What does towing and labor coverage do?

Towing and labor (TL) coverages and limits are different for each carrier that offers towing and labor coverage, but typically, it pays the cost of towing your car to a repair shop when it is unable to be driven and covers a specified amount of necessary labor charges at the place of the breakdown. 

Items that may be covered by towing coverage include:

  • Towing
  • Tire changing
  • Gas, oil, and water delivery
  • Battery services
  • Lockout services

Most car insurance companies will only offer towing and labor coverage if the owner has other types of car insurance that cover physical damage — comprehensive and/or collision — as part of the policy. Some policies limit coverage and only pay when a claim has been issued against your physical damage coverage after a covered accident.  

Coverage is also referred to as tow club, emergency road service or emergency roadside service.

Is towing and labor coverage mandatory?

No.  Towing and labor an optional coverage. 

What happens if I don’t have towing and labor coverage?

Without towing and labor, you will have to pay personally for the expense of towing your vehicle if it becomes disabled, and you will be without coverage for roadside labor costs of services listed above.

The premium for towing coverage is typically low; however, if you are a member of an auto club, you probably already have this service and there would be no need to duplicate your coverage. 

Before buying towing and labor coverage from your car insurance provider, compare stand-alone roadside assistance plans, and prices, against it to see which one best covers your needs.

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Michelle Megna
Editorial Director

Michelle is a writer, editor and expert on car insurance and personal finance. Prior to joining CarInsurance.com, she reported and edited articles on technology, lifestyle, education and government for magazines, websites and major newspapers, including the New York Daily News.