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Auto Insurance and Your Summer Vacation

By June 15, 2018December 18th, 2019Insurance

When planning a vacation, it is easy to focus only on the fun parts of traveling, such as booking your rental property, packing for your travels, and finding fun local activities for your trip. However, you should also take a moment to understand how summer travels may affect your auto insurance coverage. Here are a few details to keep in mind during your upcoming vacations.

  1. Your Auto Insurance Policy Covers Other Drivers

If you plan to drive to your destination, you may want to share driving duties with your friends and family members. As long as the individual driving your car has permission to operate your vehicle, your auto insurance policy will cover them if they get into an accident while operating your vehicle.

To ensure that your policy covers other drivers, make sure that the drivers are legally operating your vehicle. For example, if one of your child’s teenage friends drives your car, you need to make sure that they have the appropriate driver’s license to operate your vehicle, as young drivers with graduated licenses can only drive during certain hours.

  1. Additional Insurance for Your Rental Vehicle is it Necessary?

When you pick up your rental car, the rental car company will give you the option to purchase additional insurance for your rental vehicle. Many customers purchase the insurance simply because they do not know whether or not their regular auto insurance will cover rental vehicles. Or the rental company’s representative may tell you that additional coverage is required.

You can elect to save money and forgo the additional rental insurance. Your normal auto insurance policy covers vehicles that you temporarily use, including rental vehicles. All you need to do is provide the rental car company with your insurance information to prove that you already have insurance. If you don’t have proof of your auto insurance, your credit card company may offer some level of coverage. Check your card’s terms and conditions to see exactly what type of coverage it provides.

However, there are some aspects of your personal policy that may not extend to a rental vehicle.  One such item is depreciated value if the vehicle is in an accident as well as a loss of use for the rental car company is the vehicle is not available to rent.  Rental car company contracts are long and it’s a good idea to read up on what your responsibilities are before renting a vehicle.

Another aspect to consider is the type of auto insurance that you have. If you only have liability coverage, this policy may not cover damage that you cause to the rental car during an accident. It will only cover damages that you cause to other drivers. Your auto insurance agent can help you identify exactly what type of insurance you have and any coverage limitations that you should know about.

Remember, that if you do have to make a claim against your auto insurance for an accident that you have while driving a rental car, you still have to pay your regular deductible and the accident will count against your insurance potentially losing accident-free discount(s) you might have accumulated over the years.

  1. You May Need to Check the Coverage for Your Roadside Assistance Coverage

Many drivers choose to purchase roadside assistance through their auto insurance company. However, before leaving for your trip, check the details of your roadside assistance policy to make sure that the coverage is appropriate for your destination.

For example, some roadside assistance policies will only cover towing for a short destination. If your roadside assistance policy only includes towing for three miles, you may want to upgrade your coverage so that it covers longer towing distances.

Shorter towing distances may not be adequate if you find yourself in a rural, relatively secluded area. You don’t want to find yourself stuck with a large towing bill in the midst of your trip. If you plan to drive to Canada or Mexico, see if your coverage excludes these areas. Some plans only provide coverage within the continental U.S.

Is it time to make sure that your auto insurance has adequate coverage for your lifestyle? Contact Callis Insurance so that we can go over your coverage needs.

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