CONTRIBUTED BY SARAH BANCROFT
We all fear the dreaded ‘death’ of a car. The battery is dead, the starter is shot, you have a flat tire and cannot change it on your own, among other problems. Well, if you have your supplemental Japanese Insurance you’re in luck! Both ACE and AIU Insurance companies offer free towing. The limit is three free tows per each contract or per vehicle. All you have to do is call them up and they come to you and tow your car to the nearest auto shop. The hard part comes when they need to get on base.
When our car died on Kadena we tried to have it jumped but it did not start so we assumed it was a larger issue then just a dead battery. We called up the number for ACE towing. They asked me a few questions in regards to our name, number, policy number, car make and model, location, what’s wrong with the car, where we want it towed, etc. They then connect to the towing company and you stay on the line as they relay everything to them. Once done, you arrange to meet the tow truck at a base gate with a visitors center as you need to act as an escort to the tow truck.
This was a bit of a struggle at first, as we had no car to meet the tow truck in the first place. We ended up getting a ride back home from some friends and then returned the following day to meet the tow truck.
Once you can meet the tow truck driver at a visitors center, you present your ID and sign in your info, and the tow driver does the same. Some installations may have the driver bring their truck through an inspection area. For us, we had to go through inspections on Kadena. I just sat behind the truck as it was being inspected.
Once through base security I directed the tow truck to our dead car’s location and they did an initial inspection on it, to include checking the battery. They used a little machine that ended up starting the car! The technician informed us that the battery was old and need to be replaced. He also said to not stop the car until we got it to an auto shop. After parting with the tow truck (they do not need to be escorted off base) we immediately drove the care to an auto shop and had the battery replaced. Needless to say we were very happy that the issue was not something worse. We were also very happy with the speed and quality of the services provided.
ACE Towing Number: 098-938-4279 (This is the Kadena ACE office number. You can call any ACE location and ask for towing assistance and they should be able to transfer you.)
Website: ACE Free Towing
AIU Towing Number: 0120-30-9016
Website: AIU Free Towing