AAA insurance is something that a number of people have and love, and another set of people feel is a complete waste of time. The debate is ongoing and completely endless, and it’s one that doesn’t appear to have an end in sight. It made us wonder; is the membership really worth the price you pay to join? Are the benefits worth it? Is AAA a waste of time now that most people have vehicles with their own roadside assistance programs, such as OnStar and BMW Assist? The questions are countless, but the answers are going to give you an idea whether or not you can actually benefit from a AAA insurance membership.
We’ve broken down the biggest benefits of AAA and compared them to the benefits offered by other vehicle protection services so that we can see if it’s worth it to have this insurance or if it’s worth it to simply forgo the service completely. If you’re considering AAA, you’ll want to take the time to sit back and review this information, as its comprehensive nature is going to help you make and educated and informed decision.
There are a variety of different AAA insurance membership levels available to drivers. Each one comes with a different price point (and price points vary greatly based on location throughout the country) and each one has more benefits and services than the last. While each one has different levels of protection, each level of membership does offer a basic service in terms of roadside assistance. Roadside assistance is 24 hours, 7 days a week. Drivers with AAA will receive service in terms of being locked out of their vehicles, breaking down, towing, jump starting batteries, changing tires and even bringing fuel for vehicles that run out of gas. It’s a simple service that does much to ease the minds of drivers.
Each membership is designed to benefit specific people on specific missions, even specific age groups. The choice of membership level depends entirely on your budget and your needs. Additionally, it’s important to note that most services, other than basic services such as a tire change or jump start, do come with a fee. For example, you can select a membership that will allow you to have additional protection up to a certain dollar amount for instances in which you need your vehicle unlocked if the keys are locked inside.
Aside from having benefits such as free roadside assistance on basic needs such as tire changes and jump starts, AAA members do receive special benefits. This includes discounts on things such a hotel rooms and rental cars. This can be a big benefit to people who enjoy travel and want to have a discount on things they buy the most. Additionally, there company does offer discounts in various places on things such as tickets and even on apparel in certain stores. You simply need to look for the AAA discount sign when you shop to see if select stores offer discounts.
The cost of a AAA insurance membership varies. Some plans are as low as $49.99 a year and some plans are several hundred dollars per year depending on what you choose and what you need from your service. The plans are inexpensive if you use them often, but can be quite pricey if you pay for them and never use them. The cost of your plan is going to depend entirely on where you live, what you need and what you require when you use the service.
What most people fail to realize is that a lot of what AAA has to offer is already offered by their vehicle manufacturer and even their insurance companies. This is, however, not true of all vehicles. GM vehicles, for example, are equipped with OnStar, which offers drivers several months of free service in addition to low monthly prices for very beneficial services. OnStar is already installed in your car so you simply push a button and the service caller knows who you are, can send directions to your vehicle navigation, can run a diagnostics test for you, can answer your questions and even recommend places along your route where you can stop for food or lodging.
OnStar also comes with free roadside assistance, towing and other features. They can unlock your car remotely with the push of a button simply by calling the company and providing your PIN. You don’t even need to wait for anyone to come unlock your car manually on your behalf. Depending on the kind of service you want and require, you can pay a small monthly fee that offers this service to you – and a AAA insurance membership is not needed. And while OnStar is just for GM vehicles, other companies have their own programs such as BMW Assist, for example.
Additionally, your vehicle insurance company very likely offers you a few options that will make your life easier, and they’re included in the price of your insurance. For example, many car insurance companies offer free towing services for a certain number of miles. Others offer free rental cars, free unlocking assistance and free roadside assistance.
Is it Worth It?
The question is not one we can answer for you. We can tell you this; if you have a service such as OnStar, you probably do not need to have a AAA membership. However, if you like hotel discounts and ticket discounts, you might want AAA because OnStar does not offer that. However, you should consider precisely how much those 10-15% savings will add up over the course of a year before you pay hundreds of dollars so you can save a total of $50 throughout the year.
You have to consider your own personal needs, your own personal use and your budget to determine whether or not AAA is worth it to you in terms of the fees and the service provided. We encourage you to check with your insurance policy to see what services are offered, to check with your vehicle manufacturer to see what services are offered and to see what is the most cost-effective choice for your family.
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