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Cost of Roadside Assistance
In 1999 Esurance exploded onto the auto insurance scene with advanced technologies for online quoting and comparison shopping. They’ve continued to find unique tools to give consumers a top-notch service experience. We decided to closely evaluate Esurance’s emergency roadside assistance plan to see if the trailblazing insurer developed a fresh approach to this benefit as well.
How Much Does Esurance Roadside Assistance Cost?
The answer is free if you buy Esurance comprehensive and collision coverage. In other words, you can’t get the carrier’s roadside assistance if you’re cruising around with liability coverage only. Although there’s no additional premium associated with having the Esurance roadside program, you will have to pay for any emergency services that exceed Esurance’s $75 benefit cap. That’s certainly worth considering when you’re shopping for an emergency plan.
What is Included in Esurance Roadside Assistance?
Esurance generally follows the same roadside assistance design that other carriers have adopted over the years. The types of services covered and the amount of times you can call for help (a limit of 3 incidents per year) is standard for the industry.
Esurance’s 24-hour roadside benefit will offers the following emergency services:
- Locksmith service
- Winching and/or Extraction
- Onsite mechanical adjustment
- Fuel delivery
- Flat tire change
- Battery jump start
Keep in mind, the carrier has a strict cap of $75 on all the listed services with no exceptions. This means any assistance or repairs performed that cost more than the Esurance limit of $75 will be out-of-pocket for you. This makes Esurance’s roadside benefit limited since there are very few times, you’ll find $75 to be enough coverage for a disabled vehicle. For example, towing your car can easily run anywhere from $125 to $450 depending on the towing distance you’ll require. Towing companies approach their pricing in a variety of ways like:
- General tow truck flat rates ($75 to $125) for up to 10 miles
- Flatbed towing rates (e.g. $95 plus a per mile charge)
- Additional charges per mile towed, past 10 miles
- After hour/holiday fees are sometimes added by towing companies
More miles and extra fees can quickly inflate your tow bill and far exceed the Esurance roadside benefit. Of course, you’re getting what you paid for so if you prefer a more robust roadside program then you might want to pay the membership fees for an auto club program.
Although Esurance policyholders may not see a premium charge for their roadside assistance plan, that doesn’t mean the cost isn’t included in a higher “full coverage” premium than other carriers charge. That’s why it’s always important to shop around and closely compare quotes so you know what you’re paying for right from the start.
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What is NOT Included in Esurance Roadside Assistance?
Bottom line is nothing over $75 is covered by the Esurance emergency roadside program. That means you’ll have to come up with some cash for a variety of different services. Things like flatbed tows or any standard tows over 10 miles could quickly run up your personal bill.
Also, Esurance roadside assistance is linked to the vehicle instead of the motorist. Unlike AAA, you’ll only be able to use your Esurance emergency benefit when you’re driving the covered vehicle. Motor clubs cover members, no matter which car they are in at the time of the breakdown.
How do I Contact Esurance Roadside Service?
Every minute counts when your car is disabled on a lonely road and you want to get back home quickly. Esurance makes requesting emergency roadside service extremely easy by offering two options:
- Use the Esurance mobile app to enter a few details. The carrier will automatically dispatch a local provider to your location. The mobile app provides a feature showing the provider’s Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA), the driver’s name, as well as allow you to follow the service truck in a real time map as it sets out to help you.
- Or phone 1-888-374-6472 to talk with an Esurance representative. The carrier will immediately arrange for a service provider to get you back on the road.
Should you decide to get your own service provider, Esurance will allow you to submit your receipts and receive a reimbursement (up to your coverage limit).
How Does Esurance Roadside Assistance Compare to Other Providers?
The chart below gives you a great breakdown of popular roadside assistance programs sold by nationwide auto carriers and how they compare to Esurance. As you’ll see, the covered services offered by each insurer are similar.
|Cost Per Year||Included w/ full coverage||$23||$14||$23||$25||$48|
|Incidents Covered Per Year||3||3||3||3||3||3|
|Towing||$75||$150||100 miles||15 miles||$100||Nearest, no limit|
|Winching/ Extrication||$75||10 ft||1 hr||100 ft||$100||Free if reachable from road|
|Car Locksmith||$75||$150||$100||1 hr||$100||1 hr|
|On-Site Mechanical Adjustment||$75||$150||1 hr||1 hr||$100||1 hr|
|Flat Tire Service||$75||√||√||√||√||√|
The above graphic shows that most auto insurers charge between $14 (GEICO) and $48 (State Farm) for their emergency roadside benefit. Esurance is the only carrier that provides a complimentary roadside program to their comprehensive (aka full coverage) policyholders. The Esurance roadside benefit may be a free perk up-front but it will most likely cost you something when you finally do need to access the services.
It’s important to always compare your auto quotes for the total insurance package (not just the roadside assistance plan) before you make a final decision. Perhaps Esurance charges $0 for their roadside program but is offset by a higher comprehensive policy premium than the other auto vehicle insurers.
Finally, it’s a good idea to look at each insurer’s industry reputation before you commit to a roadside plan. Obviously, you want a reliable company that’s not going to leave you stranded.
Esurance is the more modern version of its parent company, Allstate. As you may know, Allstate is currently ranked as the 4th largest writer of private auto coverage. If you look at Esurance’s evaluations, it seems the acorn didn’t fall far from its (name brand) tree.
Look at these Esurance reviews which support this perspective:
- Consumer Affairs is 3.5/5.0 stars (850 reviews)
- J.D. Power “Highest Customer Satisfaction Among Auto Insurers in California” 2019 award
- A.M. Best financial strength is A++ (“Superior”)
- 5.0/5.0 stars from current customers (9,626 reviews)
Each of these positive ratings show that Esurance knows what it’s doing when it comes to taking care of their policyholders. Keep in mind, there aren’t any specific ratings or feedback pertaining to Esurance’s roadside benefit.
Which Roadside Assistance Should You Choose?
Generally emergency roadside assistance programs are very similar, except for the more costly AAA which offers extra services and additional perks beyond the norm. If you’re considering the complimentary Esurance roadside benefit, then take it and keep it as a back-up option. However, be aware your covered emergency services will be limited to $75 and will only be available when you’re driving the vehicle named on the Esurance policy.