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Roadside Assistance Cover in Car Insurance
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A roadside assistance cover is an add-on that helps the insured pay for roadside services in case of a car’s breakdown or an accident.
Just the other day Deepshika and Mahima had a nightmare of a holiday when their car broke down en-route to Goa as they had no recourse to any help.
Their car insurance policy did not have a road assistance cover, and they could not avail the help and expertise of the insurer in ensuring that not only their car was repaired on time, but also prevent the rest of their day from getting wasted searching for a garage and a mechanic.
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Features and Benefits of Roadside Assistance Cover
- Some insurers call this cover an ‘Anywhere Assist’ cover.
- It promises round the clock services such as emergency services, towing, refuelling, resolving technical issues, change of flat tyres etc. The insurer sends the concerned person to the site of the accident/ breakdown and ensures that the car is taken care of.
- It is a service that can be availed all year round and at any time of the day.
- The premium involved is very low and affordable.
- It will ensure prompt service, though the charges incurred will have to be paid by the policyholder.
What is Covered Under a Roadside Assistance Cover?
The following inclusions are usually found in a policy having the road assistance cover –
- A situation where there is a battery breakdown.
- A situation where the car faces a minor breakdown and the car needs to be towed to the nearest garage or service station.
- A situation where the car has a flat tyre.
- A situation where the policyholder has an empty tank in the middle of the journey and is in need of a refuel.
- In a situation where the policyholder has left the key inside the car or has misplaced the keys or has lost them, then the insurer will provide spare keys.
- Accommodation in case the repairs will take a considerable period of time.
- Transportation facility to the hotel or garage.
- Telephonic guidance for minor faults that can be repaired by the policyholder himself or herself.
- Some policies help the policyholder coordinate with the nearest medical centre in case of emergencies and even contact/ relay an urgent message to one’s relatives.
What is not Covered Under a Roadside Assistance Cover?
Standard exclusions are as follows –
- No claims can be made if the car was driven under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances.
- No claims can be made if the car was driven by an individual who does not have a valid driver’s license.
- No claims will be entertained if there was contributory negligence on the part of the policyholder or if it was a voluntary act that caused the damage.
However, certain exclusions which are unique to such a policy are –
- One cannot make more than 4 claims of road assistance in a policy year.
- One cannot avail of fuel assistance more than 2 times in the entire policy period.
- Repair and labour costs can be covered for only the time period as stipulated in the policy. For any additional time, the charges will have to be met by the policyholder as an out-of-pocket expenditure.
Who Should Buy Roadside Assistance Cover?
- Ideally suitable for every car owner.
- If the age of the vehicle is less than 5 years and you wish to be extra careful about the condition of the car then it is best to opt for such a cover.
- If you travel often, especially out of the station, then road assistance is warranted.
- If you wish to have a hassle-free driving experience and are finicky about the minutest of issues, then it is advisable to opt for this cover.
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Roadside Assistance Cover in Car Insurance FAQs
1. How can the roadside assistance be availed?
The policyholder must call the insurance company on their toll-free number, provide the policy details to the insurer and register the grievance to avail the service.
2. Can a policyholder who has insured his car in Delhi, avail the roadside assistance if the car breaks down in Chennai?
Most insurance companies offer the assistance within a radius of 100 km. However, some online insurance companies extend the cover up to 500 km too. Since this varies from one car insurance company to another, it is best to check the terms of the policy or consult the insurer directly.
3. Can the policy holder avail any legal assistance under this add-on?
Some insurance companies offer to connect the policyholder with legal advisors. However, the legal expenses incurred will have to be borne by the policyholder itself.
4. Will claiming roadside assistance affect one’s no claim bonus?
Roadside assistance will not be accounted as a claim if within the given limit and hence will have no bearing on the No Claim Bonus.
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