Every year, the breakdown recovery services deal with many thousands of vehicles that have broken down. This may be at the side of the roads,at a work place or at the home of their owners. If you own a vehicle that is over 3 years old, statistics show that there is a 1 in 10 chance of it developing a serious mechanical fault that could lead to you being stranded on a journey. This is particularly true during the winter months and a major nightmare for all motorists, is the thought of breaking down on the side of a motorway in freezing weather or pouring rain. As well as the sheer discomfort, inconvenience and real danger involved in breaking down, the cost of recovery can be enormous. On top of the actual expense of having your vehicle towed away if it cannot be repaired quickly, you have to consider the additional expense of getting home again without your vehicle, or you may have to consider overnight accommodation costs. Then there is the time and expense of returning to collect your car when it is mended. All these problems and costs can easily be minimised by taking out a policy of vehicle breakdown cover.
There are a number of different forms of roadside assistance insurance ranging from the very basic to the more sophisticated that include a number of extra benefits. Obviously the cost of cover varies accordingly. Generally, although they may be known by a different name from company to company, the types of cover are as follows:
- Roadside Recovery. Normally the most basic form of cover that will provide you with a recovery truck tow to the nearest garage if your vehicle cannot be repaired within a short period at the scene of the breakdown. This type of cover is unlikely to provide you with assistance at or within half a mile from your home.
• Roadside and Home Cover. This will provide you with assistance both at home and on the road and will normally cover the cost of returning your vehicle to your home address from wherever it breaks down.
• Roadside Plus. This has all the benefits of the Roadside and Home Cover as well as the extra services of providing you with either a lease car to continue your journey, or the cost of accommodation.
If you regularly drive in Europe, you may wish to consider obtaining European Breakdown Cover from one of the many companies that offer policies covering the costs of breakdown and repatriation of yourself and your vehicle if it becomes necessary.
Breakdown cover can also apply to vehicles other than cars. Many insurance companies offer policies that apply to caravans, trailers and all types of commercial vehicles from HGVs to light vans and their loads. For those of you that are in business and operate a fleet of vehicles, it can be a cost effective option to obtain a blanket fleet cover that extends the benefits to all of your vehicles.
Very often, general vehicle insurance policies will contain a degree of breakdown cover. If this applies to you, check your policy to ensure that it provides sufficient protection. If not, there are numerous companies that will provide you with adequate cover according to your needs, so shop around to obtain the best deal for you.