Classic road trips remain a favorite for many vacationers. They can remain in the familiarity and safety of their own vehicle for most of the trip. The thing is, many people do not even give any thought at all to any of the possible limitations in their coverage with regard to their primary car insurance policy in case the unthinkable happens while they are traveling. Before you begin your road trip, you need to go over your policy carefully to ensure that it gives you enough coverage. Look for things like traveling out of state, sufficient liability protection to cover any passengers who might be in the car, and any other situations that you might run into with regards to your road trip.
Liability vs. Full Coverage
Personal car insurance policies can be broken down into two main parts – liability and comprehensive. Liability is what is required by law in all states. This type of insurance is what will pay the damages to the other driver if you are involved in an accident that is your fault. The second part of an insurance policy is the comprehensive and collision. This will add an additional fee on top of the liability car insurance cost. However, it will also pay for the damages to your own vehicle if it has been damaged in an accident or if it obtains damage from something else, such as someone keying it. This is the type of insurance that is required if you have a lien on your car.
Know what time of year you will be going on your trip. Peak travel seasons mean that rates for rental cars might be considerably higher during those times as opposed to renting a car during the off season. Certain times during the year will mean a lot of road trips. Times like Thanksgiving and Christmas come to mind. However, local happenings can also cause rates to rise. For example, if you happen to be anywhere near Tuscaloosa, Alabama during college football season, you can expect to pay more for a rental car.
Insurance Options for Rental Cars
Businesses that rent cars to people will typically offer a few different options for insurance that your regular car insurance policy might already cover. These products are usually offered right at the counter when you rent the car.
A Collision Damage Waiver can also be called a Loss Damage Waiver. This is a type of insurance coverage that you might not need if you already have comprehensive and collision coverage for your personal vehicle. This additional coverage can cost you anywhere from $10 – $20 extra per day that you have the vehicle rented.
Liability Insurance is what is used to cover any damages and or medical expenses to another person’s property or body because of a vehicular accident that was caused because of you being negligent. Check your personal car insurance policy to see if your liability insurance will also be in effect in a rental car. If it does, you won’t need to pay an extra $7 – $14 per day to get it from the rental company.
Rental car companies will also offer you a variety of other types of insurance that can include things like personal accident insurance and personal effects coverage. These insurances are all optional so you can get them if you like, but you will not be required by the car rental company to have them.
This might not have anything to do with insurance, but it bears mentioning because any time you plan a road trip, you don’t want to end up stuck in the middle of nowhere because your car broke down. Before you leave on your trip, it is imperative that you take your vehicle in to make sure that it is in top shape. You might even need new tires. Make sure that you also get a tune up and depending on the time of year, have the air conditioner or heater serviced. If you do not already have it, add roadside assistance to your insurance policy. Maybe you won’t need it, but it could be a life saver if you find yourself on the side of the road with a blow out or stuck in a parking lot somewhere with a dead battery.