Should You Use the Free Towing That Comes With Insurance?

Insurance expert Bianca Sandoval (@insurancesociety) recently garnered over 38,000 views when she warned viewers to stop using their car insurance’s towing coverage because of the potential ramifications of overuse.

According to Sandoval, using the towing coverage “pre-inflation was not really a big deal,” but “right now, any claim that you turn in is a claim on your record, even if it’s just for towing.”

Instead of adding the coverage to your insurance, Sandoval recommends looking at “something like AAA [membership] because you’re probably going to end up paying about the same cost.”

“I was just quoting someone right now who had like nine towing claims in the last two years, and it’s making her ineligible with a lot of companies because it’s showing as a claim on her record,” Sandoval says. “I’ve seen where people switch auto insurance, use their towing within the first 30 days, and then get a cancellation letter that their insurance will be canceled within the next 90 days.”

What is towing coverage?

Towing coverage, often called roadside assistance, is an additional perk that can be added to your car insurance plan. It typically allows drivers to reach out to a service provider through a dispatch service. According to Forbes, the coverage offers towing for a major breakdown, a tow to a repair shop, help with flat tires, help with a dead battery, and assistance with gas if the car is empty.

To qualify for roadside assistance coverage from an insurance company, drivers need to have collision and comprehensive coverage. Unlike AAA membership, roadside assistance insurance coverage is vehicle-specific and does not travel with the driver from car to car.

While the coverage affects a driver’s premium, an Insurance Advisors of Saint Louis article states that the impact is minimal, “making it an affordable addition to your policy.”

@insurancesociety Did you know that using your towing coverage is a claim on your record? #fyp #autoinsurance #texasautoinsurance ♬ original sound – Bianca Sandoval

Viewers were divided

Some viewers felt it was ridiculous for Sandoval to advise them not to use the roadside assistance that comes with their coverage.

“Aren’t we supposed to put in claims? This defeats the entire purpose of being insured,” one said.

“Yes good idea let’s pay for it but don’t use it lol,” a second agreed.

“Insurance is a racket. Have to keep it but scared to use it,” a third wrote.

“Don’t abuse it?!! Because we plan when our vehicles break down! At this point why are we paying for car insurance,” another replied.

Sandoval further explained her reasoning, writing, “It’s about $1 or $2 per month. Using it once or twice is fine, it’s when you use it several times in policy period that it’s going to negatively affect you. Texas market is brutal right now.”

Other viewers shared their own stories to back up Sandoval’s advice.

“I dropped roadside years ago because of the claims issue. Signed up with AAA and it’s so worth it,” a viewer said.

“American Family dropped us for using our towing. I had no idea it was seen as a claim. No longer will ever have towing in my auto insurance,” another added.

“We called for towing, they didn’t show up … after an hour we my hubby make the car start back up , still counted as a claim smh,” a viewer shared.

The Daily Dot reached out to Sandoval via TikTok comment and AAA via email for more information.

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Parks Kugle

Parks Kugle is a writer and reporter based in San Antonio. His work has appeared in Lumina Literary Journal, Wicked Local Newspapers, and various publications across the U.S. He enjoys comics and gardening.

Parks Kugle

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