When it comes to getting the most from your breakdown cover, a little knowledge, some careful reading and dedicated upkeep on your vehicle all count. Just a little preparation and talking with your agent can help you know exactly what to do and what to expect.
Don’t Miss the Fine Print
Whether you have an At Home policy, Basic Domestic, or Business, there are two important words to consider: Human Error. This applies to those irritating little things such as leaving your lights on, locking your keys in the car, or putting the wrong kind of fuel in your vehicle. Some policies cover these as a matter of course, but others exclude those events from covered items. Oh, they might come out and charge up that battery, but they will charge extra. It is good incentive to develop thoughtful habits, but it is also something to be aware of before signing on for coverage.
Pets or Animals
If you have pets or animals that you transport regularly, check to see if your vehicle will be covered. Some companies will not. Even those that do might have rules for restraint. You might need to invest in a special safety harness or hard-shelled carrier in order to meet your insurer’s needs. (Those are safer for your pet, too.)
Keep Up the Maintenance
Good maintenance is an essential part of qualifying for your breakdown coverage. Not all companies are sticklers about this, but some will let you know if they think you are using your breakdown insurance instead of the local garage for basic maintenance events. Or to put it another way, one worn fan belt is oversight, a worn fan belt every six months is an indication that the owner isn’t taking care of the vehicle.
Match Your Cover to Your Driving Habits
Breakdown coverage comes in a variety of types, even from a single company. It can range from At Home cover which is for your own drive or within ¼ mile of your home to coverage that will take care of you as you travel from one country to another in Europe. If you are a retiree or a person who works at home, you will need very different coverage from a medical equipment salesman who travels from one end of the nation to the other while transporting products for demonstration.
Avoid Auto-Renewing Your Policy
If you auto renew your policy, you could wind up paying for more insurance than you need. For example, if you have retired you might no longer need to pay for commuter insurance. If you took that vacation in Europe last year, but this year you are taking a staycation, you could find yourself paying for European travel coverage that you will not use. Your renewal date is a good time to reassess your coverage and make changes that reflect your life-style changes.
Well-Worth the Trouble
It is well worth the trouble to check the fine print on a policy before you sign up or renew it. Breakdown insurance is almost always a money saver in the long run, but even so, you don’t want to pay for too much insurance or discover that you have too little insurance. “Just right” is the type of coverage that will work best for you.
Take Home Message
The take home message here is that breakdown cover can save you money on roadside emergency repairs. It can help you move along toward your destination, even if your vehicle develops mechanical difficulty along the way, but it works best when you have the right policy for you.