Breakdown Cover explained

For anyone wishing to have cover on the road in case of car malfunction, insurance breakdown cover is the solution. In general, most policies provide rescue and recovery at the roadside as standard, but there are additional add-ons for certain circumstances.

Should I Use Breakdown Cover?

Circumstance will dictate which policy is best and most cost-effective. Those who use their vehicle regularly, such as for work, will see breakdown cover as a sound investment. Breakdown cover might also be ideal for owners of cars with high mileage, as well as those who drive through rural areas.

The Two General Types of Breakdown Cover

Breakdown policies are categorised into two types of cover: standard and pay and claim.

  • Standard
  • For a convenient policy, standard cover is the one to choose and is the common option. Simply put, you pay the annual cost of your standard breakdown insurance, and the services provided are at no extra cost such as call-outs.

    There are two types of standard cover: personal insurance and vehicle insurance. For personal insurance, you will be covered as a passenger and any car you are in that breaks down will be covered. Vehicle insurance covers a particular car or set of cars.

  • Pay and Claim
  • While standard cover offers convenience, pay and claim is cheaper but more of a hassle. Both types of cover usually require annual upfront payments, but pay and claim differs on two fronts.

    The companies that offer pay and claim services will outsource their recovery services to local companies. As well as this, if a person finds they have to call out a recovery vehicle, they will have to pay for the service upfront and reclaim later.

    Deciding on which type of policy will come down to circumstance and personal preference. Aside from the differences mentioned, both policies are the same in most other respects.

    The Levels of Cover

    Of course, as well as the basic options, you may want to include additional levels of cover to suit your circumstances.

    Assistance at the Roadside

    Roadside assistance is a standard feature of breakdown policies. Within a stated area, you will be provided with assistance when your car breaks down on the road. A recovery vehicle will be sent out to fix the problem, but the length of free time a worker can provide will be detailed on your policy.

    Recovering a Vehicle

    For a situation where repairing a car isnt possible, the car will be recovered as well as a limited number of passengers (check your policy). Where your car can be towed to will depend on your policy. Some go to local companies while others can transport your car to your home.

    Home Repairs

    If you would like cover for repairs at home, most companies will offer this as an additional type of cover.

    Hire Cars

    For backup transport solutions, known generally as onward travel, your breakdown company may be able to provide it, whether as a hire car service or another form of transport. Accommodation may also be an option.

    Cover Abroad

    Its particularly important to have breakdown cover abroad as its far more of a hassle to source a repair company, not to mention costly. You will most likely be met by recovery personnel who can speak English with cover for foreign travel, limiting the stress and difficulty of a breakdown abroad.

    Deciding on the Appropriate Level of Cover

    Choosing the right additional levels of cover can help a great deal for certain circumstances, such as a car prone to breakdowns and rural travel. Certain levels of breakdown cover can also be especially useful for those that rely on their car for work.

    Terms and Conditions

    As there are a range of policies out there with varying stipulations and conditions, its important to check your own to make sure you have the appropriate cover. Limitations such as whether human error affects your cover, how many call-outs you are allowed and whether you have wheel change coverage can catch you out as they are often small-print details.

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