurance companies offer roadside assistance coverage. With most companies, it costs only a few extra dollars per month.
GEICO’s Emergency Roadside Service, for example, costs $20 to $50 per year and will cover the cost of jumpstarting a dead battery, among other incidents.
Alternatively, some people buy third party roadside assistance from a company like AAA. For $50 to $150 per year (depending on your desired level of coverage), AAA can provide roadside assistance across North America – including battery jumpstarts.
No, Ordinary Car Insurance Does Not Cover Battery Jumpstarts
Drivers are only required to have basic liability coverage, which covers any damage you cause to other people and property while driving. If you have the minimum required level of car insurance, then you have basic liability coverage. This coverage does not include roadside assistance or battery jumpstarts.
Many drivers opt for full coverage car insurance, which includes liability coverage, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage. This coverage protects you from liability, vehicle damage from an accident, and vehicle damage from non-accident-related incidents. However, it does not cover roadside assistance or battery jumpstarts.
Unless you have roadside assistance, you will need to pay for a battery jumpstart out of pocket.
Note: Even if car insurance did cover battery replacements, it would never be worth it to make a claim. A new car battery costs $50 to $200, which is less than a car insurance deductible. It would not be in your best interest to make a claim.
What’s Covered by Roadside Assistance?
Depending on your needs and budget, you may wish to add roadside assistance to your car insurance policy.
Roadside assistance covers all of the following:
- Dead battery jumpstarts
- Fuel delivery
- Vehicle lockouts
- Flat-tire changes
- Accident assistance
If you run out of gas, for example, then your roadside assistance coverage could cover the cost of fuel delivery.
Typically, roadside assistance coverage has a certain maximum limit. Most plans only cover the cost of towing your car to the nearest service station, for example. Some plans only cover fuel deliveries within 50 or 100 miles of a gas station. Others don’t include fuel deliveries at all.
How Much Does Roadside Assistance Coverage Cost?
Roadside assistance coverage is available through every major insurance company. You should be able to call your insurance company today and add roadside assistance coverage to your plan.
When buying roadside assistance through your own insurance company, you may pay just $20 to $50 more per year.
Meanwhile, some third party roadside assistance providers charge anywhere from $50 to $350 per year.
On the lower price range, you can expect basic coverage and charges for certain services – like fuel deliveries. On the higher end, you can expect everything to be covered – including things like RV towing or motorcycle coverage.
Ultimately, roadside assistance plans pay for themselves if you only make one roadside assistance call per year. Even if you don’t make a call, many drivers have peace of mind knowing they’re covered against all types of unexpected roadside situations.
How Much Does a Battery Jumpstart Cost?
If car insurance will not pay for a battery jumpstart, then you will need to pay for a jumpstart out of pocket.
An average battery jumpstart costs $50 to $120.
However, if you drive a premium vehicle, then a battery jumpstart could be more expensive: you might pay anywhere from $90 to $200 for a battery jumpstart in a luxury vehicle, for example.
You may also want to pick up a car jump starter kit that can fit into your glove box. These kits are priced at just $50 to $150. They need to be recharged periodically (say, once per month), but they pay for themselves with a single jumpstart.
Of course, you could just call Uber. Ask the driver to keep the meter running while you jumpstart your vehicle. You might end up paying just $10 instead of $110. However, if you don’t have cables or if you’re outside of a city, then getting an Uber may not be the best option.
Ordinary car insurance does not cover the cost of jumpstarting your vehicle. Car insurance will only cover a battery jumpstart if you have roadside assistance coverage.
For added peace of mind at a reasonable price, consider adding roadside assistance coverage to your car insurance policy today.