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.

Can You Tow Your Own Car?

It's not uncommon to see car owners helping by towing others when their cars break down or they're stuck in a ditch. Most people think that towing is inconsequential, especially if they have a big truck. 

Towing is a little more complicated than just attaching one car to another and pulling. If done incorrectly, you'll spend more on repairs than you would on towing services. Other reasons not to tow your own vehicle include the following.

Towing Regulations 

Each state will have rules and regulations to ensure safe towing. For example, you'll need proper tail lighting, warning lights, and safety chains before you can tow a vehicle. You might also need insurance and a license to operate. 

If you don't adhere to the rules and regulations set by your state, you'll likely face legal issues even when towing your car or helping a friend. To avoid legal issues and fines, consider hiring a tow truck company. 

Towing Rating 

You can't tow a semi-truck with an SUV without damaging the latter. Each car has a towing rating, which is the maximum weight it can haul without getting damaged. If you exceed your car's towing limit, it can cause brake failure and damage to your car's exterior and transmission. 

Your car isn't equipped to haul vehicles; thus, avoid self-towing if you don't understand towing rating. Instead, hire a towing company as they have a wide range of tow trucks equipped to pull all kinds of vehicles. 

Liability for Towing 

As an amateur, if you decide to self-tow, you might struggle to control both vehicles on the road. This means that you might cause an accident and damage parked cars or property. If this happens, you're responsible for damages. 

Your insurance company won't cover any damages if the towing wasn't handled by a professional. Instead of self-towing, contact your auto insurance company, and they'll likely send a tow truck service. If not, you can contact a tow truck or recovery company. 

Specialized Driving Techniques 

Professional tow truck drivers are equipped with specialized driving techniques to help them deal with different towing capacities. You can't expect to drive a towing truck the same you'd drive your truck. 

These are two different vehicles, and you need to be careful driving, especially around the turns. Tow truck drivers understand how to be cautious and can meet driving demands depending on the towing capacity. The drivers also understand how the additional weight will affect the brakes. As a novice, you might not know this and will end up thinking that your car's brakes can perform at their best even when lugging another car. 

For more information on towing, contact a company near you.