Car Insurance Coverage For Your Next Road Trip
Familiarize yourself with these coverage tips before your next road trip:
The era of the “stay-cation” is over. Road trips are becoming more and more commonplace — and now is the perfect time to hit the road. Whether you are headed cross-country to see a favorite band, or just the next state over to visit some friends, you’ll want to make sure that you have all of your ducks in a row before your foot hits the pedal. Making sure that your car insurance coverage is up to date is just as important as creating your road trip music playlist — though perhaps not as fun to do.
Here are four tips to consider before your next road trip:
Make Sure Your Valuables Are Insured
If your car should be compromised and your valuables stolen, then your car insurance will most likely not cover the replacement costs. For the most part, valuables stolen from your vehicle are covered under your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance instead. It really doesn’t make any sense on the surface, but it’s important to know that distinction. Some insurance providers will offer a separate rider in order to cover the cost of replacing your valuables, but it will cost you extra on your premiums. Depending on how much your valuables are worth, it may be a good idea to pay a little extra up front, just in case.
If You Decide to Rent a Car for Your Trip
It is not uncommon for travellers to get a car title loan prior to necessary trips to pay for expenses, with the intention of renting a car at their destination. Renting a car can be a cost-effective way to handle transportation, but there are some considerations to keep in mind.
Your normal car insurance will most likely cover you in the event of an accident while using a rental car, but it may not be exactly the same. You’ll have to check with your provider to see what your coverage looks like while renting. Typically, your comprehensive and collision coverage could change or lower due to your being in a rental car. Also, you should check with your credit card provider about “waiver of deductible” and “loss of use” coverage, as these could save your hundreds of dollars in the event of a road trip accident.
Don’t File a Claim for a Locksmith Service
Even though many car insurance companies will offer “free roadside assistance” in their coverage, calling a tow truck or locksmith through your insurance company still counts as a “claim” on your record. Even these small claims, which could be through no fault of your own, could still raise your insurance premiums. Your best bet is to get your roadside assistance through a third party like AAA or Diner’s Club, who will help you without reflecting on your car insurance policy.
It’s important to know what coverage you have before you hit the road. Here are the three types of coverage that are included in every type of car insurance policy and what they mean:
• Liability coverage: Takes care of any injuries to another party or general property damage
• Collision: Covers damage in an accident to your vehicle
• Comprehensive: Covers everything else from natural disasters to theft of the vehicle
In Case Someone Else on the Road Trip Is Driving Your Car
Your best friend or your significant other may not have the same car insurance as you do, which means that their coverage amount may be less than what your policy could pay out. If the unthinkable happens while on the road and they are at the wheel, then you could be held responsible for the difference in damages. Check to see if all of your fellow road trippers have insurance. If not, then you could be paying out of pocket for any damage resulting from their being at the wheel.
Check with your insurance provider and your credit card company before heading out to see what your coverage landscape looks like. The amount of coverage on your car could come in just as handy as the amount of fun snacks that you pack for the trip. Most importantly, be safe and have fun on your next road trip.
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