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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. Although each program offers an above-average number of coverage options, there are 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 PackageAdvantageAdvantage Plus
Lifetime Continuation AgreementYesYes
Full Range of Coverage LimitsYesYes
Full Range of Deductible OptionsYesYes
24-Hour Roadside AssistanceYesYes
Countrywide Claims ServiceYesYes
24/7 Claim Reporting ServiceYesYes
Customer Repair Service Program (CRSP) with Life-of-Vehicle GuaranteeYesYes
Legal Representation for AccidentsYesYes
New Car Replacement CoverageYesYes
No Deductible Windshield Repair ServiceYesYes
RecoverCare Essential ServicesYesYes
Paid-in-Full or Monthly EFT AvailabilityYesYes
Multi-policy DiscountYesYes
Home Ownership Discount (not available with Auto & Home Account Policy Savings)YesYes
New Vehicle DiscountYesYes
Hybrid Vehicle DiscountYesYes
Personal Umbrella DiscountYesYes
Non-Resident Student DiscountYesYes
Annual Policy TermYesYes
Accident ForgivenessNoYes
Disappearing Collision DeductibleNoYes
Deductible Waiver for Not-At-Fault AccidentNoYes
$100 Collision Deductible Reduction w/CRSPNoYes
Emergency Expense CoverageNoYes
One DeductibleNoYes

 

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 FeaturesDetails
Accident ForgivenessYour driving history will determine whether you qualify for this service.
Extended Rental Expense CoverageYour rental car service can be extended after a collision if you choose this coverage.
Pet CoverageIf your pet — dog or cat — is injured in a crash with you, up to $500 of their vet costs are covered.
12-Month PolicyOption for an annual 12-month policy, rather than a standard six-month policy period.
New Vehicle ReplacementIf your new vehicle is deemed a total loss after an accident (within one year of acquisition), it will be replaced.
Gap CoverageCovers the difference between your vehicle's current value and the value of a loan.
Preferred Repairs ProgramPriority repair service and a lifetime warranty on service provided.
Accident AssistAdditional assistance after an accident

 

AAA CAR INSURANCE DISCOUNTS

DiscountAmount
Auto and HomeUp to 16%
Auto and Condo/RentersUp to 6%
Auto + Home + LifeUp to 19.8% on auto insurance, 22% on your homeowners
Multi-VehicleUp to 26%
Group MembershipUp to 10%
Advanced Purchase5%
Paid in Full5%
LongevityUp to 12%
OnBoard Service10-20%
Original Owner of VehicleUp to 5%
Student Away from HomeUp to 15%
Good StudentUp to 15%
Driver TrainingUp 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 via Allstate while AAA operates its own affiliate network across the US. The organizations' tiered membership offers similar roadside assistance packages.

Which roadside assistance program is best for you? Let’s compare AARP's and AAA's 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

ServiceBasicPremier
Fuel deliveryYou pay for the fuelUp to two gallons free
Total service callsSingle: 3
Couple: 3
Single: 4
Couple: 5
Family: 7
Dead battery jumpstartYesYes
Flat tire changeYesYes
WinchingYesYes
Lock-out serviceYesYes
Towing serviceup to 5 milesup 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

ServiceBasicPremier
Car rental savingsYesYes
Hotel discountsYesYes
Pathfinder trip routing serviceNoYes
Warranty repair/referral serviceNoYes
Trip interruption guaranteeNoUp to $1,500/yr
Auto theft rewardN/A; except CA up to $5,000Up to $10,000/year
Legal defense reimbursementNoUp to $1,000/year
Hospital emergency bondNoUp to $1,000/year
Arrest bond certificateNoup to $1,000/year
RV coverageNoYes
Free smartphone appNoYes
60-day money-nack guaranteeNoYes

 

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 NameBasicPremier
People covered1-21-3+
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 DetailClassic MembershipPlus MembershipPremier Membership
JumpstartIncludedIncludedIncluded
TowingUp to 7 miles, 4 times a year.Up to 100 milesOne per household up to 200 miles, remaining tows up to 100 miles
Emergency fuel servicesFree delivery, pay for fuelFree delivery and fuelFree delivery and fuel
Vehicle lockoutCoverage up to $60Coverage up to $100Coverage up to $150
Flat tire serviceIncludedIncludedIncluded
Extrication/winching serviceOne service per yearTwo servicesTwo 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 detailClassic membershipPlus membershipPremier membership
Vehicle registration renewal helpIncludedIncludedIncluded
Discounts (shopping, dining, hotels, and entertainment)IncludedIncludedIncluded
Identity theft protectionDaily monitoring, email alerts, fraud resolution support, loss card protectionDaily monitoring, email alerts, fraud resolution support, loss card protectionDaily monitoring, email alerts, fraud resolution support, loss card protection, $10,000 in identity theft insurance
CARFAX vehicle report discount20% off CARFAX20% off CARFAXOne year free, 40% for additional reports
Vehicle inspection serviceFree 40pt, or discount 86ptFree 40pt, or discount 86pt$45 mail-in rebate for 86pt
Rental Car BenefitsDiscountedDiscounted plus one car-class upgradeOne-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

CostClassic MembershipPlus MembershipPremier 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

ServiceAARPAAA
Fuel deliveryUp to two gallons freeFree delivery and fuel
Towing serviceUp to 100 milesOne per household up to 200 miles, remaining tows up to 100 miles
Allotted service callsSingle: 4, Couple: 5, Family: 74
Flat tire changeYesYes
WinchingYesYes, up to Two services
Lock-out serviceYesCoverage up to $150

 

BASIC MEMBERSHIP

ServiceAARPAAA
Fuel deliveryYou pay for the fuelFree delivery, pay for fuel
Total service callsSingle: 3, Couple: 34
Dead battery jumpYesYes
Flat tire changeYesYes
WinchingYesOne service per year
Lock-out serviceYesCoverage up to $60
Towing serviceUp to 5 milesUp 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

CompanyPrice
AARP$74-$104
AAA$351

 

COST COMPARISON: BASIC COVERAGE

CompanyPrice
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 LinkedIn

Based in Austin, TX, Ava has been in the insurance industry as a licensed agent for 4-plus years. Ava is currently one of The Zebra’s resident property insurance experts and has been featured in publications such as US News Report, GasBuddy, and Yahoo! Finance.

About The Zebra

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