Who does not like a relaxing road trip under the open sky and wide, empty roads. It takes you away from the clamor and stress of city life and helps you introspect. But there is something that we can guarantee no one likes; getting stuck in the middle of the highway with a car that won’t start, or being in an accident in some other state and paying a lot of your hard-earned money.
Road trips are fun, but if not prepared well, you’d end up regretting leaving your home. While many people look for any road trip vehicle insurance, there is no mainstream auto insurance company (in the US) that sells any specific road trip auto insurance policy.
But that does not mean your general auto insurance policy is enough to take you on a long road trip securely. There are ways you can optimize your auto insurance policy for a road trip to ensure you don’t get in any legal or financial trouble. Here are all the changes, tweaks, and additions you should do to your auto insurance policy before you hit the highway.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Highways are not a safe place to drive, with cars zooming past at hundreds of miles an hour, even a minor accident can cause serious damage both to the car and to you.
Having collision insurance is great, along with medical insurance, but if you get in an accident by someone without a liability coverage policy, or if the driver at fault has liability coverage with insufficient coverage limit, who’s going to pay the enormous bill of car repairs and medical treatment?
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage is the policy that was made for situations like these. If the driver at fault lacks liability coverage or has one but with an insufficient coverage limit, then you can claim your UM/UIM policy to pay for the repairs and medical treatments.
One more great thing about this coverage is that it can be claimed in a hit-and-run scenario, something that’s very common on highways and desolate areas. So add UM/UIM policy before you head for any long road trip.
Other Drivers? No Problem
If the trip is going to be long, it’s obvious that you cannot keep driving for the entire time. If there are other people in the car, they can drive the car when you need to take a little nap or just rest your body. But what happens if someone else driving your car crashes it?
Most auto insurance companies understand that someone else might also drive your car. So if someone else crashes your car during the trip, don’t worry, you can claim your auto insurance policy for the cost of repairs. There are, however, some conditions that might apply in this scenario.
- First, the driver must take permission from you (the vehicle owner) to drive. If driven without permission, the insurance company will reject the claim.
- The second condition is the driver must have a driving license. If you give the car to someone who does not hold a driving license, not only will the insurance company reject your insurance claim, but both the driver and vehicle owner could face hefty fines and legal action.
- The third condition is the driver must not be drunk or under the influence of any drug. If found, the insurance company will not pay for anything.
Some auto insurance companies won’t accept a claim if the driver of the car was someone from the policyholder’s family and they are not a registered driver in the policy.
These companies require you to add family members as registered drivers, or else your claim won’t be approved if they crash the car. So the best thing to do would be to contact your auto insurance company and clear it all out before you set out for a trip.
Roadside assistance is the one auto insurance add-on that is a must if you are planning a road trip. This add-on was made just for road trips. As the name suggests, roadside assistance will help you with any car emergency on the road. Different companies offer different types of roadside assistance. But there are a few things common to all, such as:
- Tire replacement (if you have a spare tire)
- Gas refilling (only once or twice a year)
- Battery jumpstart
- Getting replacement key
- Unlocking door
- Towing and winching services
- Take your car to the nearest mechanic
All these things could be a life-saver when you need these services in the middle of the road. Imagine being stuck on the freeway with a dead battery. So before you set out for any road trip, add roadside assistance to your roster.
Roadside assistance does not cost too much and for what it’s worth, you should get it before leaving for a road trip. Before you choose any company, compare all the different options, get auto insurance quotes online and compare the prices as well. This will help you get the best roadside assistance policy at the best prices.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Personal Injury Protection Plan
Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage is an optional car insurance policy that covers the cost of medical treatments and repairs in an accident when the driver at fault either does not have liability coverage or has one but it is insufficient to cover the total cost.
This policy is very important as accidents on the freeway can be severe and the costs can be very high. UM/UIM can also be claimed in hit-and-run scenarios
A personal injury protection plan is mandatory in 12 states. It covers the cost of medical treatments needed in an accident.
Even if you don’t live in these 12 states, it is better to have a PIP policy to prevent paying for expensive medical treatments from your pocket. And that’s how to make your auto insurance policy fit for road trips.
Ready to Hit the Road? If you have any doubt, please leave a comment below