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If you’ve ever told your friends about the time you had to call Paule Towing in Belleville, IL to get your car out of a ditch, they probably had plenty of questions, including whether or not your insurance covered the emergency roadside assistance. Though it is common knowledge that insurance companies often do cover tow truck fees, not everyone knows how to actually file an insurance claim to cover tow truck costs. Follow this guide so you know what to expect when working with insurance and a towing company.

Plan Ahead

From the beginning when deciding upon insurance, one of the many questions you should ask the company is about their policy for tow truck reimbursement. This way, you know exactly what to expect and what to do next in a stuck-car situation. Different insurance companies offer different plans for coverage, so pay attention to how one company might differ from another. If you already have an insurance provider, it is worth giving them a call BEFORE you are stuck in a roadside emergency; this will save you time and stress during an already stressful enough incident.

Make the Call

If you find yourself stranded roadside needing a tow truck, once you’re in a position to safely make a phone call, call your insurance company! Usually an insurance company has a go-to tow truck company they work with. If all goes as planned, this approach could save you an out-of-pocket expense altogether. Additionally, they’ll tell you how much insurance will cover of the towing fee. Otherwise, if you call a tow company before insurance, you’ll likely have to pay the fee upfront and make a claim for a reimbursement after the fact. This approach can take weeks to receive reimbursement, but makes for a faster solution when stranded on the side of the road.

Towing and Recovery: Work With Someone You Trust

It’s important when choosing a tow truck company to stick with reputable, professional companies like Paule Towing Services & Flat Tire Repair in Belleville, IL. By choosing a company that you can trust, you can rest easy knowing your car is in good hands, going where you want it to. If a tow truck shows up that you didn’t call, don’t trust it. Tow trucks charge by the mile and are unlikely to “just show up” unsolicited. If a tow truck will only take your vehicle to one destination, just say no! A quality tow service should be capable of towing your car to wherever you choose (within reason). Lastly, a trusted tow company should offer a clear, easy to understand rate. Be on the lookout for companies quoting mysterious “added fees”; a tow should be a cut and dry transaction with clearly stated costs associated with the pick up and delivery of your vehicle.

Document Everything

As soon as you get a receipt from the tow company, make sure to scan or save a picture of it for insurance purposes. Take a picture of where your car is stuck, and how it ended up there (car accident, flat tire, etc.) Depending on whether it is covered by collision insurance or comprehensive insurance, the amount paid for the tow truck is sometimes taken out of the deductible for repairs (like a tire repair) of the vehicle. In other cases, the repair shop itself might pay for the tow truck up front and include the towing fee in the cost of repairs. Either way, it is important to know how much you are being charged so that insurance can reimburse the proper amount in the proper place.

Know Your Options

Although most insurance providers offer some form of tow truck fee reimbursement, there is those that do not. Don’t worry! There is other third party companies that can help. Well recognized companies like AAA offer roadside assistance when you need it. Signing up for a lower monthly rate can ultimately save you money rather than paying out of pocket once an auto-emergency strikes. Before signing up with a separate roadside assistance company, make sure that you aren’t paying extra for something that your normal auto insurance covers.