Free Breakdown Cover (when you buy Car Insurance)

There are a number of car insurance providers that offer free breakdown cover as a means of encouraging you to sign up with their cover plans. While such offers can turn out to be great deals, it is worth reviewing precisely what kinds of services will and will not be covered under the particular type of breakdown cover they offer. Here is a review of the most common kinds of breakdown cover likely to be offered by car insurance providers in the UK.

The most common kind of breakdown cover that you are likely to find from a car insurance provider in the UK is roadside assistance cover. This is a straightforward, what you see is what you get kind of cover, which is why it is likely to be included in special offers to encourage potential car insurance shoppers to sign up with one provider over another.

It will usually include the ability to call a certified mechanic who works on behalf of the insurance provider. The mechanic will drive to your car if you suffer a breakdown. However, your car will usually need to be some distance away from your home at the time of the breakdown in order for you to qualify for the free mechanic visit.

In many provider details, the minimum distance is specified at a third to half a kilometre. If your breakdown occurs under this minimum distance, then you will either need to walk, call a taxi, or call your insurer and request the mechanic at an additional fee, which will probably be a hefty one.

Along with the mechanic visit, you will also have your labour costs covered; these are the costs involved in the mechanic’s work to get your car running again if he or she visits you and performs the repair at the side of the road. If you have a car problem that your mechanic is not capable of fixing at the roadside, then roadside assistance will typically cover the costs of towing your car to the closest garage. The closest garage will typically be defined as the nearest one within around 6 kilometres of the breakdown.

Things that typically are not going to be covered by roadside assistance include the costs of driving you and anyone who happened to be in the car with you when you became in need of assistance to a garage. Similarly, you will also have to pay out of pocket for any parts that your roadside mechanic needs to do his or her job, as well as for any parts or labour that the garage that your car is towed to needs or performs in the repair of your car.

In other words, you might still end up paying a significant amount of money out of pocket for services that you would logically expect to be included in your cover; keep this in mind before paying extra for roadside assistance if you are hoping to have everything taken care of in a breakdown.

There are other kinds of breakdown cover, such as at home cover, full recovery, and onward travel, but most of these are typically slight additions to the standard roadside assistance package. Many of the features that are not included in the roadside assistance package will be increasingly added on with each higher level package you select.

Your best plan of action will be to review the terms and conditions of each level of cover provided by your insurer in order to determine what you can and cannot live without, or to put it another way, what you are willing to pay to prevent and what you are willing to handle on your own should the need arise.