Emergency Roadside

Almost everyone experiences a flat tire or a dead battery at some point in their lives. When these situations occur, it can be helpful to have a roadside assistance plan.

Adding roadside assistance coverage is an easy option to consider when purchasing an insurance policy. This type of coverage can cover the costs of services like: battery jump-starts, flat tire changes, fuel delivery and lockout assistance.

Battery Jump-Starts

Getting stranded with a dead car battery is one of the most common and frightening experiences on the road. But with a little prep work and the right equipment, you can save yourself a lot of heartache and anxiety by knowing how to jump-start your own vehicle, or at least ask a friend or stranger for help.

Portable jump starters (also known as emergency battery boosters or jump boxes) are small enough to keep in your trunk, and can provide a surge of power to jump-start almost any vehicle on the road today. They’re also surprisingly inexpensive, starting at around $150. The best portable car jump starters are rechargeable, and will stay charged for months, although they can sometimes require topping up occasionally. They also have USB ports for charging devices, and many have safety features, like overvoltage protection.

To jump-start your vehicle, park a functional vehicle with its battery fully charged nearby (bumper-to-bumper is fine). Locate both vehicles’ batteries, then shut off and remove the keys from both cars. Open the hoods of both cars and locate their battery terminals, which are usually color coded red and black and labeled (+ and -). Affix the red cable clamp from your jump starter to the operative vehicle’s positive battery terminal; attach the black clamp to the dead battery’s negative terminal, but not to its battery itself (you may need to wiggle the cables to find an unpainted metal area to make contact). Then turn on the functional vehicle’s engine for a few minutes, and let the dead car idle until it is powered up.

Flat Tire Changes

While it’s important to know how to change a flat tire (and you can learn in a few easy steps), the reality is that most people don’t have time or energy to deal with the hassle on their own when they’re already late for an appointment or trying to get kids to school. Roadside assistance minimizes that frustration and can make all the difference when you’re stranded with a flat tire.

First, steer your vehicle off the road and into a safe spot to change the tire. Try to find an area that is as level and dry as possible. If your car is on a busy road, put on your hazard lights and consider calling the police to help block traffic while you change the tire.

Next, take the spare tire out of your trunk and place it on the ground in close proximity to the flat one. If you’re changing the tire on a busy road, it may be helpful to use a set of wheel chocks or blocks of wood behind the tire you’re working on to reduce the chance of your car rolling away while you’re raising and lowering the jack.

If you don’t have a spare tire or a jack and are stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire, call your GEICO agent to add Emergency Roadside Services to your policy. For just pennies a day, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that a trusted technician is only a phone call or tap away.

Fuel Delivery

Imagine you’re on a long road trip with your family and friends, when suddenly your car’s fuel tank runs out and there’s no gas station around. This is where emergency fuel delivery comes in handy, as these services can deliver gas to your vehicle right on the road. Depending on the service provider, you can either order the fuel online or over the phone. Some companies also allow you to use their app and provide GPS coordinates of your location so the driver knows exactly where to go.

You’ll usually have to sign up for an account with the provider and give them your contact information, as well as a credit card number for payment. Once your order is placed, the provider will send a fuel tank truck to your location and refill your tank. Then, they’ll mark the delivery as complete on the app and you can make your payment.

Emergency fuel delivery can also be useful for businesses that rely on backup power systems during a disaster. For example, hospitals and nursing homes need access to emergency generator fuel to keep their vital equipment running. Jacobus Energy can provide rapid, on-site refueling to ensure that critical equipment is running when it’s needed most.

Lockout Assistance

Nothing is more frustrating than getting locked out of your car. Whether you were in the middle of an important staff meeting or rushing to get home for family dinner, the loss of your key can throw off any schedule and leave you feeling helpless.

Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the impact of a car lockout on your day-to-day life. To prevent future mishaps, keep a spare key made and stored in a safe place so you can quickly gain access to your vehicle when needed. Additionally, regularly check the condition of your car’s locking system to ensure it functions properly. Lastly, it’s a good idea to keep the contact information for a reliable roadside assistance service like Bronx Towing Express in your phone or wallet in case you find yourself in an emergency situation.

Roadside assistance gives you a single number to call for services like battery jump-starts, flat tire changes, fuel delivery and more. You can purchase stand-alone roadside assistance memberships from companies like AAA, or you may be able to add it to your car insurance for a small yearly fee. Additionally, if you bought your vehicle new or as part of a certified pre-owned program, the automaker may offer free roadside assistance for a few years of ownership. Be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully.