Family breakdown cover

Find out if a family breakdown insurance policy could help save you and your loved ones hassle and money.

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If several members of your family live at home and each use a different car, you might want to consider family breakdown cover, as it could save you money over individual breakdown assistance policies. Read our guide to see how family breakdown policies work and how it could even benefit friends living together.

What is family breakdown cover?

Family breakdown cover typically lets you insure a number of people living at the same address, such as family members or friends, under one policy rather than having to take out breakdown policies for each person separately. This can sometimes save time, money and hassle.

How does family breakdown cover work?

Although policies will vary between providers offering the breakdown cover, you will generally be able to insure a number of people (typically up to five) who all live at the same address. A person named on the breakdown cover does not need to be the driver of the car when a car breaks down but can also be a passenger of a broken-down car.

What is included in family breakdown cover?

The features of the family breakdown cover policy will vary between providers as well as the level of cover you choose. Generally, you can expect the following:

  • Local roadside assistance. If your car or a car you’re travelling in breaks down, you’ll get roadside assistance and recovery to a local garage for any repair work that can’t be completed at the roadside.
  • National roadside assistance. Regardless of where your car or a car you’re travelling in breaks down, you can choose where you would like the car towed to for repair work, if the mechanic is unable to fix your car at the roadside.
  • Home breakdown. If you’re close to home when your car or a car you’re travelling in breaks down, or the car won’t start outside of your home, you’ll get assistance with repairs.
  • Onward travel. This will ensure your journey can continue even if your car or a car you’re travelling in can’t immediately be fixed. You could get a replacement car or tickets for public transport. In some cases, you may be covered for an overnight stay.

Be sure to read your policy document carefully to ensure you have the right level of cover for your needs.


Make sure to familiarise yourself with any potential exclusions that could invalidate your family breakdown cover. The insurer may refuse to offer cover if:

  • The car is not properly maintained. General maintenance of cars, such as oil checks and tyre checks, are important to ensure a vehicle is safe to drive.
  • The car breaks down on private land. The recovery vehicle may not be able to access the land you’re stranded on.
  • The car breaks down after a collision. Recovery may be delayed while emergency services tend to the scene of an accident. Some policies may also exclude breakdown recovery following a collision.

Additional cover

In addition to breakdown cover, there may be other types of cover that could prove beneficial. These might include:

  • European breakdown cover. If you’re travelling around Europe, don’t be stranded at the side of the road. You’ll get roadside assistance and recovery depending on the level of cover you choose.
  • Special vehicle cover. This will cover other vehicles such as motorbikes as well as caravans or trailers that might be attached to one of your cars and also require protection.
  • Wrong fuel cover. Cover to get you back on the road if you accidentally put the wrong fuel in the car.
  • Key replacement cover. Cover if you can’t find your keys or if they’ve been stolen or damaged.

What are the different types of family breakdown insurance?

There are a couple of options with family breakdown cover:

  • Standard breakdown cover. This is usually an annual policy you pay for. Based on the level of breakdown cover you choose, you will then be covered for any call-out or recovery charge.
  • Insurance style. This is where you pay for the call-out or recovery of your vehicle and then claim the costs back from the insurer.

Can a family breakdown policy save me money?

Whether you save money with a family breakdown policy will depend on your own circumstances and the people you wish to include under one policy. You may find some insurers offer you a significant discount with a family breakdown policy. In other instances, it might work out cheaper to take out separate breakdown policies for each person living at the same address.

For example, if you and the others living at the same address all make similar, short journeys, you may find it beneficial to get a family breakdown policy in which you can all access the same level of cover. However, if one of you frequently makes long journeys in the car and requires an increased level of breakdown cover, it might work out cheaper to get individual breakdown policies.

Always do some research and shop around to see which deals suit you best.

Pros and cons of family breakdown cover


  • Save money
  • Less time wasted


  • Might be more expensive than individual breakdown policies in some instances

Frequently asked questions

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Written by


Helen Champion was an associate editor at Finder. She has worked in communications for over 16 years and currently writes on a range of topics including insurance and money transfers in the hope of empowering people to make better financial decisions. During her broadcast career, she helped to produce hundreds of news and breaking news reports for Associated Press TV and ITV News. And in public relations, she managed several high-profile public relations campaigns for Macmillan Cancer Support, the General Medical Council and overseas for Qatar Foundation on behalf of BLJ Worldwide. Helen has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Lincoln, a passion for practising karate in the dojo and a deep love of making mischief with her sons. See full bio

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