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What is Breakdown Insurance?

Breakdown insurance is an insurance policy, which protects you against the risk of breaking down in your vehicle.  There are two types of breakdown service you can buy.  There is an automatic service policy where the recovery is arranged for you.  You don’t have to pay anything out personally and the bill for recovery services is settled directly by the insurance company.  This is the type of policy we provide.  There are also reclaim policies, where you organise the recovery and claim the cost back form the insurance company.  We do not sell that type of policy, because we want to make sure you get the help you need when you need it.

Breakdown insurance normally comes in three different levels of cover.

Normally covers the insured vehicle or person for breakdown services away from their home address.  Generally it will allow some time with a mechanic by the side of the road for the recovery agent to fix the car, and if that is not possible then you will be towed to a nearby garage.  Repair costs where the vehicle is moved to a garage are not included in breakdown policies.

Things to check with basic cover to ensure your policy is suitable are;

If there is an excluded area around the home, how big is it?
Under our Roadside and Local Recovery policy we do not cover breakdowns within a mile from your home.

How far will the recovery agent take you to a garage if they cannot fix it by the roadside?
We will take you to the nearest garage within 10 miles.


Covers the excluded area in the basic policy.  So for example, while under our Roadside and Local Recovery policy does not cover breakdowns within a mile from your home (and at your home) adding Home Start to your cover will mean you are insured against breakdowns no matter where they happen in the UK.

Will assist you if your car cannot be repaired by a nearby garage in the same day.  What is included tends to vary from company to company.  There is normally some provision for payment of public transport or a hire vehicle.  Some companies, including us, include an allowance for overnight accommodation and breakfast the following day if you want to carry on with your journey.  Where national recovery is included the insurer may take your car home again instead.  We do either, whichever you prefer.

The full benefits of our Onward Journey cover are £100 towards,

  • A hire car for 24 hours, or
  • The cost of public transport to get your and your passengers home or to your destination.
  • The cost of bed and breakfast for the insured person and the passengers
  • We will transport your vehicle to

With our National Recovery, there is no upper financial limit.  We just take you and your vehicle home again (your vehicle can go directly to a garage near you home if you would prefer).

Other things to watch out for are with breakdown policies are;

We do not charge you an excess when you make a claim, however; other breakdown companies do.

Passengers are normally limited to the amount your vehicle can legally carry, but in some cases there is an upper limit.  Our limit is 8 people including the driver.  Other companies have a lower limit that ours.

As we explained above, breakdown insurance protects you against the risk of breaking down.  However, policies do not cover everything you might expect.  Many are very specific about the type of breakdown they will cover.  We pride ourselves on having the most extensive cover in the market, covering a wide range of risks from running out of fuel to locking your keys in the car, as well as the usual mechanical and electrical faults.

It is always worth checking a policy to find out what cover you are actually getting for your money and whether it is adequate for your needs.  If you have any questions on our cover please do not hesitate to get in touch.  Unfortunately we cannot comment on cover offered by other companies.