The destination has been finalized, and the journey was what’s making you excited. Long road trips with family and friends are one of the most exciting and enjoyable experiences. Be it your summer getaway or just a long, rejuvenating visit to the countryside, road trips are fun, only if done the right way. An enjoyable road trip can turn into an excruciating experience if you get caught up in an accident. This article will be all about avoiding such unfortunate experiences.
Long road trips mean not only spending a lot of time on the road driving which increases the risk of an accident, but it also increases the possibility of vehicle breakdown. Yes, before you venture, you have to be prepared with a spare tire and everything you might need in an emergency. But apart from being prepared, are you well insured for your next road trip across the country?
Road Trips and Auto Insurance
There are no special auto insurance policies for long road trips. But that does not mean that you are all set to leave with your general coverage. There are a few things you need to check before getting behind the wheel. Auto insurance policies are complicated with so many terms and conditions. Let’s look at the different things you need to check with your insurance policies.
Insurance Coverage Limit
Every state has its minimum coverage limit for the liability insurance policy. This limit is the minimum amount your insurance company will pay to cover the cost of repairs and medical treatment of the other person in an accident caused by you. Here’s a little tip that most people often miss; while you are on the road, driving your car at high speeds and probably tired because of all the driving, the chances of getting in an ugly accident are very high.
In the city during your commute, the traffic does not allow you to go too fast. This means that even if you hit someone, the damage will be minimal most of the time. So having liability insurance coverage with just the minimum coverage limit works. That’s true for accidents on the freeway, where both injury and damage to the car will be severe.
So it is better to increase your liability coverage limit, preferably to $100,000 for individual bodily injury and $300,000 per accident, and $50,000 for property damage. This ensures that no matter which state you are in or how bad the accident is, you are insured and won’t have to pay from your pocket.
The same is true for your other insurance policies such as collision, comprehensive, and personal injury protection coverage. Since you are not driving a tank (hopefully), any accident will cause damage to your vehicle as well. Collision coverage with a decent coverage limit will make sure you don’t take any damage to your wallet as well.
Compare different policies and choose the insurance company where the prices are lowest in the state. This is because increasing the coverage limit will increase the cost of your insurance premiums. The best way to counter this price hike is by getting an affordable insurance policy.
A comprehensive insurance policy is very important to have when you go on a road trip, so if you haven’t had one, now is the time to get it. The best thing about it is it costs very little and covers so much. Since you are going to take freeway and country roads, there is a high chance of meeting an unexpected deer or hitting other animals. Comprehensive insurance covers such damages to your car.
Not just that, but when your car stays parked, perhaps when you camp or visit some remote place, the comprehensive policy also covers damages to due fire, natural calamities, hailstorms, projectile damage, broken windshield, and much more. Going on a road trip without a comprehensive policy would be foolish, to say the least.
Auto Insurance Policy Add-ons
Your general auto insurance coverage is okay for day-to-day usage, but for road trips, you need to get some add-ons to make it fitter for long road trips. Here are some auto insurance policy add-ons that will improve the features of your insurance policy and make your long road trip secure and insured.
Roadside assistance is an add-on that was made for long trips and for people who are always on the roads. As the name suggests, roadside assistance is an optional service people can opt for that focuses on helping the policyholder during emergencies on the road.
Different insurance companies offer different roadside assistance. But generally, roadside assistance covers:
- Jump starting your vehicle in case it won’t start due to a dead battery. This can happen to your car in the middle of the road.
- Towing the vehicle to the nearest garage or repair shop in case the vehicle breaks down.
- Refilling the gas
- Winching the vehicle and taking it to the motorway
- Replacing the tire (only if a spare tire is available. The insurance company will not pay for the tire)
There can be more features in roadside assistance depending on the company. But no matter which company you choose, RSA will be helpful for you if you plan on staying on the roads for long.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Policy
If someone else hits your car and causes damages/injuries, their liability insurance policy can be claimed by you to pay for the damages and injuries. But that is only possible if both parties exchange insurance information. What would you do if someone hits your car on the freeway and just escapes?
Of course, the first thing to do is to call 911, and then inform your insurance company. While the cops locate the driver at fault, you can use your Uninsured/underinsured motorist policy to pay for the cost of repairs to your car and/or medical treatments. You must have a UM/UIM policy for road trips.
And that was all about preparing properly for your road trip and making sure that not only your trip is enjoyable but also insured.