95% of American households own a vehicle and most Americans (85%) get to work by vehicle. We depend on our vehicles. Drivers in cars, trucks, minivans and SUVs put a record 3.22 trillion miles on the nation’s roads in 2016, up 2.8 percent from 3.1 trillion miles in 2015, a fifth consecutive annual increase. We drive a lot, whether that’s for vacation, commuting or running the kids to events.
As a vehicle owner, unexpected surprises can occur. That’s where motor clubs come in – and more.
Motor clubs are a family of services made available nationwide that help provide drivers and owners with assistance when they need it most. Typical benefits include services triggered by a vehicle having some kind of disabling event:
- Roadside assistance 24/7 – including fluids, gasoline, lock-out, towing, and winching
- Travel reimbursement when stranded for things such as car rental, meals, lodging or transportation expenses.
Depending on program design, other benefits may include: arrest bond, key fob replacement, tire and wheel coverage, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, planning and trip reservations, reimbursements for attorney fees and lost or stolen credit cards, and discounts on hotels, restaurants and/or other merchants. Vehicle service contracts usually include some vehicle-related motor club benefits as well.
Consumer benefits will vary by program designed. However, at the core, every motor club provides consumers with the peace of mind knowing emergency assistance is available in time of need, as well as direct financial benefits from reimbursements built into the programs. The latter benefit helps consumer with cash flows, thereby help to stay current on any financial obligations, such as loans.
Motor clubs are regulated in most states by insurance departments or other state agencies such as a secretary of state. The states primarily require that motor clubs be financially able to provide their services when their members need them by reviewing their annual financial statements and requiring surety bonds. Motor club officers must be vetted, and agents are also licensed in many states
States regulating motor clubs will review their services and the service agreement with the consumer to ensure that the services are accurately described and allowed for motor clubs to sell, the claims process and roadside assistance dispatch is available, exclusions from coverage are listed, and consumers have the right to cancel their memberships. The state regulators also handle consumer complaints and often intercede with the motor clubs for consumers when necessary.