Buying a car
What is roadside assistance and why do you need it?
12 March 2019
A vehicle breakdown is never convenient, which is why it can be handy to have roadside assistance to support you through it. What exactly is roadside assistance, what does it cover you for, and, most importantly, why on earth do you even need it?
This guide aims to help answer all those questions for you, to help you better understand roadside assistance and whether it’s the right product for you.
What is roadside assistance?
Roadside assistance is a service provided in the event of a breakdown. It means that if you need a hand jump starting a flat car battery or changing a tyre, help is just a phone call away. Usually, it can be purchased on its own or as an optional cover on a car insurance policy.
The features of roadside assistance will vary between providers, so it’s useful to compare the different policies available to see what will work best for you. If you already have Suncorp’s Comprehensive Car Insurance, you can add Suncorp Roadside Assist as an Optional cover and it’ll be available to use 48 hours after you do so. It’s as easy as that.
What does roadside assistance cover?
Roadside assistance generally covers common breakdown related issues – in other words anything unexpected that happens because of an accident or mechanical failure. Bear in mind that road assistance coverage is often limited to a fixed amount, depending on the issue, and that you’ll be responsible for paying any costs incurred such as parts or labour.
If you breakdown, roadside assistance will usually provide a towing service for your vehicle. For Suncorp Roadside Assist customers, we’ll tow your broken-down car to a nearby mechanic up to 20km in a metro area, and up to 100km in a regional area. It’s still useful to make sure that if you’re going to be travelling through a remote area, you carry additional equipment and have a basic understanding of vehicle repair to help yourself in the absence of roadside assistance.
If you have a flat type, roadside assistance can help you to either inflate or replace it with your spare. If you don’t have a serviceable spare tyre handy, they’ll be able to tow you to the nearest mechanic (within the distance restrictions mentioned earlier).
Help with batteries
In the event of a flat battery, you’ll receive assistance to restart it or to have it replaced. While we do not cover the cost of the replacement battery, we can arrange for one to be supplied as part of our service.
If your vehicle runs out of fuel, Suncorp’s Roadside Assist team can deliver you with up to $10 in fuel so that you can reach the nearest petrol station. If you drive an LPG fuelled car, we can tow you to the nearest petrol station instead.
If you lock your keys inside your car, or lose them (as long as they haven’t been stolen), a roadside assistance policy will often contribute towards the cost of new keys or of sending a locksmith out to help you. With Suncorp Roadside Assist, that’s up to $150 you can be reimbursed for, either for locksmith services or the cost of having someone bring out your spare keys.
Important questions to ask about your cover
Like any type of insurance, it’s a good idea to research what your roadside assistance options are. You can do that by using policy documents to do a bit of research, looking out for things like:
- If roadside assistance will be available at any time, and how easy it is to make a claim
- Whether it matters who’s driving the car
- If there’s a maximum number of callouts that can be made in a year, and
- If your policy applies Australia-wide.
What to do if you need to call
If you already have roadside assistance, you just need to call your provider’s dedicated phone number whenever you need help. For Suncorp Roadside Assist customers, you can ring 1800 386 505 at any time.
Your safety is the number one priority. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to call for roadside assistance, and it’s safe to do so, stay with your car. When your provider arrives, they need to be able to begin to carry out the work required.
When you make the call, it’s important to let your provider know if your car has broken down in a dangerous location, and whether there could be any risk posed by passing traffic.
By giving you additional protection and support, roadside assistance could be the assurance you need in case something unexpected happens on the road.
Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Information provided is general advice only and has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. Please read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision regarding this product. Suncorp Roadside Assist is provided by Digicall Assist Pty Ltd. For full coverage details, please see the Suncorp Insurance Roadside Assist Terms and Conditions. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. Terms and conditions for coverage apply.