With its single emergency call number, the insurer’s assistance service offers the advantage of simplicity and transparency, and will in particular cover both the practical arrangements and the financial cost of towing. of the vehicle and the repatriation of the driver and his family. What are the common characteristics of these assistance guarantees?
The car assistance guarantee: a definition
The “vehicle assistance guarantee” is presented as an extension of guarantee within your car insurance contract . The services offered may vary greatly from one formula to another, but include at least logistical and financial support from the insurer (via a specialized service that can be reached 24 hours a day) when the insured’s vehicle suffers a mechanical breakdown. or is involved in a material or bodily injury. The guarantee is generally subject to a low flat-rate contribution which is added to the main contribution: it is, therefore, all the more interesting as the driver drives a lot.
Although it generally offers the same facilities, the insurers’ assistance guarantee should not be confused with a subscription to the manufacturer’s “in-house” assistance service , often offered by the latter when purchasing the vehicle, and which may include other services such as a free review on a regular basis.
Unlike a lambda assistance guarantee, included in most car contracts and intended to be triggered in the event of an accident occurring between 25 or even 50 kilometers separating you from your home, the subscription of a “0 km assistance guarantee is completely optional . Remember that only automobile insurance in civil liability (known as “third party”) is made compulsory by law.
The risks usually covered
In the event of an accident or mechanical breakdown making normal movement of the vehicle impossible, the insurer may be asked to cover all or part of the towing and breakdown costs. If the driver has the good idea to contact him immediately and as soon as the incident occurs, his insurer can even carry out the necessary formalities himself, and contact a specialized company to intervene on site without delay.
This service is often accompanied, quite logically, by the payment of the transport costs of the driver and his passengers to then return to their home, their hotel, etc. It can be a simple taxi bill in the simplest cases, but also a train ticket or even a plane ticket. Most of the guarantees, in fact, provide for car assistance abroad and coverage of any repatriation costs.
Finally, it is quite usual for the assistance guarantee to include the provision of a rental or replacement vehicle, the time required to repair the insured’s vehicle, with practical terms and conditions which may of course vary.
In any case, and even if your contract is very specific on your rights, the golden rule is never to advance the costs for an expense without first obtaining the green light from the assistance service of the company. ‘insurer.
Once the repair has been carried out, the assistance guarantee is obviously not designed to cover the costs of repairing the vehicle : it is then the general clauses of your car insurance that will apply, and determine the amount of compensation depending on your degree of responsibility and the cover taken out.
Simple tire punctures on public roads, which are easy to fix, do not lead to the activation of the assistance guarantee, except in exceptional cases. Similarly, the immobilization of the vehicle in the event of heavy snowfall on the road does not constitute a breakdown or an accident: the insured cannot count on the assistance of his insurer in this situation.
The assistance service, finally, may oppose you with a plea of ineligibility if the immobilization of the vehicle is due to serious negligence on your part: the loss of the keys to the vehicle and the error in supplying fuel (without -lead instead of diesel, etc.) are the two most classic cases.
Note that after a certain age , generally between 7 and 10 years, your vehicle will not be eligible for a 0 km guarantee with certain insurers.
How to activate the assistance guarantee?
An insured benefiting from an assistance guarantee has the possibility of contacting, at any time, the assistance service of the insurer at the telephone number which appears prominently on his insurance card and, sometimes, on the back of the vignette. insurance. As specified above, it is advisable to call this number as soon as the incident occurs in order to immediately have a clear idea of the coverage and compensation to which you are entitled.
Before calling, the driver should remember to bring the registration certificate of his vehicle in order to be able to formally identify himself to his interlocutor.
If you advance the costs, remember to keep all the useful supporting documents relating to your expenses, in order to then request your compensation.