To drive your motorised vehicle on Indian roads, you need to ensure you have an active and valid insurance policy. All vehicle owners are mandated to invest in a third-party limited liability insurance plan under the Motor Vehicle Act of 1988. However, such a policy comes with limited coverage. If you wish to protect your vehicle from natural disasters and human-made incidents, you need comprehensive insurance. Such a plan also enables you to get extensive coverage with the help of add-on riders, one of which is roadside assistance or RSA. Let us understand what is RSA in car insurance and why it is essential.
As the name suggests, roadside assistance is the instant assistance you can get if or when your vehicle breaks down, especially when you least expect it. It is a type of add-on rider that enables you to call your insurance provider for assistance in jumpstarting your vehicle engine, replacing a flat tire, getting you sufficient fuel to reach the nearest petrol bunk, or even towing your vehicle to the nearest garage. Essentially, a roadside assistance cover helps you deal with frustrating situations when your vehicle breaks down or malfunctions and provides relief. Most car insurance providers in India offer roadside assistance as an add-on with comprehensive car insurance policy plans.
The cost of roadside assistance cover in car insurance varies from one insurance provider to another. The basic cost of roadside assistance add-on cover depends on several factors pertaining to the type of vehicle you own and its age. For instance, the premium cost for RSA for sedans, compact cars and hatchback cars is typically lower than that for SUVs, MUVs, and luxury cars. Geographic factors such as the city you reside in, the availability of garages, etc., also affect the cost of the RSA insurance premium.
If your vehicle suffers a sudden breaks down, you do not have to scramble to find help. Instead you should call your car insurance provider and appraise them of your situation. The insurer will then get in touch with the nearest garage in its network, and a garage representative will come to the spot where you are stranded with your car and assist you. The garage mechanic will either repair your vehicle or tow it to the garage based on the type of breakdown. You can also call for assistance to refuel your vehicle up to the nearest petrol bunk, but you have to pay for the cost of fuel. Since you would have already paid a premium for this cover, you would be covered for expenses up to the sums assured under the roadside assistance cover. You have to bear the remaining costs out of your own pockets.
In many cases, you can call the insurer for roadside assistance even if you have not purchased the RSA cover. However, you must be prepared to bear all the costs associated with the conveyance of the garage mechanic and the cost of repairs.
Most insurance providers typically cover you against the following under the roadside assistance cover add-on.
Minor repairs:-Your vehicle could need minor repairs if it suffers a mechanical problem. In such a situation, you can call for roadside assistance.
Battery breakdown:-If your car’s battery runs out, the insurance provider will send a mechanic from a network garage to fix problems with the battery and even provide a jumpstart to the battery, if necessary.
Flat tyre:-A flat tyre or tyre puncture is a common problem that all vehicle owners encounter. You can call your insurer to get help fixing the flat tyre. The insurer will send a mechanic to change the tyre or provide you with a new tyre if required.
Towing services:-If you cannot fix your broken down car on the spot, you can call for towing services. The towing service provider will take your vehicle to the nearest garage for the necessary repairs.
Spare key provision:-If you lose your vehicle's key or get locked out of it, you can call for roadside assistance. The mechanic may use a slim-jim tool or bring along a key maker and provide you with a spare key.
Taxi support:-If you need to reach somewhere immediately after your vehcile breaks down, the insurance provider will also offer a taxi service to get you there. There are stipulations on how far you can go, but that will depend on the insurance provider.
Before getting roadside assistance coverage, you should know that there might be some exclusions and limitations. They will depend on the provider. Some standard exclusions are.
Roadside assistance is the kind of add-on everyone should consider opting for, as it comes to your aid in various unforeseen circumstances. You should especially opt for it if you travel a lot using your car or if you feel you may be ill-equipped to change a flat tyre or manage minor or major vehicle breakdowns on your own. Ideally, you should opt for roadside assistance to always feel protected and safe while on the road. However, there are some factors you could consider before getting roadside assistance cover, including.
Age of your car:-If your vehicle is brand new, you might not need a roadside assistance cover. Roadside assistance might be handier to people with older cars.
Frequency of use:-If you are a regular vehicle user or even use it to travel long distances, it would be best to get the coverage.
Convenience:-If you value convenience in a dire situation, you will benefit from roadside assistance.
How quick can roadside assistance services provide help?
Typically, roadside assistance is swift, and you can get access to services within an hour. Insurers have partnerships with garages all over the country to offer immediate assistance.
How much does roadside assistance cover cost?
The cost will depend on the insurance provider and the type of vehicle you own. Some providers offer roadside assistance with the original policy, while some providers offer it as an add-on.
Can I buy roadside assistance cover in car insurance online?
Yes, you can buy roadside assistance cover online along with car insurance. You can research online about the insurers providing this add-on.
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