How Agents Can Leverage New Roadside Research to Increase Business Opportunities


Every year, Agero conducts a benchmark study to learn more about the evolving roadside landscape to better service our clients and their customers. In our 2023 benchmark research, we surveyed over 2,500 drivers to uncover more about the frequency of roadside events and how drivers approach event resolution. The data points to the fact that roadside events are occurring more often than one might think–especially when it comes to electric vehicles–and that drivers’ misconceptions about roadside coverage pose a barrier to usage and adoption.

For auto insurance agents, roadside assistance can be a powerful customer touchpoint that helps nurture and grow your book of business. Data shows that customers that use their roadside assistance coverage are 35% more likely to renew their policy. Understanding the roadside topography as well as drivers’ attitudes will not only help you better serve your customers, but also increase retention and business opportunities. Here’s how you can utilize the findings of this study to do just that.


Just over 1 in 2 drivers has a roadside event each year


Fifty-five percent of drivers surveyed reported that they had experienced at least one roadside event in the last 12 months. Flat tires and jumpstarts combined accounted for half of those roadside events. The next most frequent issues were key fobs and vehicle lockouts, followed by running out of fuel. 


It’s not a matter of “if” your customers will need roadside assistance, but “when”. Approximately half of your book of business will require some sort of roadside assistance this year, and the other half the next. This is a great opportunity to provide value to your customers by educating them about the likelihood of needing roadside and influencing proactive rather than reactive behavior when it comes to ensuring coverage is included or added to their policies. 




Electric vehicle (EV) owners are more likely to experience a roadside event than their internal combustible engine (ICE) cohort. Since EVs are heavier in weight and also have thinner tire treads to increase driving range, EV tires tend to wear out more quickly. Couple this with the fact that most EVs do not come with spare tires to help reduce overall vehicle weight, and the result is a 25% increase in the need for tows compared to ICEs. 


It’s clear that EV owners experience different challenges when it comes to roadside. To better address their specific needs, setting up a campaign tailored for EV customers can position you as an expert in your field–building brand equity in the form of trust and reliability. This also allows you to create more business opportunities by meeting customers where they’re at– tailoring content and interactions based on segmentation by vehicle type.




Many drivers associate roadside assistance with a car pulled over on a road or the shoulder of a highway. However, this is true for only 32% of all events. Surprisingly, more than half of all events actually occur at peoples’ homes (42%) or in public parking lots (26%). 


Due to its naming convention, drivers may believe that roadside assistance can only be utilized if their vehicle experiences a disablement while they are driving. As a result, recalling coverage during an event that isn’t on the road or highway doesn’t always come top of mind. Reminding customers about the depth and breadth of their roadside coverage early and often can help increase coverage recall during breakdowns at home or in parking lots.




When faced with a roadside event, only one in two drivers seek some sort of professional help. Those who did not either called a friend or family member for assistance, or performed the roadside repair themselves (DIY). And despite 85% of drivers reporting that they have roadside assistance coverage, only 8% of those that sought professional help utilized their auto policy’s roadside assistance coverage during their event.

The large consensus for choosing to DIY revolved around cost efficiency and time. Fifty percent of drivers believed that resolving their issue through DIY would be cheaper and/or result in a faster or better fix.


Common misconceptions that many drivers have about roadside assistance is that they will have out-of-pocket costs, and waiting for professional help to arrive can take longer than desired; neither of which are true in the vast majority of cases. Drivers with roadside assistance coverage aren’t required to pay any additional costs if the event is within coverage limits, and seeking professional help is actually the fastest, and most convenient way to get back on the road quickly and safely.

What is more concerning is that many drivers are unaware of the dangers that exist when they choose to DIY. Serious injuries, or worse, have occurred as a direct result of a DIY repair attempt gone wrong–especially in high-traffic areas or inclement weather. When a customer calls you for advice on how to handle a roadside event, it’s important to remind them that no matter what level of car repair expertise they have, it’s best to leave it to the pros. Service providers are trained to handle the dangers of roadside fixes and adhere to strict safety standards and regulations. 

Assure your customers that using the roadside coverage they purchased through you is the most time and cost efficient option which helps to keep them (and other drivers) safe. Ongoing reminders of this helps to reinforce the value you provide to your customers and their families.




Another common reason why drivers aren’t utilizing their roadside coverage during an event can be attributed to misinformation. Many drivers either forgot they were covered or don’t understand the breadth of their roadside coverage. And for those who did know, many were unsure of…

  • What is covered by their roadside program
  • If there would be any out-of-pocket costs
  • If they would they be penalized for using their coverage
  • How or where to submit a request for assistance

As a result, many of your customers aren’t utilizing services they’re already paying for to their advantage, and end up taking on unnecessary costs – be it time, money, or energy. 


As mentioned earlier, approximately 8% of drivers that seek professional help utilized their insurance coverage during their roadside event. Your customers may not be utilizing coverage provided in their policy simply because they lack information or are misinformed.

To remedy this, provide your customers with a holistic experience when it comes to roadside. Make sure your customers know what coverage they have, where to find it, and how to request assistance. You can provide more education about coverage by connecting with customers frequently to thoroughly review what’s included; what, if any, implications there is for usage; and the best way to submit a request for assistance. This will ensure customers recall their coverage and know how to quickly request it when they experience a roadside issue and inturn remember the ongoing support you provide.


Leveraging roadside to provide value to customers


By incorporating roadside messaging and content frequently in customer-facing communication channels and interactions, agents can leverage roadside to better serve their customers–ensuring they have a seamless experience when that day comes.

Examples of this include showcasing roadside information on your website and marketing materials and promoting the mobile app for quick intake. Sharing resourceful content that debunks common roadside myths and educates drivers more extensively about the benefits of coverage can play a pivotal role in consumer awareness and adoption by ensuring it is top of mind when they need it most. 

Creating great customer experiences not only increases positive touchpoints throughout the customer journey, but also creates promoters with high brand affinity. Not only are customers that use roadside 35% more likely to renew, the opportunity to fuel agency growth by targeting customers with positive brand sentiment can be leveraged by reaching out to them to upsell and cross-sell different products and services, as well as ask for referrals. 

View the full infographic, "Roadside Insights: Trends and Attitudes" here.


Meet the Author: Christine Nguyen - Marketing Communications Specialist

Christine is a Marketing Communications Specialist for the automotive and insurance line of business. She focuses on developing content that spreads brand awareness to consumers and strengthens client relationships regarding the value of roadside. Christine has a Master’s Degree in English from California State University, Fullerton and has over 10 years’ experience in content marketing. She is based in California and enjoys camping, traveling, and raising two tiny humans with her husband.


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