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FREE 24/7 Roadside Assistance in Belgium (& a word on travel cancellation insurance)

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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): FREE 24/7 Roadside Assistance in Belgium (& a word on travel cancellation insurance)

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Friday, November 12, 2010

FREE 24/7 Roadside Assistance in Belgium (& a word on travel cancellation insurance)

Here's a nifty little program I didn't know about when we moved here....glad I do now!  You see, we brought our ADAC Roadside Assistance with us in Germany.  We paid about 200 euro per year, and it covered us while we were there...you know, peace of mind.  Those ADAC yellow cars and tow trucks are angels in Germany should you ever have a breakdown, flat tire or run out of gas.  They'll even send someone to drive your kids home should you not be able to.  So, we moved to Belgium, and I double checked, and yes ADAC does cover you here too, even with a Belgian address, which in this case is our APO address, just like our APO address in Germany was on file.  BUT...and this was a big stickler for me.  ADAC has no offices in Belgium, so you'd have to call their Munich number for assistance.  I didn't get a warm fuzzy about that extra step.  I found out from the guy at the SHAPE gas station that Total Gas in Belgium has a FREE 24/7 roadside assistance program.  If you use Total gas, you can sign up for it.  It is very similar to ADAC and even covers you in many other European countries.  You knew I was going to investigate this, so here goes.


The guy who works at the Total gas station gave me a club card.  All I had to do was activate it online.  It will be tied to you and the license plate of your vehicle.  Both my husband and I got a card for each of our vehicles.

Go to Total's website and use Google Translate in a side window to see what the heck you are reading and doing.  You'll need your address, phone numbers and also the license plate number for your vehicle.  You can even register motorcycles which have different criteria for filling up.


Please make sure that when you go through the registration pages, do not go through Google Translate, as the registration won't go through.  Once your registration is complete and after you wait a few minutes, you'll get a confirmation email with your PIN number.  You will then be able to access your account online to see how many points you have added up. 

This is how it works.  Every three weeks, you MUST fill up at least 25 liters to receive free roadside assistance in that period and to be a member.  You should get an email every time you fill up to that amount or you'll get an email telling you when your assistance expires.  It will expire every three weeks, which means you need to put at least 25 liters of fuel into your vehicle every three weeks.  I hope I said that backwards and forwards enough times!

For example, if you fill up on the gas station on SHAPE, you'll probably be paying with your rationed fuel card that you purchased at the rationed items store across the street.  This holds true for any Total, as they are the supplier of our fuel ration cards here (it's Esso in Germany).  These fuel cards are heavily discounted from what the Belgians pay for their fuel.  No matter, you can use these as payment for the 25 liters you are going to put on your Total Card.

After you fuel up, take your receipt in to the cashier.  Hand them your Total Card.  They will then credit your account.  If you go home and check on your computer, you'll see some points added to your account.  There are other things you can do with those points, such a free gas, but I haven't investigated those goodies yet.

If at any time the service counter is closed, and you can't bring your receipts inside, collect them up and take them inside to the cashier and get them credited later.  You can do this at any Total gas station, but I recommend you take your receipts into the one you happen to be using.

Once you join, you'll also get an email of what phone # to call for assistance and other useful info, so use Google Translate if you need to and print it out and keep it in your car.

As a sidenote, there are also other roadside assistance programs out there.  I know that some of the agencies that offer car insurance both on and off post offer inexpensive roadside assistance programs.  Fortis Bank also has a roadside assistance program.

On a similar thread, if you travel a lot by air or do cruises or spend a lot of money on your travels, I would also look into travel cancellation insurance.  We have a cheap policy that covers up to I think it is 3,000 euro worth of travel that costs about 40 euro a year....something along those lines.  Most Europeans carry travel insurance that they renew once a year...it's not like in the States, where people only do it for cruises and weddings and such and pay per event...it's cheaper if you pay per year.  When I used to set up tours for the USO, I was astounded by how many would try to get a refund due to a family emergency or whatever reason, and if we already paid for hotel rooms or other fixed costs, they were SOL.  Very few had travel cancellation insurance.  Please check into it, as it is peace of mind too.  You typically have to file some kind of claim, and then get your money from the back end of the deal from the travel cancellation insurance company and not the original company that booked your travel.  Still, peace of mind that those thousands of Euros won't be lost if someone gets sick or has an emergency!

If anyone has any other similar insurance programs to add, and hey, I even invite the insurance companies overseas to post a link below.  When we moved to Belgium, we had no idea what the other car insurance options were, so stayed with USAA, which is more expensive here in Belgium due to them having to get their insurance through a third party here.  What are your recommendations?

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3 Comments:

Blogger edith said...

Really great information! Lots of stuff I didn't know. Thank you.

November 12, 2010 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger MooAtU2 said...

Have you had tried using the web browser Google Chrome? It automatically translates most German websites I use to English automatically.

Great info about travel insurance!

November 13, 2010 at 12:13 AM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Yes, but you should still use the original site when transmitting info as sometimes things can go wrong in that respect.

Edith, I think it's funny around here how people all around you know about these tidbits of information, but they never share it ....it's not done maliciously....I think people forget what THEY didn't know when they were new around here:-)

November 13, 2010 at 1:31 PM  

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