(Photo: Are You Covered For Your Much-delayed Family Vacation?)
With the year 2020 ending, the holiday season is upon us. The almost endless pandemic lockdown around the nation has resulted in a lot of pent-up travel demand. A family vacation is one of those times where you will forget to check for constant updates on your phone. It is a time when you can leave happy memories that you can look back on in the future.
One of the most favorite holiday modes for people in the United States is going on a road trip. Road trips are all the rage. The United States of America is a nation with roads. Every year thousands take to their cars to explore the United States, but getting lost in the excitement might be the problem of your auto insurance.
There's a risk you might get into an accident if you go out on the road.
How do you know if your car insurance covers you? Before you enter the road, you should review your coverage. It's not always easy to find cheap car insurance. Car insurance providers do not offer specialized road travel insurance. You can check your policies, add coverage where appropriate, and look at all your options.
Is your car insurance ready for a long drive? Finding cheap car insurance for extended road trips is more important than ever before.It would be best if you were prepared with your auto insurance, even if that means you have to purchase 14 day car insurance.
Here are some things you ought to know before you start your journey:
When Planning to Travel in Your Own Car
When driving in your car, there are two things you should know about car insurance - who is covered to drive and what happens if you get into an accident in another state.
First, your policy allows others to drive your car (unless they are unlicensed, drunk, or specified as excluded from your policy). If you have exhausted your policy's limits, you will have to use your friend's policy.
Concerning medical injury, the passengers and other carriers may take advantage of your responsibility for damage or insurance against personal injury. Still, they may feel safer at first passing the claim to your healthcare provider.
The other thing to note is that multiple states have varying minimums of auto insurance. Thus, you're under-insured to cover New York driver's damages if you start your tour in Florida, which needs only $10,000 of asset damage and $10,000 PIP. However, if you get involved in an accident in New York, there are $50,000 or so greater minimum amounts.
Fortunately, most auto insurance firms understand that the legal limits vary from state-to-state and crashing in a state with higher limits shouldn't mean extra penalties for you.
When Planning to Travel to Mexico
The Sea of Cortez, off the coast of Baja California, is called the aquarium of the world. It has 900 fish species and 32 types of marine mammals that gather to feed and breed here. Massive blooms of plankton mean that even elusive blue whales are seen here, along with the gnarled humpbacks and grey whales that sound and breach in the bay, to the delight of whale-watching parties.
So if you are planning to travel to Mexico by car, remember that in most cases, your United States auto insurance will no longer be valid when you cross the border. You will have to opt for Mexican auto insurance. Driving without auto insurance in Mexico is hugely illegal and can get you thrown into prison for it.
Luckily for the adventurous Americans, buying cheap Mexican car insurance is pretty straightforward. Both GEICO and Progressive allow people to purchase policies on their websites from one of their partners. Plans come with standard procedures, six months, and a year long.
We found that coverage for six months is typically the best offer, costing between $300 and $400, so remember to add that price when you measure the cost of your Mexican road trip.
When Planning to Rent a Car for Travel
If you rent a car, you need some form of car rental insurance. Rental companies provide the following coverage:
Loss Damage Waiver (LDW)
Supplementary Liability Compensation (SLC)
Personal Injury Insurance (PAI)
Personal Effects Coverage (PEC)
Of those four, you may only need the first two. You pay between $9 to $20 a day for the LDW, which means the rental company will compensate for any harm that happens to the vehicle. However, if you have collision insurance on your policy, you can opt-out of coverage.
If you already have a credit card, you can charge the entire rental to your card, and your card company will often cover the LDW at no charge to you. Paying for the LDW or using a credit card can be a smart way to go.
If you get into an accident, you won't have to file a claim with the insurance provider, thereby risking a rise in your premiums.
If you do not have any auto insurance, the SLC is mandatory. Liability insurance is the minimum amount of insurance required by law. On the other side, if you have auto insurance, you don't have to pay for the SLC.
If you have low limits like the state minimum, going with the SLC may be a wise step. SLC is going to protect you up to a million dollars. You don't even need PAI if you have PIP or health insurance, and PEC is not worth the price in most situations.
Know Your Options Before You Travel
There is no special road travel insurance, but there are options to ensure you have the best possible automobile insurance coverage for extended driving. Take a look at your current insurance policy to find out how much liability insurance you have.
If you've purchased only the minimum your state requires, you're probably underinsured. That's because if you're causing an accident, you'd quickly run out of liability insurance, and then you're on the hook to pay the rest. Make sure you have a liability policy of at least $100,000 per person for accidents and $300,000 per accident, defined as $100/300. The limits of 250/500 will be even better.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Many drivers don't have insurance, so it's also prudent to make sure you have uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage will protect you if the accident is with an uninsured driver, and it is going to cover medical costs. It can be much better than health insurance in some ways because it can even pay for your missed earnings if you can't work after an accident.
What about the poor weather? Or when your car is stolen or vandalized? These instances are why you want a crash and extensive coverage. They cover a wide variety of damages to your vehicles, such as hail, flooding, vandalism, and robbery.
Roadside Assistance Coverage
Roadside assistance coverage can also be convenient, mainly if your car breaks down in an unfamiliar place. Usually, you can add roadside assistance coverage to your automobile insurance policy. These extras may not seem necessary to the regular driver, but they may be invaluable to road trips.
Generally, when you go somewhere, you ought to have your car insurance ID with you. If you have it on your phone, it's easy to take it with you via your insurer's mobile app. Before you go on vacation, download your mobile app from your car insurance provider, and check that you can access your ID card.
Finding cheap car insurance is not always straightforward. One approach that could work for you to shop online but to purchase by a phone app. That way you can do it from anywhere, anytime you need.
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