Allstate now provides a roadside assistance service that's available to all drivers, not just Allstate car insurance customers.
Good Hands Roadside Assistance, which doesn't charge a membership fee, offers to tow any vehicle that breaks down. Drivers can call 1-800-ALLSTATE to reach Allstate’s around-the-clock nationwide towing network. The service charges $75 for a tow. Other services – tire changes, jump-starts, opening a locked car and providing gas – are available for a $50 flat fee.
Consumers do not need to sign up for the program before using it; however, Allstate spokesman Raleigh Floyd recommends pre-registering for convenience.
“If you give us general information beforehand, it makes the ‘coming to get you’ process faster,” Floyd says.
Pre-registering takes a few minutes and can be done at www.goodhandsroadside.com.
What’s in it for me?
Perhaps the biggest benefit in Allstate’s new service of convenience. If you’re among the 35 million American families without roadside assistance services, Good Hands gives you a chance to get help when it's needed – no strings attached. The program is built for “Americans who are interested in the service but not necessarily the relationship,” Floyd says.
According to Allstate, the average driver who has roadside assistance coverage uses it only once every three years. If you’re currently spending $50 a year for coverage, but use the service only once every three years, you’re actually paying $150 to have the tow truck come when the car does break down. Allstate charges a flat $75 fee for a tow truck to take your car up to 10 miles. If you use the Allstate service once every three years, you’ll save 50 percent ($75 compared with $150) and still get the tow truck when you need it.
In addition to Good Hands Roadside Assistance, Allstate offers other options, including a motor club that’s open to anyone for an annual fee. The club offers more services than the Good Hands program, such as travel discounts and trip planning. Allstate also offers towing and labor coverage for club members.
Of course, roadside assistance services are available from other vendors, such as AAA and Better World Club.
To decide which option is best for you, here are some guidelines to follow:
- Evaluate your current plan. If you’re currently enrolled in a roadside assistance program, consider how many (if any) of the services offered you’ve used in the past few years.
- Consider the price. If you don’t have roadside assistance coverage, compare the annual costs of auto club memberships to the fees charged by Good Hands.
- Focus on your needs. Some customers like the certainty that everything's handled and paid for upfront, Floyd says. If you fall into that category, holding a membership in an auto club may be the right choice.