Mechanical problems on the roads could cause inconvenience and unnecessary stress. With breakdown cover, you gain peace of mind that you will receive assistance in case of a breakdown on the roads at any time in the day. With our comprehensive guide to the various know hows of Breakdown Cover, you will know how to make the right choice while buying a breakdown cover for yourself.
Who requires Breakdown Cover?
Breakdown Cover is recommended for anyone who spends a long time behind the wheel. It may be specifically suited for people who own vehicles which are old, for motorists who drive at odd times of the hour i.e. late nights and early mornings, for social and business travellers and families.
Even the most reliable vehicle can breakdown and there could nothing worse than being stranded on the roads with a broken down vehicle. Following are some of the common reasons for a vehicle to break down.
- Engine and fuel problems
- Flat tyres
- Faulty or flat battery
- Lost keys
- Faulty clutch cables
What are the types of Breakdown Cover?
Standard Breakdown Cover is provided by majority of the companies providing Breakdown Coverage and can be considered the most convenient form of cover. Customers can then select the level of cover they need and accordingly, need to pay a premium to avail the coverage at any time of the year. The customers can opt between a Personal Breakdown Cover and a Vehicle Based Breakdown Cover. The Personal Breakdown Cover covers the passengers irrespective of whichever vehicle they are commuting in, provided it is inclusive in the breakdown policies of the insuring company. The Vehicle Based Cover covers only the nominated vehicle.
What are the various levels of Breakdown Cover?
Breakdown insurers might have their typical structures and definitions of various covers and services which are offered, however can be loosely summed in the below options.
Roadside Assistance – Every breakdown cover includes roadside assistance. If your breakdown happens away from your home (more than a quarter mile, generally), in such cases your breakdown insurer will send someone to try and fix the issue. In case, the vehicle cannot be fixed at the spot, it will be taken to the nearest garage or your residence, whichever is closer to the breakdown spot. The policies include up to an hour of free labour and the cost of replacing parts is generally not included in this.
Vehicle Recovery – The vehicle will be recovered together with the passengers if it cannot be repaired at the roadside. In this clause, there might be a capping limit on the total number of passengers who can be recovered. Certain policies will take the responsibility of towing the car to a local garage while others might transport the vehicle to the garage of the customer’s choice or their home. Again, you must be clearly view the policy details to find what is covered.
Home Assistance – If the vehicle breaks down at home or within the range of less than a quarter of one mile, the policy insurers will cover for home assistance.
Onward Travel – Different breakdown companies might have different levels of Onward Travel Cover. Options could include alternative transportation or car hire to the selected destination or your insurer might also provide accommodation while the vehicle is being repaired.
European Cover – This clause could feature as either as an add-on feature or a stand alone policy. If you frequently travel all around Europe, then this should be your ideal choice. Breaking down in the continent out of UK, can be a costly and stressful affair. With this cover, the breakdown recovery process can be quicker and you are expected to deal with English speaking representatives.
Your travelling patterns, circumstances, your vehicle’s age and the average mileage will largely depend on what level of policy you require. If your vehicle in new, you could do with a basic cover however if your vehicle is getting older, an insurance with a higher cover level is imperative.
What are the general exclusions of Breakdown Cover?
It is imperative that you read the terms and conditions of Breakdown Cover to understand the appropriate level of cover you will get and to understand the various inclusions and exclusions. Some general limitations in the policy include:
- Weight on the vehicle
- The number of call outs and claims in a policy’s duration
- Human errors such as breakdown due to running out of fuel, lost keys and lights left on
- The inception of the coverage period from the time of purchase of cover
- Recovery following an accident
Fetching a breakdown cover together with your car insurance could be a wise decision and purchasing a separate cover might be an expensive affair. Ensure that you do your research before zeroing in on a Breakdown Cover suited to your needs.