Roadside Assistance-Who To Choose
There is a love hate relationship with roadside assistance providers and which one others are using is a common question and discussion among RVers. Let me explain how Roadside assistance works.
Auto insurance companies offer roadside assistance as either a cost to you add on or perk to its policy holders as it is a very profitable income stream. Most of us who have it will probably never use it. Millions of drivers are paying for it and a fraction of those who do will never actually use or need it during their policy period. It’s a win for you if you ever need it and it’s a really big WIN for the insurance companies if you don’t.
Who provides the actual service should you experience a breakdown? It is not the insurance company, but someone they contracted with locally in the area where you happen to be when you need help. A local small businesses that provides towing, mobile mechanical or tire repair services such as gas stations, tire shops, diesel truck service shops or dedicated towing companies.
No, there won’t be a guy in white overalls, driving a spiffy looking service or tow truck owned by XYZ Insurance with their company name emblazoned on the side to pull up to you where you are sitting along the side of the road broken down. Typically, it will be someone from a local small business who specializes in just this sort of thing. One minute the person who is pulling up to rescue you from distress might have been pumping diesel, changing oil or trying to help someone get into their vehicle who locked their keys inside.
They could arrive within minutes of your call to your roadside assistance insurance company, or you may find yourself sitting along the roadside for hours upon hours…Why? Well, several reasons come into play here. First, they might be having a busy day with several distressed motorists needing help over a large geographical service area. Where the other party in distress could be a long ways away from you are sitting. Or, it may be that your roadside assistance provider doesn’t have a go-to service provider in the area where you broke down. It could also be that the insurance company isn’t willing to pay the local contractors going rate. Example…They may charge $100/call, whereas the insurance company is only willing to pay $50/call. Even if they agree on rates, big companies sometimes are very slow to pay little companies that do the actual work…hence you sit and wait as a consequence. From the vendor’s point of view why do the work if you are not going to see payment?
Another reason for the delay…equipment availability. The local guy might not have the equipment suitable to tow your RV. They may only have something suitable for towing a passenger car, van or pickup not a class A motorhome or a large pickup towing a 5ver.
Regardless of which Roadside Assistance (Insurance company) you select, each face the same issues at the local level when it comes to having the resources to come to your aid. Most vehicle insurers also don’t handle these situations themselves, they subcontract it out to others. While you are deciding on which Company and Plan is right for your needs and equipment (type RV)…look for one that primarily is on the front line, not a company that delegates and disappears when you need them most.
Customer service is largely in part of speaking with someone when you are in a crisis that understands from life experience or knowledge or through good training on how to handle the situation YOU are in. If they have zero comprehension of where you are, what has happened or what vehicle you are referring to, then your frustration level increases and likely that the wrong service provider will be dispatched to your location. That’s why its important to have a roadside assistance provider who knows and trains their customer service folks in how to deal with situations properly and efficiently.
We have experienced service by two different providers and the one from our primary insurance company failed miserably in comprehending our needs and the situation we were in. Whereas, based on our firsthand experiences with Coach-Net we recommend them as someone you should consider as a dedicated Roadside Assistance provider for your RVing needs.