AARP vs. AAA: Auto Insurance Comparison

AARP and AAA offer competitive auto insurance and roadside assistance programs. Which one is better?

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AARP vs. AAA comparison: benefits, discounts, roadside assistance and more

 

AARP's and AAA's offerings may overlap, but there are some distinctions worth noting. While the organizations offer many services, the focus of this comparison is their car insurance-related services. AAA provides car insurance coverage directly, while AARP provides auto insurance via its partnership with The Hartford. Each program offers an above-average number of coverage options that offer individual consumers varying levels of value with some important differences.

 

AARP car insurance services

 

AARP — or the American Associated of Retired Persons — caters to elderly individuals with its auto insurance offerings. Through The Hartford, AARP car insurance is available through two of its membership options: Advantage and Advantage Plus. In addition to standard bodily injury and collision coverages, AARP’s insurance program includes coverage options to suit the needs of older drivers.

 

AARP CAR INSURANCE PLANS
Policy Package Advantage Advantage Plus
Lifetime Continuation Agreement Yes Yes
Full Range of Coverage Limits Yes Yes
Full Range of Deductible Options Yes Yes
24-Hour Roadside Assistance Yes Yes
Countrywide Claims Service Yes Yes
24/7 Claim Reporting Service Yes Yes
Customer Repair Service Program (CRSP) with Life-of-Vehicle Guarantee Yes Yes
Legal Representation for Accidents Yes Yes
New Car Replacement Coverage Yes Yes
No Deductible Windshield Repair Service Yes Yes
RecoverCare Essential Services Yes Yes
Paid-in-Full or Monthly EFT Availability Yes Yes
Multi-policy Discount Yes Yes
Home Ownership Discount (not available with Auto & Home Account Policy Savings) Yes Yes
New Vehicle Discount Yes Yes
Hybrid Vehicle Discount Yes Yes
Personal Umbrella Discount Yes Yes
Non-Resident Student Discount Yes Yes
Annual Policy Term Yes Yes
Accident Forgiveness No Yes
Disappearing Collision Deductible No Yes
Deductible Waiver for Not-At-Fault Accident No Yes
$100 Collision Deductible Reduction w/CRSP No Yes
Emergency Expense Coverage No Yes
One Deductible No Yes

 

You do not need to be an AARP member to qualify for The Hartford car insurance. The Hartford is an independent insurance provider.

While some of these policy options are self-explanatory, we've outlined some unique aspects of AARP's policy features below.

  • Lifetime Renewability: Your policy will automatically renew as long as you are able to drive and are paying your bill. However, this currently isn't available in Hawaii, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, or Texas.
  • RecoverCare Service: This pays up to $2,500 for medical care after an accident. Care is defined as help with household chores, grocery shopping, transportation, cooking, cleaning, or other activities you are unable to complete after a car accident.
  • One Deductible: This refers to a single deductible for your home and auto policies if you also purchase a home insurance policy from The Hartford using AARP's Advantage Plus package.

 

AAA car insurance plans

Although AAA is best known for its roadside assistance program, the organization also sells car insurance. AAA's auto insurance offerings are similar to those of other car insurance companies. See below the advertised features of AAA auto insurance.

 

AAA CAR INSURANCE POLICY FEATURES
Policy Features Details
Accident Forgiveness Your driving history will determine whether you qualify for this service.
Extended Rental Expense Coverage Your rental car service can be extended after a collision if you choose this coverage.
Pet Coverage If your pet — dog or cat — is injured in a crash with you, up to $500 of their vet costs are covered.
12-Month Policy Option for an annual 12-month policy, rather than a standard six-month policy period.
New Vehicle Replacement If your new vehicle is deemed a total loss after an accident (within one year of acquisition), it will be replaced.
Gap Coverage Covers the difference between your vehicle's current value and the value of a loan.
Preferred Repairs Program Priority repair service and a lifetime warranty on service provided.
Accident Assist Additional assistance after an accident

 

AAA CAR INSURANCE DISCOUNTS
Discount Amount
Auto and Home Up to 16%
Auto and Condo/Renters Up to 6%
Auto + Home + Life Up to 19.8% on auto insurance, 22% on your homeowners
Multi-Vehicle Up to 26%
Group Membership Up to 10%
Advanced Purchase 5%
Paid in Full 5%
Longevity Up to 12%
OnBoard Service 10-20%
Original Owner of Vehicle Up to 5%
Student Away from Home Up to 15%
Good Student Up to 15%
Driver Training Up to 3%

 

AAA's roadside assistance services separate the organization from other auto insurance providers.

 

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Roadside assistance comparison: AAA vs. AARP

 

AARP and AAA provide two of the most popular roadside assistance programs. AARP’s program is provided through Allstate while AAA operates its own affiliate network across the US. The organizations' tiered membership offers similar roadside assistance packages.

Is AARP's roadside assistance as good as AAA's program? Let’s compare the providers' services and prices.

 


 

What does AARP roadside assistance cover?

 

AARP is not only a car insurance provider. It is a non-profit and non-partisan organization designed to help people aged 50 years and older. Included in AARP's services are vehicle- and car insurance-related features. If you’re an AARP member, you can subscribe to the Allstate-backed roadside assistance program. Unlike other roadside assistance programs — including Allstate's standard offering — AARP provides a wide variety of services. The below chart shows what is covered by AARP.

 

AARP EMERGENCY SERVICES BY MEMBERSHIP TIER
Service Basic Premier
Fuel delivery You pay for the fuel Up to two gallons free
Total service calls Single: 3
Couple: 3
Single: 4
Couple: 5
Family: 7
Dead battery jumpstart Yes Yes
Flat tire change Yes Yes
Winching Yes Yes
Lock-out service Yes Yes
Towing service up to 5 miles up to 100 miles

 

AARP’s roadside assistance service provides much more than the roadside assistance offered by traditional car insurance companies. Below are AARP's non-emergency service options. Below the chart, find a brief explanation of the perks.

 

NON-EMERGENCY BENEFITS PROVIDED BY AARP
Service Basic Premier
Car rental savings Yes Yes
Hotel discounts Yes Yes
Pathfinder trip routing service No Yes
Warranty repair/referral service No Yes
Trip interruption guarantee No Up to $1,500/yr
Auto theft reward N/A; except CA up to $5,000 Up to $10,000/year
Legal defense reimbursement No Up to $1,000/year
Hospital emergency bond No Up to $1,000/year
Arrest bond certificate No up to $1,000/year
RV coverage No Yes
Free smartphone app No Yes
60-day money-nack guarantee No Yes

 

AARP roadside assistance coverage options

  • Pathfinder Trip Routing Service: Tips and maps on destinations in the US, Mexico, and Canada.
  • Trip Interruption: If your vehicle is disabled as a result of an accident, you will be reimbursed up to $1,500 for travel expenses. You must be more than 100 miles away from home to be eligible.
  • Auto Theft Reward: This will provide a monetary reward for information leading to the arrest of the thief if your vehicle is stolen.
  • Legal Defense Reimbursement: Provides litigation defend in the event you are taken to court over a traffic violation. Certain restrictions apply.
  • Hospital Emergency Bond: If you're injured more than 100 miles away from home and are required to present evidence of financial responsibility at a hospital, this will provide support.
  • Arrest Bond Certificate: An AARP edition of a get out of a "get out of jail free card." If you're arrested for a driving-related offense (cannot be DUI/DWI related), you can use this coverage as a jail bond.
  • RV Roadside Coverage: You can add this coverage for $24 per year to receive two additional service calls.

 

How much does AARP roadside assistance cost?

 

AARP roadside assistance pricing depends on your membership tier and the number of members. AARP's premier service tier is the most expensive option.

 

ANNUAL COST OF AARP SERVICES
Plan Name Basic Premier
People covered 1-2 1-3+
First-year membership fee $58 $74 (1 person), $84 (2 people), $104 (3 people)
Renewal pricing $58/year $84 (1 person), $94 (2 people), $114 (3 people)

 

 


 

What does AAA roadside assistance cover?

 

AAA's roadside assistance program provides much more than does a typical car insurance company. Unlike AARP, which offers car insurance through The Hartford and roadside assistance via Allstate, AAA provides its own coverage through regional “clubs” or “federations.” Each of these clubs covers a particular area of the United States.

See below what is covered by AAA's roadside assistance program. Like AARP, AAA's tier system ranges from basic to best.

 

AAA EMERGENCY ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE SERVICES
Coverage Detail Classic Membership Plus Membership Premier Membership
Jumpstart Included Included Included
Towing Up to 7 miles, 4 times a year. Up to 100 miles One per household up to 200 miles, remaining tows up to 100 miles
Emergency fuel services Free delivery, pay for fuel Free delivery and fuel Free delivery and fuel
Vehicle lockout Coverage up to $60 Coverage up to $100 Coverage up to $150
Flat tire service Included Included Included
Extrication/winching service One service per year Two services Two services

 

Like AARP, AAA offers additional perks aside from roadside assistance. Below are some of AAA's non-roadside assistance benefits.

 

AAA NON-EMERGENCY SERVICES
Coverage detail Classic membership Plus membership Premier membership
Vehicle registration renewal help Included Included Included
Discounts (shopping, dining, hotels, and entertainment) Included Included Included
Identity theft protection Daily monitoring, email alerts, fraud resolution support, loss card protection Daily monitoring, email alerts, fraud resolution support, loss card protection Daily monitoring, email alerts, fraud resolution support, loss card protection, $10,000 in identity theft insurance
CARFAX vehicle report discount 20% off CARFAX 20% off CARFAX One year free, 40% for additional reports
Vehicle inspection service Free 40pt, or discount 86pt Free 40pt, or discount 86pt $45 mail-in rebate for 86pt
Rental Car Benefits Discounted Discounted plus one car-class upgrade One-day complimentary midsize rental car

 

How much does AAA roadside assistance cost?

The cost of AAA's services depends on your membership tier as well as the individuals listed on your policy. The below prices reflect costs for one individual. Covering more than one driver may incur a surcharge.

 

AAA MEMBERSHIP COSTS
Cost Classic Membership Plus Membership Premier Membership
Monthly fee $5 $7.75 $9.75
Six-month fee $30 $47 $59
Annual fee $60 $279 $351

 

 


 

Which is better: AAA or AARP roadside assistance?

 

In terms of roadside assistance coverage, the two options are fairly similar. AAA and AARP each provides roadside assistance basics like towing, fuel delivery, and lock-out services, but differ in their minor coverage details, including the number of service calls covered and towing range.

 

TOP-TIER MEMBERSHIP
Service AARP AAA
Fuel delivery Up to two gallons free Free delivery and fuel
Towing service Up to 100 miles One per household up to 200 miles, remaining tows up to 100 miles
Allotted service calls Single: 4, Couple: 5, Family: 7 4
Flat tire change Yes Yes
Winching Yes Yes, up to Two services
Lock-out service Yes Coverage up to $150

 

BASIC MEMBERSHIP
Service AARP AAA
Fuel delivery You pay for the fuel Free delivery, pay for fuel
Total service calls Single: 3, Couple: 3 4
Dead battery jump Yes Yes
Flat tire change Yes Yes
Winching Yes One service per year
Lock-out service Yes Coverage up to $60
Towing service Up to 5 miles Up to 7 miles, 4 times a year.

 

The programs' non-roadside assistance offerings are not as comparable, as AARP goes above and beyond. If the non-driving related options are a deciding factor for you, review each carefully. Looking at price alone, AAA tends to be more expensive than AARP — although it may depend on how many drivers you cover.

 

ANNUAL COST COMPARISON: TOP TIER
Company Price
AARP $74-$104
AAA $351

 

COST COMPARISON: BASIC COVERAGE
Company Price
AARP $58
AAA $60

 


 

AAA or AARP: which car insurance is better?

 

If you’re looking for a basic roadside assistance program, most insurance companies offer roadside assistance at a lower cost than AAA or AARP. If you’re in the market for extra perks and service levels, weigh the additional cost of AAA and AARP against the added services you'll receive.

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Ava Lynch
Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava worked in the insurance industry as an agent for four-plus years.

Ava currently provides insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts. Her work has been featured in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, Car and Driver, and Yahoo! Finance.

About The Zebra

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