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Planning a road trip? Check your car insurance

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With the year 2020 ending, the holiday seasons are upon us. The almost endless pandemic lockdown around the nation has resulted in a lot of pent-up travel demand, including family vacations.¬†A family vacation is one of those times where you 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.¬†Every year thousands take to their cars to explore the United States,¬†but lost in the excitement¬†of a road trip might be problems¬†with your¬†auto insurance. There’s always a¬†risk you might get¬†into an accident¬†once you‚Äôre on the road.¬†

Is your car insurance ready for a long drive?

Finding cheap car insurance for extended road trips is more important than ever before.¬†How do you know if your car insurance covers you? Before¬†starting your family road trip, you¬†need to¬†review¬†your car insurance policy.¬†It’s not easy to find¬†cheap car insurance. Car insurance providers do not offer specialized road travel insurance. You can check your policies,¬†look at all your options, and¬†add coverage where appropriate.¬†

Here are some things you ought to know before you start your journey:

Planning to travel in your own car

When driving in your car, there are two things you should know¬†about car insurance: who‘s¬†covered and what if I 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 policys limits, you¬†can¬†use your friend’s policy.¬†¬†The other thing to note is that multiple states have varying minimums of auto insurance.¬†

If you start your trip from Florida you will end up being under-insured when you reach New York. This is because in Florida you will need to pay just $10000 of asset damage and $10000 as PIP. In New York, the amount would rise to $50000 or so greater than minimum amounts. 

Fortunately, auto insurance firms understand that the legal limit in one state and crashing in another with higher limits shouldn’t be penalized.¬†Therefore,¬†the¬†auto insurance company¬†would¬†bump your boundaries into the condition you crashed unless you are poisoned or conduct some disqualifying policy. This is also true when you hit north¬†of the Canadian border. However, in Mexico, it does not apply,¬†which we address below.¬†

Before you go on a road trip, check your car insurance.
Car at a gas station before a road trip


Planning to travel to Mexico

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 your U.S. auto insurance will be no longer be valid. 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 adventurous Americans, buying cheap Mexican car insurance is pretty straightforward. Progressive allows people to purchase policies on their websites from one of their partners.

Plans come with standard procedures, six months, and a yearlong. We found that 6-months is typically the best offer, costing between $300 and $400, so remember to include that when you measure the cost of your Mexican road trip. 

Road trip across borders? Check your car insurance.
On the road

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: Loss Damage Waiver (LDW), Supplementary Liability Compensation (SLC), Personal Injury Insurance (PAI), and Personal Effects Coverage (PEC). Of those four, you may need the first two of them. 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 car. 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 card, and your card company will 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 auto insurance, the SLC is mandatory. Liability insurance is the minimum amount of insurance provided by statute. 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¬†wise. 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.¬†

Important coverages to have before your road trip

What about the¬†poor weather? Or¬†criminals, like those who steal or vandalize cars? That’s why you would need collision and comprehensive insurance. They cover a wide variety of damages to your cars, such as hail, flooding, vandalism, and robbery. ¬†

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 car insurance policy. These extras may not seem necessary to the regular driver, but they may be invaluable to road trips. 

Way.com tips for your road trip

There is no special road trip insurance, but there are options to ensure you have the best possible car 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 just purchased the minimum your state wants, you’re probably underinsured. That’s because if you’re causing an accident, you’d quickly run out of liability insurance‚ÄĒand you’re already 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.¬†Many¬†drivers don’t have benefits, so it’s also prudent to make sure you have uninsured motorist coverage. This protects you, not anyone¬†if you get a driver with no insurance. It’s 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 happens if you get caught driving without insurance

Way.com is the one-stop destination for insurance needs

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 holiday, 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 is to shop online or¬†purchase by a phone app.¬†

You will get a free instant quote for road trip insurance from Way.com. If you choose to rent a car for your road trip, we at Way.com will offer renters collision insurance (including damage and theft protection). Car rental agencies can also sell you rental insurance for your road trip. But it often works in daily charge increments, quickly becoming very expensive. 

Check out our blogs for info on finding top-rated airport parking, the best parking spots in your city, and affordable car washes near you.


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