Roadside assistance is an add-on feature for most auto insurance companies, but well worth it if you travel frequently or have an older, less reliable vehicle. Instead of paying out-of-pocket, you can get free services like towing, gas, and even a jumpstart from your insurer’s roadside assistance service.
Most insurance companies contract a third party to handle their roadside assistance, but they will file claims on your behalf to your insurer. Other insurance companies allow you to use anther towing service and file a claim for reimbursement.
GEICO does have a roadside assistance option for auto insurance plans, and the coverage starts at $14 per year as of 2019. GEICO allows you to request roadside assistance from your mobile device too.
Adding it to Your Existing Policy
You can add roadside assistance to your existing auto insurance policy, but the price is per car – not policy. Therefore, each vehicle will be $14 per year. So, the more vehicles you insure, the more you pay annually to add this on.
Adding the coverage is simple. You log in online and go to their emergency services page to add it to your policy instantly. Your annual premium will automatically adjust for the year’s service fee, and you pick which vehicles to apply the roadside coverage to.
What Does GEICO’s Roadside Assistance Cover?
Every insurance company has different services offered for roadside assistance, and GEICO is no different. When you add-on this service, you will only get:
- Jumpstart service for a dead battery. Their roadside contractor will come to your broken down vehicle and jump start your battery free of charge. If they cannot get your vehicle to start, they will then tow it.
- Labor charges for changing a flat tire on the side of the road. GEICO’s service will change a flat tire, using either your spare on the vehicle or bringing a new tire along. You must pay for the brand-new tire if they do not use your spare. If they use your spare, your insurance just pays the labor fees for installing that spare tire on your car.
- Towing your vehicle if it breaks down. If your car breaks down, but not from an accident, then you will get a free tow to a repair facility. You only have so many miles to use, and some towing companies will only take the vehicle to an approved provider, so you may have to pay extra mileage if you go outside of the tow zone.
- Lockout services, but only up to $100. If you are locked out of your car, GEICO will dispatch a locksmith service and get you back into your vehicle. The only catch is that they pay up to $100 of the lockout service, which rarely covers a full lockout if you need a new key or you have a FOB that requires reprogramming. Regardless, you get $100 off the service.
Can You Do a Reimbursement?
Some insurance companies let you file a claim for reimbursement when you pay for the emergency roadside service yourself. GEICO enables you to do this too. However, you must have paid for a GEICO approved towing service, and you will send the bill to GEICO for a reimbursement check. You can send them in via email, but they do not have an online service at this time.
Is GEICO’s Roadside Assistance Worth the Added Cost?
The biggest question is whether it is worth it to pay $14 per year per vehicle or not. In most cases, you would spend well over $14 to tow your car, and when you have coverage through your insurance company, you do not have to worry about taking on towing plus repairs. Repairs will still be on you once you reach the facility, but the average tow is often over $150 – something you save by paying just $14 per year. Even if you don’t tow your vehicle once a year, that $14 per year will add up and you may eventually use it.
One note, however, is that GEICO doesn’t offer gas services, which means you cannot have someone come to your car when you run out of gas and fill it up to get back on the road.
Also, if you use the towing service three to five times per year, GEICO may caution you about the excessive use, and you may be disqualified from having the policy again in the next renewal. Therefore, keep that in mind if your vehicle requires frequent tows annually.
Bottom line, there is nothing wrong with adding roadside assistance to your plan, especially when you travel frequently – and when you consider the savings, it is more worth it than paying out of pocket.