Security and Safety

How to Handle Car Trouble During a Pandemic

By Peter Simek 5.15.20

It’s never a good time for your car to break down. But now more than ever, when public health officials are urging people to follow safety protocols to help stop the spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic, car trouble raises all sorts of new questions and concerns.

How do you social distance at the scene of an accident? What protective gear should you keep on hand in case of a breakdown? And are your services still available?

A Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent advises on the best ways to handle car trouble in the time of the coronavirus.

1. Try to Avoid Mishaps

The first step to avoiding any potential dangers or confusion during an accident or breakdown is to make sure you are prepared ahead of time, says Mike Bagwell, a Texas Farm Bureau Insurance agency manager in Midland.

“Check the air in your spare, make sure that you have the correct tools to change a tire, take care of the maintenance on your vehicle, change the oil, check the date on your battery,” Bagwell says. “Just like you keep your insurance up to date with annual reviews with your agents, now is a good time to review your auto preparedness.”

2. Have Protective Gear on Hand

It’s a good idea to keep a face mask and gloves in your car in case you have to interact with others.

3. Enroll in Roadside Assistance

Make sure your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance policy includes roadside assistance — these services are still fully operational and available to you.

Once you’re enrolled, a roadside partner will be able to bring you gas, jump-start your vehicle, change a tire, pop a lock, or tow you if you are broken down completely. Learn more about your roadside assistance program here.

4. Maintain Distance from Other Drivers

If you are involved in an accident, you normally exchange insurance information with the other driver. However, during the pandemic, the American Automobile Association (AAA) advises drivers not to exchange physical insurance cards. Rather, exchange information verbally while maintaining a safe distance of 6 feet.

5. Arrange for Alternate Transportation

If your car must be towed, AAA recommends that you do not ride in the tow truck. “Consider making arrangements for your own transportation — again, to adhere to social distancing recommendations as much as possible,” AAA told Automotive Fleet.

Ideally, someone in your family may be able to provide a ride, or you can arrange for a ride in a service that can ensure that distance and disinfecting protocols are being followed.

6. Bring Your Car to the Shop

Auto shops are considered essential businesses, so you’ll still be able to get your car fixed. However, it’s important for your safety and the safety of others that you wear protective gear (mask and gloves) and maintain 6 feet distance from others, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You can call ahead and ask your local shop what safety measures they have in place to make sure that you feel comfortable and that you can respect their requests.

7. Contact Your Insurance Agent

Remember that your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent is your guide and can help you navigate any situation that arises. “If you have any questions about a claim or accident, do not hesitate to call your Agent,” Bagwell says. “They can help walk you through the claims process, and our award-winning adjusting staff will take over from there once it has been filed.”

Our Agents are still here to help you with all your insurance needs. Learn how you can handle all of your insurance processes remotely.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2020 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance