Compare the cost & services of 21st Century's Roadside Assistance program against other insurance providers to find the right plan for you.
Cost of Roadside Assistance
Farmers Insurance is a well-known auto carrier that ranks as the seventh largest auto insurer in the country. The company receives average ratings but consistently insures millions of vehicles from year to year. We reviewed the Farmers emergency roadside assistance benefit to see if the long-time property and casualty insurer offers a high-quality emergency assistance plan as a companion to their auto policies.
How Much Does Farmers Roadside Assistance Cost?
Farmers policyholders have the option of adding the carrier’s emergency roadside assistance benefit to their auto policy for a $23 annual premium amount. This cost is on par with what Progressive ($23) and Allstate ($25) charge their insureds for the same type of service. Of course, you’ve got to keep in mind that Farmers has a benefit cap of $150 per incident and you’ll be responsible for paying any charges that exceed that amount.
What is Included in Farmers Roadside Assistance?
Farmers keeps it simple by sticking to the same type of roadside assistance plan that other insurers rely on as well. The five top auto insurers offer 3 covered incidents per year, same as Farmers, and all the same types of emergency services.
The roadside assistance benefit Farmers provides includes the following:
- Fuel delivery
- Flat tire change
- Battery jump start
- Winching and/or Extraction
- Onsite mechanical adjustment
- Locksmith service
Remember, the insurer has a strict cap of $150 on all the covered services with no exceptions. This means any repairs or assistance that costs more than the approved limit of $150 will be out-of-pocket for you. This is obviously more generous than the Esurance roadside benefit which only pays $75 towards all types of roadside services.
We’ve found that towing your car typically costs an average of $75 to $125 depending on the type of tow truck used and the distance traveled. Your Farmers roadside benefit should be able to cover a local tow without issue. Regarding other emergency dispatches, the $150 benefit amount is reasonable and will usually take care of what you need.
For those motorists that typically commute long distances or take frequent road trips, they may require a richer roadside assistance benefit. Usually the most robust programs are offered through motor clubs, the most popular being AAA.
Find the Cheapest Auto Insurance in Your Area
What is NOT Included in Farmers Roadside Assistance?
The main limit to the Farmers roadside assistance benefit is the $150 cap for all emergency services. That means you may have to come up with some money should your call for roadside help exceed the program’s parameters. Things like flatbed tows or any standard tows over 50 miles could quickly run up your personal bill.
Unlike motor clubs that allow members to use their benefits as much as they need, Farmers does restrict your covered incidents to 3 per year. In the insurer’s defense, all other auto carriers use the same restriction. Hopefully, you won’t be so unfortunate as to need an emergency dispatch more than 3 times in one year anyway.
Farmers also doesn’t cover any winching/extraction beyond 10 feet from the road and one hour of mechanical assistance onsite. If you need help that goes beyond the policy limits, you’ll have to pay the extra charges.
How do I Contact Farmers Roadside Service?
Simply call Farmers toll-free at 1-800-FARMTOW for assistance when your car is disabled, no matter where it’s located. Farmers will dispatch a provider to you whether your car is out of fuel in the driveway or overheating 100 miles from your hometown. The carrier also gives motorists the option to request help via their website or mobile app.
How does Farmers Roadside Assistance Work?
All roadside assistance programs are essentially the same process and Farmers isn’t much different. To get help from a Farmers auto provider, you’ll reach out to one of their emergency roadside representatives as we explained above. Farmers advertises a large network of professionals that can help you and your disabled vehicle. In fact, the insurer’s website states they work with 20,000 towing and road service facilities, as well as 10,000 locksmiths throughout the US and Canada.
Farmers is a bit unique considering they allow policyholders to also coordinate their own preferred provider and then submit the receipts for reimbursement. Many insureds will find this feature inviting if they already have a good relationship with a tow company or repair shop. Some motorists are very particular about who handles their vehicle, particularly when towing.
Should you decide to go with your own service provider, simply report the roadside claim online and submit the following information/documents:
- Policy number
- Vehicle year, make, model
- Phone number
- Date of service
- Claims number
Farmers will accept your emergency roadside assistance paperwork via fax (1-877-217-1389) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Once Farmers processes and approves your emergency roadside claim, you’ll be reimbursed per the benefit limits.
How Does Farmers Roadside Assistance Compare to Other Providers?
The chart below gives you a nice overview of popular emergency roadside programs sold by nationwide auto insurers and how they compare to Farmers. As you’ll see, the covered services offered by each carrier are very similar. Pricing for the emergency assistance programs are competitive, except for State Farm which is nearly double the other companies.
|Cost Per Year||$23||Included w/ Full Coverage||$14||$23||$25||$48|
|Incidents Covered Per Year||3||3||3||3||3||3|
|Towing||$150||$75||100 miles||15 miles||$100||Nearest, no limit|
|Winching/ Extrication||10 ft||$75||1 hr||100 ft||$100||Free if reachable from road|
|Car Locksmith||$150||$75||$100||1 hr||$100||1 hr|
|On-Site Mechanical Adjustment||$150||$75||1 hr||1 hr||$100||1 hr|
|Flat Tire Service||√||$75||√||√||√||√|
It’s always a good idea to look at each insurance company’s reputation before you commit to any type of coverage. Obviously, you want your emergency roadside assistance plan administered by a reliable insurer that’s going to dispatch a tow truck as soon as possible with little trouble.
If the independent evaluations of Farmers auto insurance are any indication of how they run the roadside assistance program, then it seems you’ll be safe in their hands.
- A.M. Best financial strength is A++ (“Superior”)
- BBB A+ rating (accredited since 1951)
- AM Best financial rating “A”
- Standard & Poor’s financial rating “A+”
- JD Power 2019 US Auto Claims Satisfaction Study: 3.0/5.0 (About Average) rating, 12th place out of 26 auto insurance carriers
- National Assoc of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) notes Farmers had less consumer complaints (for auto) than average for the last 3 years
There are currently no available customer reviews or evaluations of the Farmers roadside assistance program. However, the company receives plenty of positive praise about how they handle auto insureds.
Which Roadside Assistance Should You Choose?
Picking the best roadside assistance program can be confusing since there isn’t much variation among all the providers. Of course, most drivers know that motor clubs (e.g. AAA) is a bigger financial investment but also comes with additional perks beyond simply towing and tire repairs. If you’re considering adding the Farmers roadside benefit to your existing car insurance, then be sure it will meet your family’s needs first. If the $150 benefit cap per incident doesn’t make you nervous, then you should be confident going with Farmers. On the other hand, if you tend to take long distance road trips or commute more than 20 miles to work, you may want to find a richer roadside plan that can accommodate your lifestyle.