In our busy lives we spend a great deal of time in our cars, travelling from one place to another and most of what we buy has been delivered at least part of the way by road.
That may be all well and good whilst the wheels are turning as they should – in the event of a breakdown, however, things come to a grinding halt. This may lead to ruined holidays, critical delays to deliveries, and stranded motorists by the roadside.
Breakdown cover is insurance designed to help minimise those hardships and financial losses by ensuring that you receive the help you need either to continue along your way, get taken to your intended destination, or are offered alternative transport or a room for the night. Here is our breakdown cover guide to help you cut through the jargon.
Who might this product be suitable for?
A breakdown might affect practically any motorist – not only those behind the wheel of the older or more obviously unreliable vehicle.
A breakdown might affect:
an individual’s ability to travel about their daily work, to get from one appointment to another, to drive from one business meeting to another, or simply to get to work in the morning and back at the end of the day;
once away from work, the same individual may have a round of family and social engagements, with many people depending upon his travelling safely and without incident;
holidays in particular may depend on the car transporting the driver and his family to the airport, ferry or any number of destinations in this country;
for local courier and van delivery services, of course, the entire business depends on a prompt attention to any breakdown so as to get under way once again as soon as possible; and
similar concerns are likely to be echoed by haulage contractors and the operators of other heavy goods vehicles.
For these and many other potential users, breakdown cover may be the saving grace, with assistance successfully provided at the roadside or at the very least onward transportation to a chosen destination.
What does it typically cover?
Gone are the days when just a couple of motoring organisations – such as the AA and the RAC – were the only providers of roadside assistance in the event of a breakdown. Both organisations continue to offer their services, of course, but they have been joined by many other outfits, too.
The increase in the number of providers and an increase in the nature and scope of the assistance offered means that your breakdown insurance may cover just about whatever you want or need it to cover.
Key to any such insurance is typically the provision of roadside assistance and, if this proves unsuccessful, recovery of the vehicle and its transport to local repairers.
In addition to round the clock provision of breakdown assistance, the cover is also likely to include onward transportation of the driver and any passengers to their chosen destination within the UK.
Additional services might include assistance being provided even when the vehicle is stranded at home and the provision of a hire car, public transport or overnight accommodation if it has not been possible to make roadside repairs.
It is also possible to arrange breakdown cover that extends to journeys you are making beyond the UK into continental Europe.
Is there anything I need to know?
Given the range of different providers and the choice and level of cover available, your questions are likely to relate to the detail of the breakdown assistance offered in any particular case – it is important to read and understand the fine print, in other words.
some levels of cover offer roadside assistance only – so if your vehicle breaks down at home, it may not be covered;
do you want the car covered or the driver?
what are the typical waiting times in the event of a call-out?
Breakdown cover may help to keep the wheels turning on your private motor car or a vehicle being used for your business – keeping those wheels turning might help you avoid the worst of the problems of being left stranded by the roadside.