What is breakdown insurance cover?

Posted on 26 October 2012 by Tony Santos

Breakdown Cover Insurance

You’ve just set off on holiday. You’re cruising down the motorway, radio on and windows down, when your engine starts smoking. Or you get halfway down the road on the school run and one of your tyres blows out.

It could happen to anyone. The AA attended 3.4 million call-outs and handled more than 5.2 million breakdown calls in 2011, and these figures rise dramatically in the colder weather because of the freezing temperatures and more dangerous driving conditions. This is why car breakdown insurance is a good purchase for people who use their cars on a regular basis.

There are broadly two types of breakdown cover available. Well-known firms operate a so-called automatic service – you pay an annual membership fee and then call for assistance if you experience a problem roadside at no extra cost. However, you should remember that there will almost certainly be a limit on the number of call outs allowed per year.

Smaller breakdown cover providers don’t always send out their own patrols. A local firm will respond to you and you may have to pay for the call-out and any recovery. You then claim back the costs from the breakdown company.

Whereas the automatic system is more convenient, the second option can work out cheaper in the long run.

There are also different levels of breakdown cover you can purchase, depending on your personal requirements. A basic policy can cost as little as £20 and simply covers roadside assistance and recovery. The breakdown must usually occur more than a quarter of a mile from your home, and the nearest garage must usually be within 10 miles. It’s important to remember that breakdown cover doesn’t include the cost of repairs to your car or for any spare parts, so be prepared to pay for these.

If you’re travelling further afield into territories unexplored, then national or nationwide recovery could be the policy for you. It means that you, your car and up to a certain number of passengers (usually a maximum of seven) will be taken to your chosen destination or back home, however far away.

There are also many different extras you can add to your breakdown insurance. If you feel that you need cover in case your car breaks down less than a quarter of a mile from your home, then many firms offer a home start policy. You can also upgrade your policy to include onward travel, which means that it includes the cost of car hire for up to three days. Some policies will also add on cover for spare parts and garage costs, so it’s important to study your breakdown cover policy in detail so you know exactly what you’re covered for.

Kwik Fit Insurance offers four different types of breakdown cover. Click here to learn more about the different options available to you.

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