IS IT WORTHWHILE JOINING THE AA?

We take a closer look at their Advantage Plus product

Ever asked yourself what’s the difference between the AA and the free roadside assistance on your car insurance policy?

Well I found myself asking this exact question, so I decided to do a little investigation of my own.

But before we go there, I want you to imagine this situation…

Your wife was attending a business conference in the Free State. Everyone else had decided to leave the next morning, but she wanted to leave immediately after the conference ended.

At 10H30 that evening you receive a call:

“Honey, I’m stuck on the side of the road. I don’t know what to do, the car’s dead.”
“Is there petrol in it?” you ask.
“Yes. But when I turn the key there’s nothing. What must I do? I’m really scared.”

How would you feel if it was you on this end of the line?

Quite honestly, a 1, 000 thoughts would run through my mind…

  • This is the woman I love. I’d die for her.
  • She’s the mother of my kids,
  • What if she gets held up? 
  • And lastly, there’s not a thing I can do to help her right now.

But actually there is something you can do

Tear open your car and home insurance policy. Phone the emergency hot number, and press “0” for emergencies (Well, that’s how mine works, anyway!). Then tell them to go fetch your wife…or yourself if it’s you stuck on the side of the road and you’re mechanically challenged.

According to my policy, what these guys will do is tow my car to the nearest garage for safekeeping. They will also assist with things like:

  • Flat tyres
  • Flat batteries,
  • Keys locked in the car, and lastly
  • No fuel

If you’re very far from home they’ll either put you up overnight in a hotel or provide you with another means of transport.

This is all ‘free’ on most car insurance policies (check…yours might not be), but you are limited in the amount of claims you can make every year. I’m allowed to claim twice a year, so be careful if you’re in the habit of running out of juice. Claim more than that and then it’s for your own bill. What also worries me is when the policy mentions reimbursing at ‘reasonable cost.’ Who gets to decide that?

But what if you don’t have insurance at all? Or if your car insurance policy doesn’t offer benefits like roadside assistance?

That’s where the AA comes in (They also offer car insurance, by the way).

Currently they offer 4 plans based on affordability but in this blog post we are going to cover their flagship product which is called “AA Advantage Plus”

Let’s have a closer look at the benefits of the product.

Membership Option AA Advantage Plus
Call outs per 12 months * Unlimited
AA Road Patrol call outs
Jump start your vehicle Unlimited
Flat tyre change Unlimited
Unlock your vehicle Unlimited
Battery test Unlimited
Mobile battery sales Unlimited
Mobile glass repairs and replacements Unlimited
Towing and call outs Unlimited
Electrical / mechanical breakdown Unlimited
Accident / attempted theft Unlimited
Fuel to reach filling station Unlimited
Extra Benefits
Overnight accommodation * Covered
Alternative transport and vehicle repatriation * Covered
Long distance tow * Covered
* AA Membership Terms & Conditions apply

That’s a pretty neat list of benefits, but below is even more value for your premium spend.

  • AA Mayday emergency medical rescue
  • Medical emergency advice line
  • Message relay service
  • Motor-related legal advice line
  • Technical advice line
  • Show your Card and Save programme
  • Referral to AA Quality Assured Repairers
  • Free AA Member maps
  • Access to AA travel services and products
  • Access to road and toll information
  • Discounts on AA publications
  • Reciprocal services

What does it cost to become a member of AA Advantage Plus?

R180 per month, that’s it! If you consider the value they are offering and the fact that you might not have the greatest roadside assistance benefits on your existing car insurance policy to begin with, we think it’s excellent value for money.

The day you are stuck on the side of the road with nobody to help, is the day you will look back at the R180 per month you spent on a product like this and say it was worth every cent.

In future blog posts we are going to roll out in the next few months, we will be unpacking these benefits individually, so make sure you stay tuned.

If the AA Advantage Plus product sounds interesting, and you want to know more…why not leave your details below and we will get them to call you back.

The InsuranceFundi Team

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13 thoughts on “IS IT WORTHWHILE JOINING THE AA?

  1. Wil net graag weet is dit net vir bystand langs die pad of is jou motor ook verseker as jy in n ongeluk was word hy dan herstel of as hy nie herstelbaar is nie word jy uitbetaal vir jou motor se waarde.

  2. wel ek stel belang maar kan ek enige van 3 voertuie gebruik en dit tel vir alle voertuie wat ek gebruik.. kan my werk se voertuig wat ek gebruik ook tel.

    • Its good information but how long does it take for a tow truck to get to you when you are stuck night & day.

  3. Read this. My wife was driving on the N1 between the N3 and Rivonia Rd, weekday between 15h00 and 16h00 and broke down. I was a member of AA. We called AA and asked for assistance, my wife was very scared. The AA told us they could not attend immediately but that it would take at least 1 to 2 hours to attend. My wife was in the car with a small child about 8 years old. Unfortunately I was out of town and could not assist. After waiting for about an hour for assistance inside the car the vehicle was approached by 2 men who then attempted to steal the car and rob my wife at gunpoint in front of the child next to a busy highway. The AA arrived some 30 minutes later to find a very traumatised wife and child. If I had been at home or in the office I could have got to them sooner than the AA.

    The answer is, I was on the end of that line and the AA offered absolutely no assistance at all despite my explaining that my wife was scared and needed urgent assistance. I now use VW assist and when asked they have provided Ist class support. Why would I need AA?

  4. I read Chris’s comment (below) with keen interest simply because my experiences at AA have been anything but satisfactory. In fact when I started reading the blog I thought you were providing some alternative to the AA and was about to jump for it. AA does not have competition and that explains their poor service of late. However I am told a new CEO has just been appointed and hopefully will turn things around. It is an open secret that when confronted about poor service AA employees did acknowledge the issue of poor leadership. On paper what is being said on the blog is great but practically it might not be worth the paper its written on. In the absence of competition I will wait and watch how the turnaround pans out. Otherwise I see myself following Chris to VW/Audi Assist

    • HI Clement,

      The short term insurance industry must be the most competitive of all the insurance fields. The AA faces stiff competition from every other insurer in the market.
      There is no such thing as absence of competition.

  5. AA Insurance Plus is the way. Isugest that if there is anything else that AA Insurance Plus does not cover, one should kindy hunt for a coverup somewhere inclusive of AA Insurance Plus in your policies.

    • We hear what you’re saying, and agreed, the advantage plus plan is not for you.

      But here’s a thought…how much is the free roadside assistance on your current car insurance policy costing you?
      I know they say ‘free’, but nothing’s ever free, is it?

      • My farther could have bought 3 new cars with the money he wasted on insurance.
        I am following in his footsteps. I onlly had one claim in 20 years, and they said that they will find an excuse not to pay me and the did as I paid in too little for too short a time. I had two x 20 years no claim history.
        Thanks but no thanks,No insurance for me!
        ,

        • It all depends on whether someone has the cash available to replace or repair. A person would be nuts to drive a R1 million car on our roads without insurance especially if its financed.

          Many of us have financed vehicles on which we owe huge amounts. Try financing a new one while you’re still trying to settle the old finance agreement. I do believe that insurance companies are not out to rip you off; at least this has been my experience as a client.

          This one is closer to home for me.
          I drive a 2007 car (10 years old) and had a pedestrian crack my rear view mirror. The only visible damage is the shattered mirror. I was quoted a whopping R38, 000 for the repair work.
          Two things: One, I don’t have the R38, 000 (which is 18 months worth of insurance premiums) lying around, and secondly, just because my car is 10 years old, doesn’t mean it’s any cheaper to repair than a brand new one. The spares came in at R13, 000 and the remainder of the account is for panelbeating.