History and Benefits of Breakdown Insurance
If you are not familiar with breakdown insurance, you might need a few explanations. It is also interesting to look at a little bit of the history of breakdown insurance.
Automobiles and Insurance
The very first automotive insurance company was issued in Dayton, Ohio, USA, to one Gilbert J. Loomis. He purchased the policy from Travelers Insurance Company for $1000. It protected him if his automobile damaged property or injured someone.
Breakdown Insurance Policies
The first automobiles were simple machines that enthusiastic owners could often repair for themselves. As they grew more sophisticated, and as more people owned them, this ceased to be the case. This gave birth to the first automobile clubs, members of whom pledged to help each other. These included the Automobile Club of Great Britain, which later became the Royal Automobile Club, the Automobile Association (Britain), the American Automobile Association, and the Australian Automobile club.
Royal Automobile Club and the Automobile Association
These were rival clubs formed in Britain, although “rival” is perhaps a bit of misnomer, as they often cooperated. The RAC (not to be confused with the commercial company currently in operation, although the latter is a spinoff of the former) was founded in 1897. The AA quickly followed in 1905. Both organizations patrolled British roadways on motorcycles, put up locked call boxes (members were issued keys), and assisted early motorists in a variety of ways. The clubs also advocated for various legislation affecting automobile owners. These clubs were highly organized and were of great service to their country during the world wars. During their heyday, both clubs rated hotels, issued guidebooks, and generally supported the use of motor vehicles.
The American Automobile Association formed a similar organization in the United States, and a few years later the Australian Automobile Association was formed.
Transitioning from History to Present
Of course, as technology brought many changes to both automobiles and to communication, the call boxes and the motorbike patrols were slowly phased out. Cell phones began to make the former unnecessary, and the latter were replaced by vans that could hold a greater amount and type of rescue supplies. The RAC club continues but is distinct from the RAC company that provides breakdown cover. AA continues to provide coverage but has gone through its own changes. Both AAA organizations also continue to function.
Benefits of Subscribing to or Belonging to a Breakdown Insurance Company
Describing the benefits of belonging to an automotive club is probably a little bit beyond the scope of this article. However, in brief, if you are an automobile enthusiast, membership will put you in touch with like-minded people and help you keep up with worldwide events.
Taking out a Breakdown Cover Policy, whether it is from an insurance agency or through an automotive club, takes a great deal of the worry out of travel. As automobiles have become increasingly sophisticated, they have developed an amazing array of things that can go wrong. These days, very few of these things can be solved with chewing gum and baling wire, such as might have been used on some of those first automobiles. If you’ve developed a mechanical problem, a van with your breakdown policy’s logo on its side can be a very welcome sight.
Policy Coverage Varies
Just as the vehicles have become more sophisticated, so have the breakdown policies. You can get coverage that ranges from “at home” covers that will help with a dead battery or a failure within ¼ mile of your home, commuter policies that can help you get to work, and vacation policies that range from a week or two to several months. The changes from those old patrollers on motorbikes are amazing, just as are the changes in cars and communication.