Not all roadside assistance plans are created the same way, which is why it is important to carefully review each plan you are interested in and think about what you need to get out of a plan before you sign up for a roadside assistance plan.
#1 Who It Covers
First, you want to look at who the roadside assistance plan covers. Some roadside assistance plans only cover the individual whose name the the plan is in. Other roadside assistance plans will cover any vehicle that person is driving or any vehicle that person is in. Some roadside assistance plans will only cover the named vehicle. Other roadside assistance plans don't care who the vehicle belongs to, or if the owner of the roadside assistance plan is present, just that you present the information from the roadside assistance plan.
Think about who you need the plan to cover. Do you want to use the plan just for yourself? Do you want your partner and kids to be able to use the plan? Look for a plan that will cover everyone you need it to cover.
#2 What It Covers
Not all roadside assistance plans offer the same level of coverage. Oftentimes, companies have graduated plans that offer more or less coverage depending on what you are willing to pay for.
For example, you could get a basic plan that just covers tow truck services for emergencies. Or you could get a more extensive plan that covers flat tire service, jumpstarts, lockouts, fuel deliver, and lost key services. Think about the type of situations that you find yourself in and what type of coverage you want. Oftentimes, the difference in cost of a basic plan and full plan is only a few dollars a month.
#3 How Much It Covers
Finally, make sure that you find out how many incidents are covered over a set period of time. For example, many roadside assistance programs allow you a set number of calls for free over a set period, such as 2 roadside assistance calls every six months free of charge with your membership fees.
Find out what happens if you need extra roadside assistance beyond the set number of "free" calls that are included with your service. Often times, you will just be billed a fee for extra roadside assistance. Oftentimes, these fees are far less than you would pay if you had to pay out of pocket for these services.
When looking at roadside assistance programs, be sure to find out who is covered, what is covered, and how many visits are covered, and choose a program that fits your roadside service needs.