John S Kiernan, Managing Editor
Car insurance does not cover towing if you have a liability-only policy, but it might if you have full coverage. Many full coverage car insurance policies will reimburse drivers for towing that results from a collision but won’t cover towing due to a mechanical issue or breakdown.
Some full coverage policies only cover towing if you pay extra for roadside assistance, though. Roadside assistance is usually an easy and affordable add-on. You can add it to your policy for around $5 to $15 per car, per month.
When purchased as an add-on, roadside assistance typically includes:
- Towing (up to a certain distance, in most cases)
- Flat-tire changes
- Jumpstarts and battery replacements
- Fuel delivery if you run out of gas
- Locksmith services
Some insurers offer towing and labor coverage in addition to roadside assistance plans. Towing and labor plans typically cover towing, tire changes, and jump starts but not the full scope of services available with roadside assistance. Because towing coverage varies so much from policy to policy, it’s important to know exactly what is covered by speaking to your insurer directly.
If you don’t have roadside assistance as part of your car insurance, you could also consider purchasing roadside assistance from a third-party, like AAA. Third-party providers offer the same roadside services you would get by adding on to your insurance policy, but some have extra perks. AAA, for example, offers free trip-planning tools, identity theft monitoring, and thousands of shopping, entertainment, and dining discounts.
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