Laura Berry is a former State Farm insurance producer and insurance expert.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products, including home, life, auto, and commercial, and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, mainly in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Oct 19, 2021

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Important facts to know...

  • Roadside assistance commonly covers jumpstarting a dead battery
  • Under limited circumstances, a ruined battery might be covered under mechanical breakdown insurance
  • Drivers should check with an insurance provider to determine the circumstances in which a battery would be covered

Mechanical problems seem to occur all the time. A dead battery, in particular, can be a very common problem drivers face. And when you’re miles from home, it can cause a lot of unnecessary stress if you don’t have any sort of roadside assistance coverage. Though depending on the situation, and why you’re suddenly facing a dead battery, emergency roadside assistance may not be able to help you either. We’ll cover what scenarios including a dead battery would be covered with a roadside assistance policy, so that some of that confusion is dispelled.

In addition to complaints about the inconvenience of a battery potentially not being covered, complaints are going to arise over the costs associated with a dead battery. Would the driver really need to pay anything out-of-pocket, or will an auto insurance policy cover the costs associated with a dead battery? This is where roadside services would come in handy, providing that the circumstances are right.

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Does insurance come with roadside assistance and does that help with jump starts?

Roadside emergency assistance is usually a standard service choice that comes with insurance policies. Roadside assistance helps policyholders with  the following situations:

Upon discovering a battery is dead due to some sort of power drain such as leaving the lights on overnight, a phone call to your insurance provider may lead to a solution – roadside assistance services! The quick dispatching of a tow truck service for a jumpstart could get the vehicle moving once again.

Jumpstarting the car, however, won’t work if the battery is ruined. Batteries do not last forever and will expire due to age. Replacing an expired battery is not something likely to be covered under roadside assistance. It’s important to keep track of when you purchased your battery, and to not exacerbate its end by constantly leaving your lights on or otherwise draining it. Even though roadside coverage isn’t extended to a dead battery, they’ll still help you to an extent.

When a test reveals the battery is completely dead, roadside assistance should at least cover towing your vehicle to a local garage to get a new battery. Keep in mind that with some roadside services, you have to be within a certain amount of miles of the shop you’ve chosen, otherwise you’ll have to pick something closer.

There may be other added benefits based on the particulars of a policy. Is the at-home delivery and installation of a new battery possible? The insured may have to pay for all the costs involved, but receiving a house call is definitely more convenient than dealing with a tow.

Do not automatically assume what roadside assistance will or will not cover. Always check with the insurance provider to determine the full scope of what the provider pays for.

Take that as an endorsement for serious auto insurance comparison shopping. Certain policies could end up being extremely generous with their roadside assistance support. Some even offer 24-hour roadside assistance, which can help if you work overnights or all hours of the morning. Why not seek out the best deal on this service? Sometimes roadside assistance plans cost extra, so asking ahead of time will prevent there from being any surprises on your bill.

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What is mechanical breakdown insurance?

A battery is expected to last a certain number of years. If the battery in a brand-new car dies after six months due to no fault of the owner, the manufacturer’s warranty probably would cover replacement costs.

Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) is an add-on option available to new car purchasers who wish gain the added benefit of further coverage on repair work done on the vehicle.

Mechanical breakdown insurance covers repairs to a vehicle. The term ‘repairs’ can have a broad definition and would possibly include a faulty battery. This type of insurance can be used to extend a warranty or exist side-by-side with a warranty.

What about accident-related damage?

In an accident, the proper and appropriate coverage exists to protect against losses. A driver who makes a fast turn the wrong way up a one-way street could cause a head-on collision. Hopefully, no one will be hurt and the inflicted damage only impacts the engine.

If the battery is somehow damaged, a claim against the at-fault driver’s policy should be filed. His/her auto liability coverage is intended to protect against losses.

If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, then things become very difficult unless the injured party is carrying uninsured motorist protection.

In a no-fault state, carrying property damage coverage may provide a solution depending on how the insurance company rules on the claim.

Those who caused the accident would need collision insurance in place to file a claim for their own vehicle.

Damage to the battery due to unpredictable events such as a collapsing garage, the vehicle being struck by lightning, or someone outright stealing the battery would be covered under comprehensive insurance.

Drivers who want the maximum amount of insurance possible really should out the time and effort into necessary comparison shopping. Otherwise, the resultant policy might end up being lacking in numerous ways.

So what can be done about battery replacement woes?

Filing a claim with an insurance provider is the first step in, hopefully, reaching a settlement. The windows in which an insurance provider will pay for a battery replacement are admittedly narrow since the charges can be so high.

Those wondering about whether or not dead car batteries are covered really should not only keep up with the maintenance of the battery itself, but also check with their provider to see if it would be covered under any sort of roadside assistance coverage they might have. Call your insurance provider today and ask for a clear explanation of the auto policy’s terms regarding battery replacements and circumstances.

Hopefully it’s no longer as confusing regarding what is covered with roadside emergency services, but if it is, your insurer will be able to provide a more in depth answer to what they offer. Since what is covered in emergency roadside service varies from provider to provider, you’ll want to double check what yours has to offer.

Those not thrilled with the answer could always start the process of fielding quotes from other insurance providers for a better deal and more expansive coverage. Because it’s a competitive rate driven market, chances are you’ll be able to find a policy that includes a roadside assistance program for minimal additional cost.

Enter your zip code into our free quote comparison tool below to find the best rate on the car insurance you need.