The AAA is a membership only travel and motoring association. The American Automobile Association consists of 51 independent motor clubs throughout North America.
The organization was founded on March 04, 1902 and is headquartered in Heathrow, Florida with more than 51 million members. Members pay a yearly fee which allows them a wide variety of discounts. The membership fee also includes roadside assistance services.
Insurance coverage offered to members include life, health, homeowners, and AAA auto insurance. The membership fee varies anywhere from $50 to over $100 according to whether you get the standard or plus plan. Before deciding to become an AAA member and purchase auto insurance, review the benefits, coverage provided, along with the pros and cons to decide if this is right for you.
To qualify for insurance coverage, you must pay yearly dues to the club and not fall behind in your membership dues. Applicants for auto insurance may be required to have their vehicle undergo a physical inspection by an AAA representative. The limits of coverage provided for liability insurance will depend on the required legal limits in each individual state. Types of automobile coverage provided include liability, uninsured motorist, comprehensive, collision, medical coverage, and rental care reimbursement. AAA offers discounts for auto coverage for insuring multiple lines of insurance, good driving discount, and discounts for safety features installed. They provide repairs through AAA approved repair shops and offer same days rental cars in the case of vehicle theft. The $250 collision deductible is waived if the accident involves another AAA covered auto. There are three ways you can apply for auto coverage; at a local office, by calling (800) 222-6327, or by completing the online insurance application.
Emergency Road Service
The emergency road service offered to members is one of the better known perks of AAA auto insurance. Its official name is AAA accident assistance. If a covered auto is in an accident and needs a tow, members can call the toll-free number (866) AAA-BEST (866-222-2378) and receive prompt roadside assistance. The roadside assistance provider tows the vehicle to a repair shop in the AAA approved provider list or to one the member chooses. At the request of the AAA member, the roadside assistant will also contact family members. They will also arrange for a rental vehicle and complete a claim notice for the insured. If a member chooses to have the vehicle repaired in a repair shop in AAA’s immediate repair program, he does not have to wait for an appraiser to look at the vehicle before having the vehicle repaired.
Other Club Discounts to Members
By paying the membership fee, AAA members can enjoy a wide range of discounts. Travel discounts include discounts at hotels, car rental discounts, no-fee travelers checks; and discounts on flights, cruises, and vacation packages. By showing the AAA membership card, members receive discounts at theme parks, various shopping vendors such as Dell Computers and Barnes & Noble, discounts at participating restaurants, and discounts on services including prescription drugs. Some service providers also offer a discount to AAA members including DIRECTV, Earthlink, Geek Squad, and Penske Truck Rental. There are many other discounts available to members listed on the website under auto club discounts for members.
AAA also makes several financial services available to its members. Members can take advantage of auto loans or home mortgages at competitive interest rates. Student loans and reverse mortgages are also available. AAA offers its members a cash rewards MasterCard. With the AAA Deposit Program through Discover Bank, there is no minimum opening deposit required. The deposit program offers members IRAs, CDs, and money market accounts. Members can also purchase travel money cards, Visa gift cards, and foreign currency cards.
Pros and Cons
When members purchase AAA auto insurance, they are getting more than just auto insurance. For a $50 to $100 dollar yearly membership fee, members receive a vast array of discounts that can more than make up for the membership price. The roadside assistance service provided by AAA has an excellent reputation among members. Some drivers may not think that they need the roadside assistance provided, especially if they have a newer vehicle in good repair and may feel the membership fee unjustified. There are also many other online discount programs available that are comparable or even better than the discounts provided to AAA members.