A breakdown cover policy covers you for roadside repairs if your vehicle breaks down while you’re out and about. Most breakdown cover companies will offer roadside assistance as a minimum. This means a trained mechanic will come to fix your car if it breaks down on the road.
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What is Breakdown Cover Insurance:
Completing your application
You’re responsible for answering any questions relating to your application honestly. If the information is found to be incorrect it could invalidate your insurance and your insurer may not pay out for any claims you make. Always make sure that the policy you’re applying for has the right level of cover and features that you require.
There are two options: personal or vehicle. Personal as the name suggests, covers the person, which means you can call for help whether you’re in your own car or a friend’s car or even a taxi. Second option which is cover your car is generally a cheaper form of cover that is ideal for those who only have an interest in covering one vehicle — it’s great for families or housemates that car-share, for example.
What levels of breakdown cover are available?
All operators offer graduated levels of service, all of which have different names depending on who you buy them from. These include: roadside assistance, national assistance, home start, onward travel, and European cover, all of which we’ll explain below.
Roadside assistance means that the mechanic who comes to your aid will attempt a fix at the roadside. Depending on the scale of the problem this can be a complete repair or a temporary fix — enough to get you to your destination. If the mechanic is unable to fix it at the roadside, they’ll tow you to a local garage. There’s usually a certain radius to define ‘local’, e.g. 10 miles. That’s pretty much it.
National assistance means that if the mechanic is unable to fix the car at the roadside, they will take you and your passengers to a single destination within the UK mainland, e.g. your usual garage or your own driveway. There are usually restrictions on how many passengers the patrol vehicles can take, so don’t expect them to rescue your entire Sunday league football team. Crucially, you have to have purchased the National Assistance membership package prior to breaking down to use this service.
Home Start gets you assistance on your driveway — handy for those with cars with a penchant for refusing to start on a cold winter’s morning. Home Start can be used up to quarter of a mile from your home. Conveniently, The AA even offer an appointment service, so if you opt to ditch your car and run for the bus, you can call later and book a repair.
If your car needs to go into the garage, this scheme will guarantee car hire, overnight accommodation or public transport to get you to your destination.
European Cover can be added to your existing policy or bought as a standalone policy. If you frequently cross the channel or Irish Sea, it is a worthwhile consideration to give you peace of mind.