Does Car Insurance Cover Towing - Ask an Expert

(If someone else has to give your car a ride, will your insurance cover it?)

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When is having my car towed covered by my car insurance?
How is towing covered by my car insurance?
How much of the cost to tow my car is covered by my car insurance?
How much do I have to pay if my insurance does not entirely cover being towed?
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When is having my car towed covered by my car insurance?

The other day I saw a car being towed while I was driving. It got me thinking, when will my car insurance cover having my car towed and when am I responsible for it myself? 

Getting a car towed is not cheap, so it's great to know whether your insurance is set up to cover your car being towed. Essentially, there are two times when your insurance will cover your car being towed.

The first is if you've purchased towing coverage in your policy. When you set up your insurance policy, the insurance agent should ask you if you want to add towing insurance. In many insurance policies, it's already included as an add-on unless you say you don't want it. If you have towing coverage, then your insurance will cover your tow, up to a certain amount, which is the limit you choose on your tow coverage.

The second is if you're in an accident and your car is not drivable. When this happens, your insurance company will pay to have our car towed to a safe location vs. leaving it broken down in the street. For this scenario, it doesn't matter whether you have towing coverage, it's included in your general insurance.

How is towing covered by my car insurance? 

My car broke down while I was driving home from work. I wasn't in an accident but I needed to get it towed. It got me wondering how towing is covered by my car insurance?

Having your car towed is covered through your towing coverage. If you have this coverage and your car breaks down, you can call your insurance company and they'll send out a tow truck that is on their approved list of towing vendors to pick up your car. Once the company arrives, you'll have to sign some paperwork, then they'll pick up your car and tow it to their facility. On most occasions you'll pay for the tow yourself and then get reimbursed by your insurance company. You'll then work with your insurance company to get your car fixed and drivable again.

An important thing to note is that towing coverage does not work like most insurance, where there is a deductible. When you purchase towing coverage you pay for a maximum limit that your policy will spend on towing a car. 

How much of the cost to tow my car is covered by my car insurance? 

I went to start my car after a long day of skiing and my engine wouldn't start. After trying to jump the engine and having no luck, I called my insurance company  and got the car towed back to near my home.  I had no choice but to get it towed, but I'm wondering how much of the tow will be covered by my insurance? 

When you purchase towing coverage you're provided with a limit that your insurance will pay towards a tow. This could be a certain mileage or cash amount. This means that your insurance will cover the cost to tow your car up to that limit. Your insurance policy may cover you for up to 50 miles of tow, or up to $500. 

It's best to understand what your tow limit is. Then should you ever get yourself in a situation where you need a tow, you won't be surprised by the potential cost. 

Earlier I mentioned that your insurance company will tow your car if you're in an accident and your car is not drivable. Should you get in a collision with another car or object, your insurance will cover the total price of the tow as part of your collision insurance.

How much do I have to pay if my insurance does not entirely cover being towed? 

My insurance tow coverage pays for my car to be towed within 50 miles of my home. However, my car broke down 75 miles away from my house, so how much will I have to pay for the tow? 

If your car gets towed beyond your tow coverage limit, or if you don't have towing coverage, you'll have to pay the remaining miles (or full miles) towed out of pocket. Being towed is not cheap. Most towing companies will charge between $50 to $125 for a five- or ten-mile local tow. If you're doing a long-distance tow, those numbers change to $2 to $4 per mile with a hook-up fee, usually around $75. With that said, if your car gets towed 75 miles and your insurance only covers 50 miles, you'll be responsible for paying the company's rates for the additional 25 miles. 

If basic car insurance does not cover being towed, what will?  

I just learned that my basic insurance policy does not cover being towed. I plan on doing a lot of driving over the next six months and want to make sure I'm covered. What will cover my car being towed if I break down? 

The easiest solution is adding towing coverage to your policy. This coverage only costs a couple of extra dollars per month and is worth it if your car breaks down.  If you're interested in adding towing coverage to your policy, reach out to your independent insurance agent and they can help make sure you have the proper coverage.

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