Friday, October 12, 2012

Car tip: Low-Cost Tow and Lockout Insurance ($4/yr)

If it hasn't happened to you yet, consider yourself lucky. But many of us have had that sinking feeling as we bound out of the car, slamming the door behind us only to immediately realize that we've locked the keys inside. Doh! As a parent, I often feared that I would lock my keys in my car accidentally with my baby inside. Then came the day I was parked outside the school. It as 5:30 and I was picking up my son from the after school program. I knew I was one of the last parents there so I just left the car running and ran inside. My son and I skipped to the car and I nonchalantly grabbed the door handle to put him in the back seat. The door didn't budge.Ugh! Thank goodness I had my cell to call for help. 45 minutes late a tow truck pulled up and about 1 minute later my doors were open. 2 minutes later, I was FORTY-FIVE DOLLARS poorer! Good grief!

Boy was I thankful for our roadside assistance clause in our auto insurance. At the time we were paying about $7 a year for a service that would reimburse us if we needed a tow truck, tire assistance or a locksmith. Today as I walked through the mall parking lot I was reminded of this as a young lady flagged down the locksmith that came to open her vehicle. I could see the look of distress on her face. And I don't want this situation to be your story. So, when I got home, I called our insurance friend (he works for State Farm) who said that he can get Emergency Service Assistance on most auto plans for as little as $3.40 a year! A YEAR PEOPLE!!! That's less than $0.29 a month! Having this service means that your insurance company will reimburse you for lock out, tire and towing assistance. My agent friend will cut a check right in the office up to $75 (with a little leeway- perhaps up to $85) so that you recoup your fees. Remember my situation? Since my mishap occurred in the evening, I was able to visit my agent the next day with my receipt and was immediately issued a check covering the cost of the locksmith. My money was back in the bank before my check cleared!

Let's do the math. According to Locksmith Ledger the average for a vehicle opening was $62. At this rate, you could have your roadside assistance for 18 years for the same cost as one locksmith visit. You know the funny part of this story..? I used this service FOUR TIME that same year! I was really thanking God that our agent offered the Emergency Service Assistance Coverage! AND don't forget your other services. A tow to the nearest auto repair station (5 miles) could be between $35 and $75 dollars according to Cost Helpers. If the tow has to travel further, that cost goes up!

Now you tell me....doesn't the addition of an Emergency Roadside Assistance Plan to your auto insurance just make sense???

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