A fantastic road trip is as much about the journey as the destination. While summertime is a popular choice, many people take road trips throughout the year.
Having the right car insurance and understanding how it works are key to having a comfortable and enjoyable trip. Many travelers who hop into their car and take off without looking into their car insurance first often find out there’s a problem the hard way.
People can avoid a lot of headaches if they take a second look at their car insurance before leaving town. Here are some important things people should know about car insurance on a road trip.
Who Can Drive
Road trips are better with friends and family, in part because people can take turns behind the wheel. However, accidents can happen even to the most careful. Many insurance policies list the insured person and a spouse or driving age child and may also list excluded drivers. These are drivers who are not covered by the insurance policy even if they are driving the car. If they are driving on a road trip and an accident happens, the insurance company may not pay for damages.
If someone not listed on the policy is driving when there is an accident, generally, the car insurance attaches to the car. This means that the policy that covers that car is the first policy tapped for any damages. The insurance policy of the driver would come after that.
Renting a car is a great way to add fun and comfort to a road trip, but it does require rental insurance. Some car insurance companies, like Allstate, offer travel insurance. The type of rental insurance a person needs to buy will depend on the amount of car insurance they already have.
Most rental companies offer several different components of rental insurance to protect against damages to the rental car and personal injury. Some also provide insurance to cover the personal items in the vehicle. This insurance is a set amount paid per day of rental.
Minimum Laws Vary
All states require some amount of car insurance, but the minimum amount can vary widely from one state to another. If a driver is carrying the minimum amount of car insurance in his home state but travels to another and gets in an accident, he could be underinsured. Car insurance companies will match the minimum in other states, but only if the driver was sober and not in violation of their policy.
Consider Roadside Assistance
A flat tire or another car issue can derail travel plans fast. Having roadside assistance built into the car insurance policy is a good way to drive with peace of mind. Travelers is one insurance company that offers roadside assistance with its policies.
Roadside assistance can help change a tire, get into a locked car, or tow the car to a repair shop for free or a reduced amount, helping travelers get back to the fun stuff faster.
Not all car insurance or travel insurance policies cover RV or luxury rentals. People should take a close second look at their policies before taking off for an extended trip. They may have to add a policy to cover the RV rental.
There are different kinds of RV coverage people can add, from a simple rider to full coverage similar to homeowners insurance. People should call their insurance agent and discuss the kind of road trip to make sure they are purchasing the right RV coverage.
Canada and Mexico
Car insurance policies in the U.S. do not always translate across the border. People driving into Mexico need to call their insurance company and find out if the company can help via an insurance partner. Many companies can, making the process fairly simple. Driving without car insurance in Mexico is illegal, and law enforcement can arrest uninsured drivers.
Most U.S. car insurance policies do travel with the driver to Canada. Still, experts advise getting a Motor Vehicle Liability Card. This is also known as a Canada Inter-Province Card. It’s also a good idea to bring a copy of the declarations page of the policy to be safe.
Great car insurance gives drivers the freedom to go enjoy the open road. Drivers can prepare by making sure they understand their policy and adjusting their coverage. Making car insurance part of the road trip plan is the key to success.