Marissa Hayes

Insurance Writer & Expert

Marissa Hayes is a technical editor and contributing writer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history, and she was the editor of the literary magazine, The Bluestone Review.

Insurance Writer & Expert

Daniel Walker

Licensed Insurance Agent

Daniel Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has run his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for over 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an insurance agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, life, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. To ensure our content is accura...

Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 16, 2023

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

What is towing auto insurance?

Towing coverage, which could also include roadside services, is basically an optional add-on to your insurance that would cover the expenses of having your car towed in the event you cannot drive it home. Often in a collision, the car becomes impossible to drive and must be towed away. If left behind, local law enforcement would probably have it towed to the nearest impound lot. Getting it out of impound could cost quite a bit more than simply having it towed.

Of course, you could wake up one morning to a car that will not run and need help getting it towed to a local mechanic. It doesn’t have to be a collision to capitalize on towing coverage. Everything from a dead car battery while commuting to reclaiming your stolen vehicle could require the use of towing services.
Towing auto insurance coverage is meant to protect you from having to pay out of pocket for a vehicle emergency.

What does towing auto insurance cover?

Needing to have your car towed is sometimes a necessary expense. There is an endless number of scenarios that could find you with a vehicle that won’t start in an inconvenient, or even dangerous, place. Hiring a tow is not a cheap and affordable service. Towing auto insurance coverage pays for the cost of needing a tow service. If it is combined with roadside assistance as well, problems such as locking the keys in the car, needing fuel delivery, or a dead battery would also be covered.

There are two ways that towing car insurance coverage may work. Either the insurance company provides towing services or the car insurance provider will reimburse the insured the costs of having their vehicle towed.

As with any insurance, there is a limit as to how much your car insurance will pay for towing service. Consumers have the option of purchasing a higher limit, but that will also mean a higher monthly cost for the service. Drivers need to balance the level of risk and potential towing expenses against what it will cost yearly to maintain an active towing auto insurance policy.

Do I have to buy towing insurance?

No, there is no state or car insurance company that is going to require you to purchase towing car insurance coverage. In fact, you may already have this as an added benefit under another area of your insurance and not realize it.

Towing auto insurance coverage is an optional coverage add-on designed for individuals concerned about the sudden, emergency costs associated with needing their vehicle towed.

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How much should I buy?

First, you need to contact your car insurance company and ask them whether or not towing assistance is already a benefit under one of your policies. Many comprehensive insurance packages include towing automatically. If you already have this benefit, then you do not need additional coverage.

Also, keep in mind that this insurance is for emergency situations only. If you are low income, or live paycheck to paycheck, needing to pay for a towing service can be a big setback. Paying a few dollars each month to avoid this scenario could make sense.

However, if you have good income and savings purchasing this type of insurance may be more of a risk to your insurance premiums than it’s worth. Since using the towing assistance could potentially raise the costs of your monthly insurance premiums it may make more sense to pay out of pocket or hire the services of a private emergency assistance company.

How do I decide whether or not to purchase?

First, you need to make certain you aren’t already eligible for this type of service elsewhere. Many new vehicles come standard with roadside and towing assistance. If you are paying for emergency service, like AAA or OnStar, it may not make sense to also pay for towing vehicle insurance. Many extended warranties purchased for new vehicles automatically include roadside and towing assistance. Towing auto insurance coverage is often the most affordable type of insurance, but paying for a service you don’t need is redundant.

Another thing you’ll need to keep in mind is that there is a limit to how often you can use your towing auto insurance coverage. Your insurance company will only let you utilize the service a few times a year. Plus, every time you use towing coverage it will be added to your claims history and used to determine your level of risk at the next insurance renewal period.