Flat tires and smoke billowing from popped hoods will soon be no match for Alfa’s auto customers, thanks to a new Roadside Assistance Program launching later this month.
The program, available to customers in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi, replaces the company’s current Emergency Roadside Services (ERS) coverage option effective March 21. Policyholders who don’t currently pay for ERS can add the new Roadside Assistance coverage upon renewal or at any time during the policy period by contacting a local service center.
Meanwhile, policyholders who currently have ERS on their plans will continue to be covered 24/7 for towing; mechanical assistance and delivery of gasoline or oil; battery jumps and tire changes. However, the new program features increased coverage limits per disablement, locksmith services and the benefits of a new technology — Agero Roadside Connect.
“Alfa continues to seek ways we can implement technology to benefit policyholders and streamline otherwise tedious processes,” Senior Vice President of P&C Underwriting Tommy Coshatt said. “With the new Roadside Connect feature, policyholders requiring a tow will be notified via text to their smartphones when the service vehicle is nearby. Being stuck on the side of the road is stressful enough; this feature will help alleviate worry by notifying you when help will arrive.”
Policyholders can also enjoy the new sign-and-drive feature, eliminating out-of-pocket expenses up to $100 for services rendered. Collectively, the new features are a bargain.
“We’re pleased to offer this new benefit for policyholders at a minimal charge,” Coshatt said. “Policyholders who currently have ERS will notice a premium increase of about $1 every six months for that vehicle.”
Coshatt said the additional $1 per enrolled vehicle isn’t much, especially when considering the out-of-pocket costs for roadside services. In central Alabama, for example, an average five-mile tow costs roughly $65. Customers enrolled in Alfa’s Roadside Assistance Program won’t have to worry with those fees.
“Most drivers don’t anticipate breaking down or needing help with other disablements when they get in the car each day,” he explained. “But, as with life, that’s generally when things happen — when you least expect it. With Alfa’s Roadside Assistance plan, we’ll be able to get you back on the road in no time.”
If roadside services are needed on covered vehicles, Alfa policyholders may call the Customer Resource Center at 800-964-2532, Prompt 2 for Claims, then Prompt 2 for Roadside Assistance.
While not all disablements can be prevented, Vice President of Communications for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Tony Molla said investing in vehicle maintenance can significantly reduce drivers’ need for roadside services.
“It’s tempting to avoid routine car maintenance in tough economic times, but that’s not a financially sound method to manage the big investment you’ve made in your vehicle,” Molla said. “Surveys of our certified technicians show that a well-maintained vehicle lasts longer, retains more of its resale value, pollutes less, and gets better gas mileage than one that’s been neglected — to say nothing of being safer to operate.”
According to ASE findings, neglect causes components to wear out faster, resulting in expensive repairs or roadside woes.
“With today’s consumers watching their finances carefully, it’s no surprise that the average age of vehicles in the United States is more than 11 years old,” Molla added. “With motorists holding on to their vehicles longer than ever before, maintenance takes an even greater importance in keeping roads and people safe. Since spring is one of the prime times for auto maintenance, some preparation today will help ensure summer driving plans go as smoothly as you envision them now.”
View a list of common springtime maintenance tips online at tinyurl.com/AutoCareTips. To learn more about Alfa’s Roadside Assistance Program, contact a local agent.