Allstate Roadside Assistance Membership for Free?

by Sandra

This morning on my way home from dropping my kids off at school, I heard a radio commercial about Allstate Insurance Company offering free lifetime roadside assistance membership. Just call 1-800-Allstate or contact a local Allstate agent. This offer is free to everyone, including people who do not have one single insurance policy with Allstate. (I looked it up: apparently this started in early October 2011.) Wow.

This is a great offer. I mean, I love free stuff as much as anyone else I know. One that can help me out when I am stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire would be simply wonderful.

But wait: I already have automobile insurance through Allstate. It is coverage that I pay for. My policy includes towing coverage and roadside assistance also. Allstate ain’t cheap either. So should I cancel those coverages; take them off my policy and sign up for the free roadside assistance?

That sounds like a good idea. This free coverage will help with towing, flat tires, or dead batteries, or even if a person locks their keys inside their car. I am sure that it will sound like a good idea to a lot of people. Again, I love free stuff.

But what happens when people sign up for this free roadside assistance and then start calling the claims in? Allstate, my insurance company, is going to need to have the money to pay those claims. The company is also going to need to have employees to handle these claims and issue payment. I am sure that they will not be very time-consuming claims to handle, but nevertheless they will need at least some attention.

So how is this going to be paid for? Are my insurance rates going to go up so that Allstate can fund this “free” program? (It is actually not completely free since users of the service will need to pay a deductible or co-pay each time they actually use the service.)

Of course Allstate isn’t only doing this to be nice. There is something in it for the company: it is good press and will most likely generate an awful lot of new sales leads. It is a pretty smart thing for Allstate to do. In an era where people are really struggling to make ends meet, this is a nice gesture. Just please, Allstate, do not make it come back on your current policy holders; we are struggling too.

This article is approved for informational purposes and is not intended to take the place of competent local legal counsel.

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Jan 29, 2012
Did You Know???
by: Paul Brown

Using an insurance company’s roadside assistance or towing benefits too often could affect your rates (and not in a nice way) or even your eligibility for coverage. Some auto insurers consider your calls for roadside assistance to be negatives, just like accident claims. State Farm, the nation’s largest insurer, says the use of roadside assistance is a very small factor in calculating rates or considering a driver’s insurability. Some insurers report roadside assistance calls made under their policies to ChoicePoint, an Alpharetta, Ga., company that compiles claims information for the insurance industry. Nationwide Insurance and Geico say they report the information but don’t use it in their policy decisions. Allstate says it doesn’t report usage by members of the Allstate Motor Club, but it does report towing claims made under its insurance policies.

Paul Brown, EZ Lockout & Roadside Service, San Antonio, Texas

Website manager note: Paul, this is good information that our readers will benefit from knowing. Thanks for visiting our site and sharing your knowledge.

Dec 29, 2011
Nice, but read the fine print
by: Anonymous

What you are getting is a number to call and a pre-negotiated rate, not free towing. The ad I saw clearly stated it was pay-per-use. That being said, I am still planning on signing up!

Website manager note: Thank you for sharing this information with us (and our readers). Still, pay-per-use does seem to be a better deal than paying for a service whether you use it or not.

Nov 25, 2011
I love free Allstate
by: Daniel

I called in to get free Allstate roadside assistance after reading your article. Actually, I am on the phone with an Allstate guy now. I am getting the 'hard sell' but I already have an insurance company that I am happy with. But really, how can you pass up a free policy? Now I can cancel the roadside assistance coverage that I have with Nationwide and save a couple of bucks. There is no reason not to call. It doesn't even take 15 minutes!

Website manager note: This comment is approved for informational purposes only. This website does not endorse or recommend any insurance company over another.

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