Road Trip Insurance: How to maximize coverage and save money
Here are a few things road trippers should know before they go, regarding their coverage:
Make sure your insurance plan covers anyone who is taking the wheel. This includes rental cars. Just a little extra in coverage will give you the peace of mind that you need should anything happen. Weather changes, trees fall, and fender benders abound (even at the Old Faithful parking lot). An uncovered additional driver could mean the loss of all your hard-earned cash back home.
Know your coverage inside and out. How much liability insurance do you have? How about collision and comprehensive damages? Remember that any accident costs that exceed your coverage limits are going to be your burden to pay.
You should have at least the following:
Suppose someone gets hurt, and you have hefty assets to protect (like your home). In that case, 100/300 limits of bodily injury liability are recommended (meaning $100,000 for one person in an accident and $300,000 for all people injured in one accident). On the other hand, if you’re not on a family policy or covered by your parents’ insurance, only your state minimum may be necessary, since there are no true assets to speak of.
Depending on the age of your car and whether you lease or own, collision and comprehensive are also coverages to consider to protect your vehicle should it hit something or should something hit it. You can read more about these coverages here and use Insurify to compare up to 20 quotes side by side while you continue mapping out your once-in-a-lifetime road trip.
Assume your trip will go sideways. What kind of roadside assistance do you have should you encounter a flat tire or find yourself locked out of your car in Yosemite? What hands-free apps do you have on your phone to make sure you can get back on the road in unexpected road conditions? Or to find the nearest bathroom or the next tank of gas?
Consider renting. More and more activity is being seen at rental car company sites away from airports this year. This means people are renting not because they have to commute home from a flight, but because they want to see the road from a different perspective. A few good reasons for renting include the ability to test drive a car that you’ve been eyeing and getting something more rugged than your daily driver for a backroads camping trip. Some renters from places like NYC may not even own a car. Your personal insurance can cover your rental in the same way it does your own vehicle. Another hint is to leverage your credit card for rental insurance costs.
(See Chase Bank’s Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver for an example of how your own credit card can cover you in the event of an accident or damage while on the road in a rental.)
See more: Insurance Comparison Sites