The Lowdown Truth About Motorcycle Roadside Assistance Programs and Why You Need One
You’re a lone wolf. A rebel. A rider who enjoys the solitude of traveling the highways solo and taking what you find for what it is as it comes along.
Those are all goods things, but traveling alone on a motorcycle can put you in a tough spot between a rock and a hard place if you ever break down.
There you are, standing by the side of the road next to your recalcitrant and smoking bike wondering what to do next.
How can you deal with it? You, my friend, are in serious need of emergency roadside assistance, and it’s a must have addition to your motorcycle insurance coverage.
Motorcycle Roadside Assistance – The Basic Lowdown
Emergency road service programs offer help when, during a ride, your bike develops any sort of mechanical problem.
Depending on the coverage you opt for, the services you can get expect are:
Towing (and that’s generally limited to a distance spelled out in your policy)
- Flat tire repairs
- Minor roadside mechanical repairs
- Problems with lockouts or ignition key loss
- Fuel delivery to your location
- The most common and horrible problem, the dead battery
Where Can I Get Emergency Motorcycle Assistance
This type of coverage is most often added as a separate rider to motorcycle insurance policies in the same way you’ll find bodily injury and property damage coverages.
You do have the choice of finding an independent agency which offers you roadside help should your bike break down. There are agencies which specialize in roadside assistance, so comparison shop to determine which programs have the best rates, the best overall list of services, and this is the most important feature if you ride long distances, the widest network of shops which will handle any repairs.
Towing charges are often horrifying when it comes time to pay the bill, so get as much range as you can afford with your package to avoid costly towing fees
In general, this type of coverage is pretty reasonably priced. Should you never suffer a breakdown, you might find the peace of mind roadside assistance coverage provides reason enough to have it. For the most part, your current insurer will probably offer the lowest rate, but you have to ask for it specifically, so don’t forget it when you’re negotiating your rate.
In the event your bike is still under warranty, you may find that some manufacturers include free roadside assistance with your purchase. If you opt for the manufacturer’s program, it pays to know what is – and what isn’t – covered in the event of a breakdown. You should also know who’s going to be responding when you make your call for service as most of the manufacturer programs will be contracting service calls out to a third party.
What You Should Know When You Use Your Motorcycle Roadside Assistance Program
Rule number one? Don’t overuse or abuse your program. Insurance companies are certain to keep track of the number of times you call for assistance, and if you’re way, way too needy or continually run out of gas in the middle of Nowhere USA, you’ll probably face a hike in your premiums. If your insurer thinks you’re abusing your RAC, they might decide to drop you altogether and that will effect what kind of rates you can get in the future. Roadside assistance is for emergencies and it’s not meant to provide you with companionship or a ready ear for your road stories.
Companies like Motorcycle Roadside Assistance will offer you a fairly comprehensive package of assistance for $15 a month, and you should also check on comparable programs from your current insurer for competitive rates. Most insurance companies offer such programs as low as $7.99 a month, but you need to do your home work to see what that level of assistance covers before you make your choice.
For something like $120 a year, you can buy premium roadside assistance from AAA, and it covers a whole range of problems you might have.
Why do you need premium coverage? The cost of any towing you might need is a big consideration. Keep in mind that towing charges are often horrifying when it comes time to pay the bill, so get as much range as you can afford with your package to avoid costly towing fees.
What You Get With AAA Roadside Assistance
If you’re having trouble starting your vehicle, they provide a battery boost to get you on your way, unless not recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. In most metropolitan areas, they test your battery on-scene and offer to install a new battery onsite if you need it. Diagnostic tests are free.
Extrication and Winching
If your vehicle goes off the road, AAA sends a service vehicle to get you back on the road. AAA will pull you out if your bike can be reached from a normally traveled road by a service vehicle with automobile servicing equipment operated by one person.
Fuel Delivery Service
If you run out of gas, AAA sends an emergency supply, and it’s enough to get you to the nearest service station, and they do it at current, standard pump prices.
If you suffer a blowout or a flat tire, AAA will tow your vehicle to the nearest AAA Approved Repair facility.
Things to Keep In Mind
If you need towing beyond the limits of the coverage you selected, you’re going to be charged for the extra miles at the service provider’s prevailing rate, and that adds up really, really fast. This is a good place to spend a little extra money to extend the range of towing you have available. Two hundred miles sounds like a long way, but in the middle of Idaho, it’s a standard trip to the party store, so go big or go home.
There Are Always Limitations – Know What They Are Before It’s Too Late
When providing roadside assistance, most assistance providers don’t assume responsibility for the actions of independent service facilities who operate as independent contractors and are not employees or agents of your insurer.
Losses or damages are the responsibility of the service providers and you need to report any problems you have as a result to your insurer immediately. Your insurance company representatives should be willing to reconcile disputes if they happen.
Being stuck on the side of the road next to your bike is no fun, and your insurance coverage needs to include help when you need it.