A Guide to Motorcycle Roadside Assistance and Towing

A Guide to Motorcycle Roadside Assistance and Towing

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Motorcycle roadside assistance, also known as motorbike roadside assistance, provides coverage for services and minor repairs needed to get your bike back on the road after a malfunction. There are two main options for purchasing motorcycle roadside assistance: You can purchase it directly from your insurance company or as a stand-alone service. Most motorcycle roadside assistance programs are inexpensive, with annual coverage costing less than $20 per year. Another cost factor that motorcycle riders must consider is how a motorcycle roadside assistance claim will impact their motorcycle insurance rates. Some companies track claims and use them when determining motorcycle insurance rates, while others don't.

What Does Motorcycle Roadside Assistance Cover?

Motorcycle roadside assistance provides services and minor mechanical repairs to your motorcycle to make it operable again after a breakdown. It's fairly typical for motorcycle roadside assistance to be available 24/7. The exact coverage available to you will depend on your plan, but most motorcycle roadside assistance plans provide coverage for the following.

Battery Service: In the event that your battery won't start, your motorcycle roadside assistance plan would assist you with a battery jump-start. In this scenario, you would contact your motorcycle roadside assistance plan administrator, and a worker would drive to you to deliver the service. If your battery still won't work after an attempted jump-start, then your motorcycle would be towed to a location of your choice. Typically, your roadside assistance plan will limit the number of miles your motorcycle can be towed.

Flat Tire: Unlike cars, motorcycles typically don't have spare tires affixed to them. Therefore, the flat-tire service within motorcycle roadside assistance covers towing to the nearest mechanic, where your motorcycle's tire will be plugged. If your tire is damaged beyond repair, motorcycle roadside assistance will not cover the cost of a new tire. It will, however, still tow you to the nearest mechanic.

Fluid Delivery: If you find yourself stranded on the road, whether it's because your motorcycle needs additional gasoline or oil, your motorcycle roadside assistance service can deliver these fluids. Typically, you will be responsible for covering the cost of the fluid.

Towing (Motorcycle Towing Insurance): If your bike is inoperable and you need to relocate it, your motorcycle roadside assistance service will cover the cost to tow it, up to a stated distance. This coverage is sometimes referred to as motorcycle towing insurance or motorbike towing. Distance limits vary by motorcycle roadside assistance service provider, so be sure to ask what that stated distance is before purchasing coverage.

Best Motorcycle Roadside Assistance Plans

The best motorcycle roadside assistance plan for you will depend on how you want to get coverage. The most common ways are through a motorcycle insurance company or as a stand-alone service. Regardless of the method you choose, we provide recommendations for some of the best motorcycle roadside assistance programs below.

Geico Motorcycle Roadside Assistance: Best From an Insurance Company

Most roadside assistance plans offered by insurance companies are fairly similar, but what sets Geico's motorcycle roadside assistance apart is the convenience it offers through technology. Instead of calling Geico and having to suffer through call wait times, motorcycle riders have the option to use the Geico mobile app to request roadside assistance. Furthermore, your phone's GPS will relay your location to the service provider, which can be great if you're unfamiliar with the area in which you're stranded.

It's worth noting that getting Geico's motorcycle roadside assistance plan requires you to have collision or comprehensive coverage. Therefore, if you don't have those coverages, we recommend you consider Progressive's motorcycle roadside assistance plan. Progressive's motorcycle roadside assistance plan provides comparable coverage at a slightly higher price point.

AAA Motorcycle Roadside Assistance: Best as Stand-Alone Service

AAA is one of the best-known roadside assistance service providers—and with good reason, as the company offers some of the broadest coverage. AAA's motorcycle roadside assistance plan is perfect for road trips as it provides coverage across the U.S. and Canada. AAA has three tiers of membership, with each providing greater limits and broader coverage than the one before. Even the most basic plan offers discounts on things such as rental vehicles and hotels. Ultimately, this is one of the better roadside assistance plans for those who enjoy using their motorcycles to travel.

How Much Does Roadside Assistance for Motorcycles Cost?

Motorcycle roadside assistance is typically inexpensive. In fact, based on our sample quotes, you can expect to pay less than $20 per year if you opt for coverage through a motorcycle insurance company. While price is typically a point of consideration when choosing between different products, in this case, we would recommend opting for the coverage that better suits your needs, given the small price difference between roadside assistance plans. For instance, if you value using mobile apps to accomplish tasks, consider opting for Geico's motorcycle roadside assistance over others.

Where price plays a bigger factor is when you choose to purchase motorcycle roadside assistance as a stand-alone service, presumably from a company like AAA. In this case, you must consider membership costs. For instance, AAA's motorcycle roadside assistance plan only costs $35 per year, but on top of this, you'll have to pay an AAA membership fee. If you opt for a stand-alone service, be sure the benefits outweigh the membership fees. Keep in mind that there are other ways to get motorcycle roadside assistance, such as through a credit card or through a dealership. However, these programs are more restrictive in the sense that you need a specific kind of motorcycle or credit card.

Does Requesting Motorbike Roadside Assistance Count as a Claim?

Anytime you request coverage from your insurance company, including motorbike roadside assistance, it's considered a claim. However, not all claims increase your motorcycle insurance rates. Some insurance companies track roadside emergency claims, but they would only impact a person's insurance rates if there were multiple claims made. Therefore, we recommend using these services sparingly and only in true emergencies.

It's worth noting that not all companies look at roadside assistance claims when determining rates. If you'd like to avoid the possibility of a rate increase due to the use of a motorcycle roadside assistance plan, another option you have is to opt for a stand-alone service, such as the one offered by AAA.

Joe Resendiz

Joe Resendiz is a former investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs, where he covered public sector and infrastructure financing. During his time on Wall Street, Joe worked closely with the debt capital markets team, which allowed him to gain unique insights into the credit market. Joe is currently a research analyst who covers credit cards and the payments industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in finance.

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