Beware Roadside Assistance on Your Car Insurance

Marshall Rathmell |

Just as we recommend our clients get their property and casualty insurance reviewed periodically, I had mine checked recently.  It is not uncommon that when we facilitate a review, the agents we work with point out changes in amounts and can find a better price for the insurance a client needs. 

What I found out about my insurance record surprised me.  I haven’t had a ticket since I was a teen and I haven’t been in an at-fault accident ever.  I should have a perfect or at least near perfect score for pricing, right?  Wrong. 

Growing up both my wife’s family and my family had AAA roadside assistance memberships.  Thinking we were saving money we had dropped our memberships because a previous insurance agent told us that a much less expensive rider on our car insurance policy would provide the same benefits. 

Over the years we needed roadside assistance because of flat tires, dead batteries, keys locked in cars, etc.  It wasn’t as easy as we were accustomed because the agent’s office wasn’t always available. Sometimes we had to get reimbursements instead of them sending someone and taking care of it on the front end. 

Even so, I wasn’t upset because we were paying dramatically less for the rider – until I had my insurance reviewed and found out that every time we used the roadside assistance, it was considered an insurance claim. This was damaging the long term cost of our property and casualty insurance in general.  Had we been using AAA or another membership organization instead of insurance, it wouldn’t have affected our record. 

My review came back with the need to increase a few limits and a brokered insurance company that was less expensive.  It wasn’t dramatically less, but with higher coverage, it still saved enough that it covered our family getting AAA again.

-Marshall Rathmell-