Roadside Services.......Which is best?

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  #1  
Old 02-17-11, 12:30 PM
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Roadside Services.......Which is best?

Hello, For many years, I have had my home and car insurance with Allstate Insurance. My vehicles are starting to age but have super low mileage on them. Going to do some traveling this year around my state, etc. and want to to purchase a membership to some type of roadside services. My question, Are these services worth the membership? Do they really come to you in a timely manner for the price of a membership? Should I go with the motor club associated with my car insurance or go with a national club such as a AAA membership? There may be an additional discount by going with my own companies' membership but I did ask several years ago and there were no tie-in discounts. Also, I do plan to research reviews on several companies but wanted to start here first. What has been your experiences with roadside services? Thanks for all your help here! Sorry, if this is in the wrong forum. Please move it if necessary.

Sidebar: I have never had a claim of any kind through my home or vehicle insurance company.
 
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Old 02-17-11, 12:45 PM
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I had Amoco Motor Club for many years, but never utilized them, and I believe they are out of business since the absorption of Amoco into BP Petroleum. Since then, I've gone to AAA Plus, since I commute 100 miles daily through mostly the wide open prairies of Kansas (in vehicles with mileages in excess of 250,000 miles). I've utilized AAA twice, once to unlock my car after I locked my keys inside and once for a tow from my house to the nearest dealer (which was 15 miles away). Both times, I found their service timely. I've also utilized their free passport photo service. I also have free road service through my new car purchase in addition to emergency road service coverage on my car insurance. I think my AAA Plus membership is $85/year, whereas the emergency road service coverage in my car insurance is only around $5/year. I keep the AAA coverage because they seem to have the most servicing providers nationwide and perhaps a more thorough level of coverage than the emergency road service provided by either my insurance company or the new car dealer. AAA also has discounts on car rentals and stuff like movie admissions, if you're inclined to utilize such things.
 
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Old 02-17-11, 05:30 PM
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Thanks Beachboy, That is good info about AAA having more service providers on call. Will keep this in mind. Thanks!
 
  #4  
Old 02-18-11, 05:35 AM
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I'll preface my remarks by saying I am not a AAA affiliate.

I usually advise people to simply carry towing coverage on their car insurance. As beachboy says, the cost is minimal. With many, you simply call your own provider and submit the invoice for reimbursement. While this means you have out-of-pocket expense up front, it also means you can call anyone you wish in many cases. AAA isn't always the fastest [they deal in high-volume to make up for the highly discounted rates they pay their affiliates]; I've lost count of the number of AAA card holders who have had me tow their vehicle rather than wait. As with any industry/service, some providers are salt-of-the-earth and some aren't. If you are using AAA services other than roadside assistance (such as passport photos ,as mentioned, and other services and/or discounts) then may be worth the added cost or if you feel you're likely to need a long-distance tow. Most tows, at least mine, average under 10 miles. Be careful about buying the base AAA program and then calling for a tow that exceeds the basic coverage. In this area the over-mileage charge is $5/mile I believe. If you go with AAA, definitely take the extended coverage. Be aware that the AAA member has to be standing next to the vehicle with card in hand; you can not, for instance, leave your car keys with the car or your local mechanic for an unattended pick-up. As with all motor clubs there's a limit on annual useage, generally four calls which, unless you're driving a serious beater, is usually sufficient for most people.

Another option is the roadside assistance that can be done through your cell phone. Runs about $3/mo on your cell bill and is usable regardless of the vehicle even if you're in a friends car. No additional benefits like discounts, of course, just basic roadside assistance.

As a final note, if you should ultimately decide to go with a company other than AAA (there are quite a number of them), be sure to do some research. There are some roadside assistance companies that a lot of towing services simply will not do business with because of their business practices (I'm not naming names). Also remember that the name of the roadside assistance company on the membership card doesn't always mean much. A lot of the major gas company credit cards (like Amoco that beachboy mentioned) have a "motor club", but they are nearly always sub-contracted to one of the corporations who actually are motor clubs. Allstate, that raemarti mentioned, I believe is administered by the Signature Group, as are many others.

Regardless of who you end up with, familiarize yourself with the rules and procedures on how to access the services before you need them. I frequently have to play 20 questions with customers about their motor clubs and it's quite common to be called out for a job and after hooking up having the customer say, "I have triple-A......." or some other motor club with which I'm not affiliated.
 

Last edited by the_tow_guy; 02-18-11 at 05:50 AM.
  #5  
Old 02-19-11, 11:12 PM
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road service

Sounds like AAA hasnt changed much over the years. At one time we got listed by AAA (I dont know how) but eventually refused calls because of their slow pay. My uncle was signed up with them and they claimed their card was good for a bond, well he got stopped for speeding in Chicago and guess what the cops told him to do with his AAA card.
 
  #6  
Old 02-20-11, 07:59 AM
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i honestly believe that it's not worth changing horses in the middle of the stream. every time i have to start working with a new vendor in my business, it's a learning curve, sometimes disastrous, that is error and trial. they all do best to create a great upfront impression, they all overpromise and underdeliver. it's business. it's "cost efficiency" and there's always good reason why Big Mac costs what it does.

so, i have learned to stick with what you have. hence, ANY major insurance carrier has road side assistance. just add it to what you currently have with your carrier. they also offer travel packages, when you can have upscale coverage for short time. it is all discussable and negotiable. but you know them, they know you, it works much better than shooting blind.

while we are on insurance theme... best practical way to get any insurance is to go through sam's or walmart or costco. large "clubs" of this nature have all kinds of members services, including insurances research for your vehicles/property. costs nothing, takes about 20 minutes on the phone, can result in huge savings. we have been doing this for years and works superb. last thing i will do is go to a local agent. that's the last predator in the food chain, he bites the worst. also, i strongly recommend to revise your carrier every 3-4 years. the way i described above. they merge, sell out, change ownerships, usually, conglomerate with someone big, which continuously results in policies and price changes.
 
  #7  
Old 02-25-11, 07:39 PM
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I have Amica insurance and they provide roadside for free.
Great service to have. Funny story my brothers truck was broken and was blocking me in. he is cheap and did not have roadside but, i called amica
and told them the brothers truck was broken blocking me in. they said sure we will tow it. lol
 
  #8  
Old 02-26-11, 05:56 AM
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Pretty good service there; I doubt most would have dispatched someone for that. Related side note: I've had people with towing on their insurance tell me that they can't be reimbursed if the invoice shows the pickup location being at their residence. Don't know which company(ies), but I could make a pretty good guess. Never could figure out why that would be an issue; if you need your car towed to your mechanic, what's the difference if the car is dead in your driveway or down the block at the stop sign?

Additional informational note on roadside assistance: A lot of people don't realize this until they try to do it, but I don't think any of the motor clubs will cover a tow from one repair shop to another. Just common sense; the service is to get you to a repair facility so make sure you pick the right one the first time.
 
  #9  
Old 03-08-11, 04:13 PM
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Thanks everyone for responding! I never saw these latest responses? as I didn't get a notification at my home email? Doityourself.com notifications have somehow been turned off, maybe?? I will check on that soon.

Such good information from everyone who posted! Thank you so much for taking the time! Hope this helps lots of other interested people. I have 'almost' signed up for my own Allstate motor club several, several times but never have. I believe Allstate's is about $99(basic) per year vs. AAA is about $79.00 per year. I will look at extended and weigh both of these closely and decide which is better for my situation. Thank you!
 

Last edited by Raemarti; 03-08-11 at 04:34 PM. Reason: clarification
  #10  
Old 03-09-11, 04:46 AM
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FWIW, I don't know about the customer's side of the equation, but my best tow buddy won't run Allstate calls because of administrative issues [I only have one motor club that I service; it's not a big part of my business]. Might behoove you to check around with the local towing companies to make sure there are a couple who will actually do the calls or ask Allstate who the local affiliates are who will be responding so you can be assured of a timely response when needed. Chances are you'll be okay, but wouldn't want to be broke down and have the motor club dispatcher spend an hour locating a local responder.
 
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