Progressive Roadside Assistance: All you Need to Know

Honest Policy

Honest Policy

Questions:

Key Takeaways:

  • Progressive roadside assistance is a good value for the price.
  • Roadside assistance coverage costs $16-23 annually.
  • Progressive roadside assistance covers the four most common reasons drivers need emergency services: flat tires, dead batteries, keys locked inside the car, and mechanical failure.

In the 1997 film Breakdown, characters Jeff and Amy Taylor end up fighting for their lives after their Jeep stops running on a deserted road. If it were a real-life story, that would have been the ideal time for the Taylors to use their Progressive roadside assistance coverage. A local technician would have quickly diagnosed the Jeep’s loose battery cables and had the Taylors on their way — no drama required.  

What is roadside assistance?

Roadside assistance is auto insurance that pays for services to help drivers after their cars break down. It’s sometimes called breakdown and towing coverage or breakdown services, but this isn’t the same thing as mechanical breakdown insurance. Standard services in a roadside assistance program include tire changes and short-distance towing, along with support to get you back on the road when you lock the keys in your car, your battery dies, or you run out of gas.

Some new car warranties have limited roadside services built-in. You can also purchase more robust roadside assistance packages from specialized providers like the American Automobile Association (AAA) and Urgent.ly. Many car owners prefer to buy roadside assistance coverage from their auto carrier, as a low-cost add-on to their auto policy. Progressive, Farmers, State Farm, Geico, and other carriers offer this type of coverage.  

What does Progressive roadside assistance include?

Progressive roadside assistance pays for towing, winching, battery jumpstarts, fuel delivery, lockout services, and tire changes. See the table below for an explanation of when you might need each of these services and what you can expect.

Progressive Roadside Assistance Protections

wdt_ID Incident Roadside Service you Need How it Works

Most people get Progressive roadside assistance for their vehicle, but you can also get roadside assistance coverage for your motorcycle, boat, or RV.

progressive roadside assistance
Progressives’ overview of roadside services

What is not included in Progressive roadside assistance?

Progressive offers a standard level of emergency services for drivers, but there are exceptions. These are shown in the table below. First, each policy has limits on how many roadside assistance calls you can make every six months. More importantly, you cannot access any of these services unless you’re driving a car that’s listed on your policy. That means you’re not covered when you rent a car or borrow a friend’s car.

wdt_ID Exceptions Rules

How do I get Progressive roadside assistance?        

Progressive offers its roadside assistance as an add-on to its standard auto coverages — meaning you can only get Progressive roadside assistance when you have Progressive auto insurance. In some states, you can only opt into roadside assistance when you already have Progressive comprehensive and collision.

  • If you already have Progressive auto insurance, call an agent at (800) 776-4737 or use Progressive’s online chat feature to add roadside assistance to your policy.

How does Progressive roadside assistance compare to other options?

Compared to roadside assistance programs offered by other auto carriers, Progressive’s package is fairly standard in cost and included services. Relative to specialized providers AAA and Urgent.ly, Progressive’s program is less expensive but also has fewer services.  

wdt_ID Service Progressive Farmers State Farm Geico AAA Plus Urgent.ly

How much does Progressive roadside assistance cost?

Progressive roadside assistance usually costs less than $12 every six months.

How do I use roadside assistance from Progressive?

When you need to use your roadside assistance coverage, call 800-776-2778. This line is staffed around the clock. The dispatcher will document your issue and send out a qualified technician to provide any covered services free of charge. You could also call a service provider directly. In that case, you’d pay for the services yourself and submit your receipts to Progressive for reimbursement.

The four most common reasons drivers need roadside assistance are flat tires, dead batteries, keys locked inside the car, and mechanical failure[7]. Here’s how Progressive roadside assistance handles each.

Flat tire

If you have Progressive roadside assistance and you blow out a tire, your first step is to verify that you have a viable spare. Without a spare, you can’t get a tire change. Your vehicle would have to be delivered to the nearest repair facility on a flatbed truck. Alternatively, you can call around local repair shops and see if they’ll bring you a replacement tire and help you change it. If you go that route, you’ll pay the repair shop directly, and then submit your receipts to Progressive for reimbursement. Your coverage won’t pay for the tire, but you should get reimbursed for the tire change.

If you have a spare, call Progressive at 800-776-2778. They’ll dispatch a technician. Once the technician arrives and completes the job, you’ll sign for services received and be on your way.

Dead battery

You accidentally leave your lights on and your car battery dies. If you have Progressive roadside assistance, you can call 800-776-2778 for a free jumpstart — even if your car is stuck in your driveway. A technician will arrive and attempt to start your car. If the battery is not rechargeable, the technician can tow your car to the nearest repair shop.

Keys locked inside

It happens to the best of us. You pull the door handle, realize it’s locked, and then see your keys inside. Hopefully you didn’t leave your phone in the car, too. Call Progressive roadside dispatching at 800-776-2778 and an agent will send a local technician out to help. The technician will attempt to gain entry into the car safely, so you can get back on the road.

Mechanical failure

Your car sputters, coughs, and then shuts off. You manage to navigate safely to the right shoulder. As far as you know, there’s still gas in the tank. Contact Progressive roadside assistance at 800-776-2778 and explain what happened. A local mechanic will be dispatched to you. He or she will troubleshoot and implement any fixes that can be done within an hour. Hopefully, the problem is as simple as a loose battery cable. If it’s something more serious, or an issue that requires parts, the mechanic can tow your car to the nearest repair facility.

FAQ Progressive roadside assistance

How long do I have to wait for Progressive to send a roadside technician?

Timing varies based on where you are and how many service providers are in the vicinity. You’ll generally wait 45 minutes or more.

Do I have to pay out-of-pocket for roadside services?

You do not have to pay out-of-pocket for covered services, as long as you use Progressive’s dispatching line (800-776-2778) to arrange for services. If you call a service provider directly, you will pay for those services directly and then send your receipts to Progressive for reimbursement.

Can I get reimbursed if I pay for covered services myself?

Yes. You can submit your receipt to Progressive here for partial reimbursement. You can also mail your documentation to:

Progressive Reimbursements

PO Box 9147

Medford, MA 02155

Is Progressive roadside assistance right for me?

Progressive roadside assistance is the right choice when all of the following are true:

  1. You already have Progressive auto insurance.
  2. You’re not currently covered by another roadside assistance package, say through your auto warranty or dealership service program.
  3. Desire to keep your costs low.
  4. You don’t expect to need more robust services like trip interruption coverage.

Progressive roadside assistance: good value

Progressive’s roadside assistance program offers peace of mind at a fairly affordable price point. One important point to note is that you can only access your covered services via phone. If you have a road trip on the calendar, check the coverage maps for your cell phone provider. If necessary, change your route or buy a prepaid phone that’ll give you the coverage you need. You don’t want to end up breaking down in the middle of nowhere, without a way to contact a Progressive dispatcher — suspense films tell us that’s a very bad idea.

Sources

[1] 24/7 roadside assistance. (n.d.). Retrieved May 27, 2020, from https://www.progressive.com/claims/roadside-assistance/

[2] Get towing and roadside assistance: Farmers Insurance. (n.d.). Retrieved May 27, 2020, from https://www.farmers.com/claims/roadside-assistance/

[3] The benefits of emergency road service coverage – State Farm®. (2020, May 26). Retrieved May 28, 2020, from https://www.statefarm.com/insurance/auto/coverage-options/emergency-road-service-coverage

[4] GEICO roadside assistance review and cost. (2020, April 27). Retrieved May 28, 2020, from https://www.cheapfullcoverageautoinsurance.com/geico-roadside-assistance-review-cost/

[5] Compare membership levels. (n.d.). Retrieved May 28, 2020, from https://www.aaa.com/aaa/066/web/compare-membership-levels.html

[6] Terms and conditions: Urgent.ly membership. (n.d.). Retrieved May 27, 2020, from https://membership.geturgently.com/terms-conditions

[7] Tyler, T. (2016, October 12). The top four reasons for roadside breakdowns and what to do about them. Retrieved May 28, 2020, from https://www.verizonconnect.com/resources/article/the-top-four-reasons-for-roadside-breakdowns-and-what-to-do-about-them/

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