January 2, 2024
It's a scenario that no driver wants to experience, but you need to know what to do if your car breaks down on the highway. Does your car insurance cover a breakdown on the highway?
In most cases it does not, and you’ll need to add optional coverage for this to your car insurance policy.
The first and most crucial step when your car breaks down on the highway is to remain calm. Panic won't help the situation, but clear thinking will. Safely manoeuvre your vehicle to the right shoulder or emergency lane if possible.
If you can't make it to the right shoulder, turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers that you're having problems.
Once you've pulled over, assess the situation. Try to identify the problem if you can do so safely. If it's a simple issue like a flat tire, you might be able to change it yourself. However, if it's a more complex problem, such as engine trouble, it's best to call for professional help.
Now, it's time to call for assistance. If you have roadside assistance coverage, contact your provider. They can dispatch a tow truck or a roadside technician to help you. If you don't have this coverage, you can still call a towing service or a nearby mechanic. Be sure to inform them of your location, the issue you're facing, and any specific details about your vehicle.
While waiting for help to arrive, it's essential to stay inside your car, especially if you're on a busy highway. Your car provides a layer of protection from passing traffic. Keep your seatbelt fastened and wait patiently for help to arrive.
When the tow truck or roadside assistance arrives, communicate clearly with the service provider. Explain the problem, any previous attempts you've made to address it, and provide all necessary information about your vehicle. This will help them diagnose and resolve the issue more efficiently.
One common misconception is that your standard car insurance policy covers breakdowns. In most cases, it does not. If you have comprehensive coverage as part of your auto insurance policy, it may provide some assistance. Comprehensive coverage typically protects against non-collision incidents, such as theft, vandalism, and damage from natural disasters.
To ensure you have coverage for breakdowns, you'll need to add roadside assistance to your car insurance policy. Roadside assistance is an optional add-on that can be invaluable in situations like car breakdowns on the highway.
It typically includes services like towing, jump-starting a dead battery, changing a flat tire, and delivering fuel if you run out. While not all insurance companies offer roadside assistance, many do, and it's relatively affordable to add to your policy.
In some cases, your auto insurance policy may include rental car coverage as part of your comprehensive coverage. This can be helpful if your car needs extensive repairs, and you require a temporary replacement vehicle while yours is in the shop. Check your policy details to see if rental car coverage is included.
Another option to consider is an extended warranty or mechanical breakdown insurance. These are separate from your standard auto insurance policy and are designed to cover repair costs for specific mechanical or electrical failures in your vehicle. They can provide peace of mind if you're concerned about costly repairs down the road.
To know exactly what your insurance covers, it's important to review your policy carefully. Insurance policies can vary significantly from one provider to another and even from one policy to another. If you're unsure about your coverage, ask your Western Financial Group car insurance expert for clarification.
Having roadside assistance coverage can be a lifesaver in these moments, so consider adding it to your car insurance policy if you haven't already. Talk to your Western Coast car insurance expert about it.