Being stuck somewhere due to car problems is a major headache. Should you need roadside assistance, AAA can be invaluable. But what if you are riding with a friend or family member and they aren’t a member? Can you use your AAA for someone else?
Whether you need fuel, towing, or lock and key service, your AAA membership can be used to request assistance for someone other than yourself. AAA coverage is attached to your person, not your vehicle. Provided you are present, regardless of the owner of the set vehicle, services will be available.
There are some specific rules and procedures that apply to particular circumstances. The rest of this article will discuss those instances and clarify any other questions you may have.
Does AAA Cover My Car If Someone Else Is Driving?
An active AAA membership covers the person, regardless of the vehicle they are driving or whether they are just a passenger. As a member and passenger in your car, if it is deemed that services are needed, you will be covered so long you have your AAA membership card and a valid photo ID.
You do not need to be driving at the time of the request. However, you do need to be present as this is a requirement to receive coverage for services. The operator will be denied and will be held responsible for full payment if you are not present.
A membership holder may request to add family members to their current policy at a reduced rate to avoid these issues. This will ensure members of your family who have access to your vehicle receive the same coverage under your AAA membership.
Can I Use My AAA to Tow a Friend’s Car?
Although your AAA membership is non-transferable, if you are a passenger in your friend’s vehicle, you may still request services as these services are tied to you, not a specific vehicle. In short, you’re covered and may request assistance regardless of the vehicle.
Keep in mind that certain services may be denied for vehicles with oversized accessories such as tires and wheels. It is highly suggested you disclose all pertinent vehicle information to your respective representative before having AAA send assistance.
Additionally, ensure you have your AAA membership card and valid present at the time of the tow truck’s arrival. This will guarantee a smooth and safe transaction. Without these documents, your membership will not cover expenses, and you will be expected to cover all services in full.
Does AAA Member Need to Be Present?
The active AAA member must be present with their membership card along with a valid photo ID at the location and time of the vehicle being serviced. Otherwise, the service must be paid in full at your expense without the possibility of reimbursement. These charges will be set at commercial rates, and the cost will be the operator’s responsibility.
However, AAA does allow you to submit the original receipt for reimbursement if your AAA card and/or photo ID were not available at the time. The charges must be paid for under your name–if someone else paid the service bill, you would not be eligible for reimbursement. Do not sit on sending your receipts–AAA has a 60-day limit on the acceptance of reimbursements.
In specific emergencies, this policy is flexible. There are qualifying extenuating circumstances where services may be rendered in the absence of the AAA member. This is up to AAA’s procedures and guidelines.
Can I Use AAA Without My Card?
A current AAA member card along with a valid photo ID must be present at the time to receive roadside assistance services. Otherwise, you may have to pay the full commercial rate for services rendered. This policy is in place to protect AAA members from fraud in case of a stolen AAA membership card.
Luckily, AAA has a smartphone app for both iOS and Andriod users. Within the app, there is a section where you can scan your membership card and utilize it as an alternative to your physical membership card. A physical card will not be required if you have access to the application (ensure you download and upload your membership card immediately–set it and forget it).
At a minimum, you should always have access to your virtual membership card provided you have cellphone reception. Collectively, your smartphone application, along with your valid photo ID are acceptable when receiving services.
If all else fails and you have to come out of pocket, resort back to keeping your original receipt and submitting it for a refund before the 60-day deadline.
As an insurance adjuster, I deal with people at very difficult times in their lives after accidents have occurred. There is no doubt, those with roadside assistance. Services like AAA, have a much smoother experience when the unexpected happens.
I always tell people to check with their insurance company before buying something like AAA. Sometimes, you can get roadside assistance added to your policy at a much cheaper rate than you can buy a third-party option. I recommend looking into this now as it could save you a bit of money and make any insurance claims more seamless. Other than that, carry a good car emergency kit, and be careful out there!
For more, don’t miss How Much Do Tow Companies Charge for Storage?.
Main photo courtesy of daveynin
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