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Finding yourself stranded in an unknown territory with a broken down car and no helping hand within sight is a daunting experience. However scary this may sound, situations like this are often ahead of us all on one day or other. That is why roadside assistance cover has become such a huge deal in car insurance plans. Ensuring that you get the help you require even in the most remote areas of the UAE, a roadside assistance cover is a lifesaver for many in perplexing road predicaments. Whenever you find yourself stuck with no way to solve the car emergency at hand, emergency roadside assistance comes into play. Let’s understand everything you must know about roadside assistance covers and how they work in combination with your car insurance plans. 

What is Roadside Assistance?

Generally considered an add-on, roadside assistance is a benefit available with comprehensive car insurance plans that handles any car emergency services that a policyholder may require. These services can range from the basic ones like car towing assistance to some eccentric ones like legal advice in the case of a road accident. Roadside assistance cover of your insurance plan comes into effect when you do not have access to any garages nearby. In case you can get in touch with a repair expert quickly when your car breaks down, the roadside assistance cover does not come into effect. The best part about roadside assistance is that you can use it without officially submitting a claim against your insurance plan. This means you get to retain your no-claim bonus benefits while getting help in the hour of need. 

Benefits of Having Roadside Assistance Cover

  • Instant Emergency Assistance: The biggest pro of having a roadside assistance cover is that you have all-time access to emergency repair services. Whether it is about the dead car battery or you have locked yourself outside the car, emergency roadside assistance cover extends a great helping hand in all these situations. 
  • Legal Advice: The best roadside assistance cover will even come with an option to get legal advice in case you find yourself involved in a road accident involving a third-party vehicle. You can use your insurance benefits to find a legal representative and get instant advice on how to act and proceed in a situation like this, which requires police involvement and legal action. 
  • Saves Towing Costs: Having your car towed after an accident can be a difficult task. Not to forget the high towing costs. Your emergency roadside assistance cover will help in saving these costs while ensuring that your car or two-wheeler is transferred to the nearest network garage of your insurance provider. 
  • Breakdown Assistance: While major car breakdown services are not a part of roadside assistance cover, minor repairs are still covered. If your car stops functioning in the middle of the road without a warning, you can call roadside assistance and get help for the same. Any minor issues will be solved right there with all the expenses covered.
  • Offer Many Miscellaneous Services: Another amazing benefit of having a good roadside assistance cover is the miscellaneous benefits that come with it. While it is rare and only available with some of the most extensive and best roadside assistance covers, you can claim to get a replacement transportation option right away if your car breaks down in the middle of the road. 
  • 24x7 Services: The best roadside assistance covers in the UAE offer 24x7 assistance for emergency and towing services. You simply need to dial the concerned contact number and your roadside assistance partner will be there to help you out instantly. 
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What is Included in Roadside Assistance Cover?

  • Dead Battery Assistance: In case your car or two-wheeler stops due to a flat battery in the middle of the road, your roadside assistance cover ensures that you not only receive the required assistance from a technician but will also cover all the costs associated with the repairs.
  • Car Breakdown Services: Minor breakdowns in your car are also covered by some of the best roadside assistance covers in the UAE. If your car stops and you are not sure about the problem, simply call the roadside assistance number provided by your insurance provider. A technician will arrive to analyse the troubles you are facing. If they turn out to be minor and not a major engine breakdown, the technician will help you fix it right away. 
  • Fuel Supply: If you ever find yourself short on fuel and with no gas stations nearby, your roadside assistance cover will help you get your tank full. The number of times you can avail of fuel refill services from your roadside assistance cover may be limited, though. 
  • Flat Tyre Services: While most of us carry spare tyres with us, changing a flat tyre is not a skill that all of us have. And having your tyre punctured in the middle of a road with no one to get help from can be frustrating. Your roadside assistance cover can not only provide you with a spare tyre if you do not have one but also send help to replace the punctured one. 
  • Car Towing Assistance: If your car is damaged beyond the point of being driven, you can easily get it towed to the nearest garage of your choice or a network garage if you like. Your roadside assistance cover will help you transfer your vehicle free of cost. 
  • Locked Car Services: If you find yourself locked out of your car or lose the keys somewhere while on the road, the roadside assistance cover will send help to either replace your keys or unlock the car using some other way that you deem appropriate. 
  • Replacement Transport: Some comprehensive roadside assistance covers also offer replacement transportation services to make sure that you reach your destination if your car breaks down in the middle of the road. This service is either offered in the form of a replacement car/cab or cab fare for the concerned ride. 
  • Message Relay Services: If you happen to be in a road accident and need to inform your family members of the situation, your roadside assistance cover can take your message further for you. You can either provide them with the contact details or have the numbers pre-registered with the provider. 
  • Medical Support: Accidents often lead to injuries but the injured may not always be able to reach emergency medical support in situations like these. The roadside assistance cover enables your car insurance company to contact a nearby hospital on your behalf and send medical assistance on your way immediately. 

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What are the Exclusions of Roadside Assistance Cover?

  • Claiming roadside assistance more than the allowed limit set by the insurance provider.
  • Expenses for fuel assistance services availed more than the allowed limit are also not covered. 
  • Cases where you can easily access car transfer and other similar services. 
  • A time limit may also be applicable in the case of repair expenses covered by the roadside assistance cover. 
  • When driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 
  • Damages to be repaired when driving without a valid license. 
  • If claims are made against an expired car insurance plan. 

Do Car Insurance Plans Come with Roadside Assistance Cover?

Many comprehensive car insurance plans come with roadside assistance cover as a basic benefit of the plan. However, it is not universal for all providers and even all the plans that they offer. You may find that the less comprehensive car insurance plans offered by provider A do not have roadside assistance cover as a basic benefit while the more comprehensive ones do. Policyholders still generally get the option to get roadside assistance cover as an add-on with the comprehensive car insurance plan. Of course, when buying emergency roadside assistance cover as an add-on, you will have to pay an extra premium for it on top of the basic premium amount of your plan. However, the premium amount for such add-ons is minimal and rarely makes a difference in the bigger picture, unlike add-ons like an engine breakdown cover. 

Is It Mandatory to Opt for Roadside Assistance Cover?

No, it is not mandatory by law to buy a roadside assistance cover. However, a roadside assistance cover is something like your first aid kit – you may not be required by law to have it at all times, but it is extremely helpful when required. And to add to the similarities between the two, you often end up needing roadside assistance services just like your first aid kit. Since even the smallest of malfunctions in your car can turn out to be a huge nuisance, having a cover that offers emergency car repair services is pretty handy. 

Who Should Buy Roadside Assistance Cover?

The chances of your car breaking down in the middle of the road are always present. But these chances are substantially higher if your car is a few years old. The same applies if you have bought a second-hand car. In short, if your car is susceptible to breakdown more often, you should get a roadside assistance cover add-on with your comprehensive car insurance plan. In addition to that, if you drive on highways and other types of roads and regions where repair shops are not as easily accessible, roadside assistance can come in handy. Emergency car breakdown services are something you would like to have at your disposal when other private services are not something you can rely on. 

The whole reason for emergency roadside assistance cover to exist is to ensure that you, as a policyholder, never have to be left stranded on an unknown road or in a new area. Roadside assistance covers can also be helpful if you do not like to run to a garage every time a small issue presents itself, say a flat tyre or failed battery. Since emergency roadside assistance cover comes with these small benefits included, it is a good idea to have one in your hands. Roadside assistance cover is also very useful for drivers who are not versed with small vehicle repairs such as changing flat tyres, dead batteries, etc. If you are someone who is not familiar with even the smallest car repairs, getting a roadside assistance cover becomes a necessity for you.

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What Should You Look for When Buying Roadside Assistance Cover?

  • Connectivity to the Service Provider: Make sure that connecting to the service provider is easy and swift when you are out buying a roadside assistance cover. You simply need to use the roadside assistance number and call the provider to test this feature. Note the waiting time as well as the problem-solving time while you are at it. Urgency is the word when roadside assistance is concerned. 
  • Service Timings: Most roadside assistance covers come with service periods of 24 hours, seven days a week. Steer clear of covers that offer anything less than 24-hour service. The whole point of buying a roadside assistance cover is to have accessibility to emergency help at all times. Stick to the ones with a 24-hour availability span. 
  • Covered Benefits: Check out the covered benefits under your roadside assistance cover. Apart from your basic emergency assistance, several things such as car unlock facility, tyre replacement, minor repairs for the car, message relays, etc. are included in roadside assistance cover. Check out these services and make sure that you get a plan with as comprehensive of a cover as possible. 
  • Additional Benefits Offered: Some of the best roadside assistance covers offer a few additional services such as making arrangements for replacement transportation options. See if the top options that you have chosen come with any additional benefits. 

Roadside Assistance FAQs

Q1. How are roadside assistance requests carried out by insurance companies?

Ans: Insurance providers establish contracts with one or more roadside assistance agencies. These agencies become your point of contact when you, as a policyholder, require roadside assistance. You simply need to use the helpline number provided by the insurance company as a roadside assistance helpline to get connected to the service provider. Your policy number will be used for verification purposes, and after that, the services will be offered. 

Q2. Which providers offer roadside assistance cover in the UAE?

Ans: Almost all top providers offer roadside assistance cover in the UAE. Most of them include it as a basic benefit in their car insurance plans. Others offer it as an add-on to be taken with comprehensive car insurance plans. 

Q3. Can I buy roadside assistance cover with any kind of car insurance plan?

Ans: No, you can only buy your roadside assistance cover with either a fully comprehensive car insurance plan or own damage cover. Since third-party liability covers do not cover the policyholder’s personal damages, add-ons are not available to be taken with them. In some rare cases, roadside assistance can be a part of the third-party car insurance plan’s basic benefits. But that completely depends on the provider. 

Q4. Is there an upper limit on vehicle age to opt for roadside assistance cover?

Ans: Yes, many health insurance plans set a limit on the maximum vehicle age to get roadside assistance cover. This limit is generally set at around 5 years but can differ for each provider.

Q5. Is roadside assistance cover expensive?

Ans: Roadside assistance cover is one of the few add-ons that can be bought at a nominal fee. The charges of the cover may differ as per the providers, though.

Q6. Do roadside assistance claims impact the no-claim bonus?

Ans: No, fortunately, calling for roadside assistance services covered by your car insurance plan in the UAE will not affect your no-claim bonus. It stays intact without any future repercussions. 

Q7. Is unlocking the car covered by roadside assistance services?

Ans: Yes, most roadside assistance covers offer unlocking cars as a basic service when you have lost the keys or locked them inside the car. 

Q8. Can I get roadside assistance for my two-wheeler as well?

Ans: Yes, roadside assistance cover can be bought for both two-wheelers and four-wheelers if your insurance provider offers it. 

Q9. Is it worth it to buy roadside assistance cover?

Ans: If you have had your car for some time now, roadside assistance cover can turn out to be a lifesaver for you. It will save you towing costs as well as help with small breakdown services like changing the tyre. It is worthwhile to opt for a roadside assistance cover if your car is now old and susceptible to breakdown more often than not.

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