Roadside assistance may affect auto insurance rates
Since auto insurance
companies typically offer less expensive roadside assistance plans than their
competitors, for the many drivers who experience a flat tire or cracked
windshield every year, these companies are often the first place they turn when
in a rut.
As a result, many drivers may wonder whether these emergency
calls could come back to increase their monthly insurance
“People wonder if a claim will eventually go on their record,”
Amy Back, a lawyer with United Policyholders, told Fox Business. “It’s unlikely
that an insurance company will drop you or raise your rate if you file one or
even two claims) in a year.”
While a few calls are unlikely to influence
consumers’ payment rates, multiple calls in a short span could, the news source
says. According to a recent study by Consumer Reports, consumers who use this
program are often reported to ChoicePoint, a company that collects the
information for insurers.
However, state rules vary as to whether a
provider is allowed to increase monthly costs for an auto insurance claim.
Whether or not this happens could also be a matter of how frequent accidents
occur, the severity of the incident and who’s at fault, the news provider
Bach says many drivers are afraid to make calls to insurers due to
this fear, but they could be hurting themselves, as, in most cases, they are
already paying for this service with the insurer.
Another limiting factor
for this type of program is that most insurance companies cover the vehicle, not
the driver, the news source says. As a result, programs may not carry over for
consumers driving another person’s vehicle.
For this type of assistance,
drivers may want to consider third-party programs offered by companies such as
AAA, which can cover the driver no matter what vehicle an accident occurs
This may be particularly helpful for those with young drivers, as
they are a demographic that can often drive one or more family
Due to a number of varying factors, consumers may want to
contact their insurance agent to figure out how these emergency calls could
affect their coverage. In addition, individuals who compare auto insurance
rates could find out if they have already been penalized on their current
It may be helpful to conduct this type of research, as
consumers who know how to use their insurance coverage benefits wisely may end
up paying the least on their monthly bills.