SEOUL, March 23 (Korea Bizwire) – Motorists in Korea most frequently call the emergency service provided by their insurance company when their car battery is dead or when they need a jump-start.
According to the Korea Consumer Agency, which recently surveyed 1,000 drivers who subscribed to a roadside assistance service offered by an insurance firm, the most common use of roadside service was battery charging (29.8%). After dead batteries, emergency towing (22.1%), flat tire (14.2%), emergency fueling (11.3%) and tire replacement followed.
The average wait time was 27 minutes nationwide. Wait times averaged 22 minutes in residential areas, 28 minutes in urban areas, 33 minutes on highways and 37 minutes on expressways.
Drivers subscribe to roadside assistance services in order to minimize the risks while they are driving. They pay an average of 29,263 won (US$26) per year for the special option, but 23.4 percent replied that they also had to pay extra charges for certain services.
Among the 25 services that the insurers provide for roadside assistance, 16 services involve extra charges, such as emergency towing, which usually costs 2,000 won per 1km after 10km. Meanwhile, local insurance firms offer jump-starts, emergency refueling, tire replacement and lockout entry assistance for free.
An official at the consumer agency said, “There are disputes over the extra charges or service limits between drivers and insurers. In order to avoid the disputes, consumers can easily find information about the service they’re subscribed to. We will urge insurers to provide accurate information by distinguishing free services from charged ones.”
By John Choi (email@example.com)