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Roadside Assistance or Towing Reimbursement? Know The Difference.

When looking around for auto insurance there are numerous coverage options for you to choose. One commonly selected coverage is towing and labor. However, before you purchase an auto insurance policy, you should validate what the insurance carrier will cover—roadside assistance or towing reimbursement?

These two options may seem similar, but in the event of a vehicle breakdown or towing scenario there is a big difference.

Towing With Roadside Assistance

Each insurance carrier will have specific definitions for towing with roadside assistance. In our example  we will use definitions from Progressive Insurance:

Roadside Assistance provides coverage if the insured’s car is disabled due to a covered emergency and is available 24/7 in the United States and Canada.

  • Towing Covered vehicle can be towed within a 15-mile radius, or to the nearest qualified repair facility.
  • Winching Service Pulling a covered vehicle out of an area with a motor-powered cable or chain. Usually offered when a vehicle is trapped in mud, snow, water, or sand within 100 feet of road or highway.
  • Battery Jump-Start Battery failure
  • Fuel Delivery Fuel delivered directly to the covered vehicle. The insured is responsible for the cost of fuel.
  • Locksmith Service Keys are lost, stolen or accidentally locked inside the covered vehicle, we will dispatch a qualified service provider. The insured is responsible for the cost to replace the keys.
  • Flat Tire Change
  • On Scene Labor Related to disablement, up to one hour.


On your Progressive auto insurance ID card there is a contact number for roadside assistance. Progressive, through their partnered towing services, can have someone dispatched to your vehicle’s location.

You may also have a company of your choosing perform the tow. Simply keep a copy of the receipt and it can be sent in for reimbursement, up to the limits on the policy.

Towing Reimbursement

Towing is covered but only on a reimbursement basis. Meaning you will need to have your vehicle towed and have a copy of the receipt sent in to your insurance provider for reimbursement.

Know Your Options

When looking at the above options it’s clear which one offers a more comprehensive coverage. But note that not all insurance carriers offer towing with roadside assistance. It’s a good idea to double check with your insurance provider to make sure you know what your policy covers before an incident occurs.

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