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Roadside Assistance: What Will Insurance Cover?


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Roadside Assistance: What Will Insurance Cover?

Until an incident six months ago, I mainly considered my car insurance to be something I would use if an accident occurred. After being stranded at work with a car that wouldn't start, I learned there was more to my plan than that. There is a whole section that has to do with roadside assistance. The guy driving the tow truck asked if my insurance covered emergency calls and I said I didn't know. He asked me the name of the company and then called his boss. After a quick word with my provider, he found out that I was covered in full. If you are not sure if your car insurance covers roadside assistance, let me tell you how to find out. After going over specific clauses in the contract, I'm betting you are covered for everything from a flat tire to a dead battery.

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Auto Care: Four Tips For Avoiding Tow Trucks

Nearly everyone has been there: stranded, stuck in the rain or snow, waiting for a tow truck to come and rescue you. Although you cannot fully prevent the need for a tow truck, you can minimize your chances by keeping your car in good health.

Here are four tips to help prevent you from needing a tow truck:

1. Bright Lights

It is almost too easy to ignore those bright, flashing lights on your dashboard. However, ignoring those lights can lead to disasters. Instead, watch the lights for any changes.

There are a number of different lights, in different colors, on your dashboard. Green and blue lights are normal, and they signify that everything in your car is working properly. Red, yellow, and orange lights signify that there is a problem—so be on the lookout for these.

2. Spare Plan

You should always have a backup plan in place, especially for your tires. Many things can ruin your tires while you're on the road. If you happen to drive over one of these and injure your tire, you may be stuck.

Fortunately, you can be prepared by having a backup spare tire in your trunk. Make sure you have it ready and know how to install it—that way you can replace the tire yourself. If you do not have room in your car for a spare tire, make sure you have an inflator kit and a sealant; these will allow you to fix a punctured tire temporarily.

3. Hidden Keys

Newer cars often come equipped with keyless ignitions—or push-button ignitions. Although these technologies are nifty, they can cause problems. If your car battery dies, you may be unable to start your vehicle.

If you do have a keyless ignition, ask your dealer or mechanic to show you where the hidden manual key-start ignition is; that way you can start your vehicle, even if the battery is low or dead.

4. Top Up

Your vehicle needs the proper amount of fluids in order to function properly. If your car is low on a certain fluid (oil, gas, coolant, etc.) you may experience problems and need to pull over. To prevent this, make sure you top up your fluids before you leave on a long trip.

Additionally, you may want to keep some extra fluids in your vehicle. Extra oil, gas, and coolant can all come in handy—especially if you are stranded on the side of the road. Just make sure you know how to check and fill up the fluids.

Although these tips can help you from needing a tow, they are not foolproof. If you notice your vehicle is acting strange—or it is producing odd noises or smells—pull over immediately and call a tow truck for assistance. To learn more, contact a company like Connolly's Towing Inc. with any questions or concerns you have.