Car breakdown insurance can offer welcome peace of mind if you find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere. Yet for many motorists, the cost of breakdown insurance can be prohibitive.
As with any insurance, getting a good deal means investing a little time into shopping around and learning about the different policy options available. Not only could this save you money on your renewal, but it could also ensure that your whole family is covered on every trip for little extra cost.
Types of Breakdown Insurance
First of all, it’s important to understand that breakdown insurance varies hugely in terms of the assurances it provides and the price you pay.
The most basic policies offer a roadside fix for a simple problem, while anything more complex will result in your car being towed to the nearest town.
More comprehensive breakdown cover will pay for your car to be transported to a location of your choice, along with all of the passengers. This could be your home, or another location if your policy allows it.
The most expensive option is a policy that covers any breakdown anywhere. So if your car won’t start while it’s parked on your own drive, you could theoretically get assistance even though you’re not in the middle of a journey.
Some policies allow you to pay a low fee, a little like a retainer. You then pay for the cost of any roadside assistance and claim part of it back afterwards. If you have access to a credit card, this could be a good middle ground option.
Covering Drivers vs Cars
When you buy a breakdown insurance policy, you’ll need to choose between a policy that covers you as an individual travelling in any car, or cover for your car irrespective of who is driving.
This is an important distinction.
If you travel in different vehicles -- say, your spouse’s car, a work vehicle, or you’re in a work car share -- covering yourself makes sense. Even if you’re a passenger, you’d be covered for a breakdown.
But covering the car, not the driver, makes more sense if you generally only drive one vehicle. For example, a family with two drivers sharing one car daily would see the best cost savings with this kind of policy.
What’s the Alternative to Breakdown Insurance?
Breakdown insurance is highly advisable for anyone that drives daily beyond walking distance of their home -- so that’s most of us. Unless you’re very familiar with the inner workings of a typical family car, you will eventually need roadside assistance, and being stuck in the middle of nowhere without help is inconvenient and potentially unsafe.
The alternative is calling a local garage out in the heat of the moment, which will generally result in your car being towed to a garage to be evaluated further. Not only is this potentially costly, but it is also likely to be inconvenient, since you could be stuck without transport miles from home.
If you have young children, it’s a bad idea to leave your fate to chance in this way -- and breakdown cover could be a very worthwhile investment.
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*The information in this blog is designed to provide helpful information on the subjects discussed. Please seek a professional for expert advice as we can not be held responsible for any damages or negative consequences upon following this information.