Breakdown Insurance

Breakdown insurance is one of those amazing things that grew out of people of like minds helping each other. Around the beginning of the 1900s, motor cars were new. Not many people had them, so they formed auto clubs. The clubs were not just social groups. The people who belonged to them developed ways to help each other out. They charged dues for the clubs and used the money to created badges and stickers that showed they were members. They also installed call boxes along roadsides so people who were having vehicle trouble could reach someone to help them.

Out of the Auto Clubs

From these auto clubs, insurance companies developed. Of course, as technology became more advanced, call boxes gave way to hotlines that could be dialed from portable telephones, and eventually using speed dial from smart phones. The principle remained the same, however. The Breakdown insurance policies were put in place to help people who had mechanical trouble with their vehicles.

Motorbikes to Vans

When the early clubs and breakdown companies formed, people on motorbikes brought parts and other supplies to the stranded motorists. A lot of the necessary parts were small, or the motorists had simply run out of gas. As vehicles become more expensive, more parts were needed. By the 1970s, small vans were used to transport the parts and supplies. This method is still used today, allowing trained mechanics to take care of many roadside problems in thirty minutes or less using common supplies.


Towing to a local repair facility is often part of the policy package. Sometimes the mobile mechanics run into problems that cannot safely be taken care of by the roadside. When this happens, it is time for the tow truck.

Alternate Transportation

Sometimes your vehicle cannot be repaired for several days. Perhaps it is a complicated repair, or perhaps a part must be ordered. That is when it is handy to have a vehicle rental clause in your insurance package that will provide you with a way to get around to your appointments or obligations while your car or truck is being fixed.

Distance, Purpose and Location Count

The distance you normally travel in a day, the reason you are driving, and the location in which you are driving count when it comes to selecting the insurance coverage that you need.

  • At Home – If you normally drive your car from your home to the grocery store, perhaps to church or to visit a friend and your travels are all within ¼ mile of your home, you will want At Home cover. At home coverage also takes care of repairs or maintenance with which you need help that occur on your own driveway or within ¼ mile.
  • Domestic and Social – When your visit to the store, to friends, to church, doctor appointments or similar events take you farther away than ¼ mile then you need this coverage. However, if you want help on your own driveway, you will still need “At Home” coverage.
  • Commuter – This is for all the wage slaves or career followers who commute daily. Domestic and social won’t cover your driving activity if you are a commuter, so you do want this.
  • Business – Making money with your vehicle? Then you want business breakdown cover. You also want this for any company owned vehicles, from one car or truck to the fleet.
  • Driving in Europe – Be sure to talk with your agent before motoring through Europe. Some countries require different sorts of insurance from others, and you will definitely want something more than the coverage you use at home.