Road trips can make for an amazing adventure, even if it’s only for a short amount of time. But even short road trips don’t guarantee that you won’t encounter an accident or vehicle damage on the road.
Whether you’re planning a romantic weekend getaway in your local region, or heading overseas to hit the open road, it’s important to be well-prepared with car insurance for the many unexpected things can happen.
And don’t fall into the trap of thinking that if it’s your car you don’t need car insurance! On the contrary, you might actually need it more so.
Heading on a Road Trip? Consider These Things When Taking Out Car Insurance
Consider Your Deductible
A car insurance deductible is the amount of money you have to pay before your insurance covers the rest. For instance, if you have $300 worth of damage and a $600 deductible, you will pay all of the repairs. If you have $3,000 worth of damage and the same deductible, you will only have to pay $600 toward the repair.
Your insurer only pays for damages above your deductible, so this is an important detail to consider when choosing your car insurance. Higher deductibles often mean access to cheaper insurance, where-as lower deductibles might see your insurance become more expensive.
So it’s a matter of balancing out what you’re financially able to cover if you do find yourself in an accident, with the amount you’re able / willing to pay to make sure you’re covered.
You expect that your car insurance will cover damages to the car, but what if you’re in an accident which causes harm or injury to another person?
Not all car insurance covers personal liability, but this can be incredibly important, especially if driving in a litigious country like the United States of America where harm / injury is often cause to sue.
Personal liability applies when you are found legally liable to pay compensation for death or bodily injury or physical loss or damage to someone else’s property as a result of an accident.
This includes legal expenses, and the cost of bodily injuries or damage to the property of another person/s, as a result of a claim made against you.
Don’t Be Pressured by the Rental Company
Rental companies are known to pressure you into purchasing additional insurance at a premium. While you should certainly drive with insurance, you probably already receive enough coverage through your current insurance plan.
If driving overseas, review your current insurance policy to see if you have overseas coverage. You might even already qualify for insurance coverage through your travel credit card (we do with our Chase Sapphire Preferred).
Even if you do end up needing extra insurance for your car rental, there are third party options that are generally cheaper than the one provided by your rental company.
Be Aware of the Terms and Conditions
It’s important to be aware of both the terms and conditions of your car rental, as well as your insurance policy. For instance, many US car rentals disallow travel across the border to Mexico, and if you’re found to have breached this condition your insurance will be void.
You’re also unlikely to be covered by your policy if you were found to be driving outside of the law, for instance driving under the influence of alcohol, or texting while driving.
As road rules are vastly different from country to country, it is of the upmost importance to make sure you’re aware of the rules of the road. Ignorance is no excuse and will not form part of a successful plea to an insurance company.
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