understanding your insurance policy

understanding your insurance policy

Taking a Long Road Trip? Expect the Unexpected! A Few Ideas to Help You Prepare

by Tuĝba Van Den Heijkant

If you are planning a long road trip, it's important that you are prepared for the unexpected. As Murphy's Law suggests, the worst things happen at the worst possible times—and this can seem compounded when you are miles away from home. Here are a few ways you can be prepared so you can expect the unexpected on a long road trip. 

Insurance Coverage

Obviously, you'll want to be sure that your insurance coverage is enough to meet the legal requirements of your state. Having the bare minimum in coverage may not benefit you when you are far away from home and get into an accident. The maximum amount of uninsured and underinsured coverage for your vehicle is also a good idea. The reason for this is because some states that you may drive through may not require an appropriate amount of coverage that would pay for damages and injuries. As alarming as this sounds, New Hampshire does not require their motorists to have insurance on their vehicles. 

Insurance Add-Ons

Add-ons to your insurance coverage can help cover the costs of various situations that you could run into in an accident (no pun intended). Consider adding a rental car and lodging options to your coverage. That way, if you do get into an accident, you'll have a place to stay while your vehicle is getting repaired or totaled as well as a rental car to drive home if necessary. And since you'll be cruising many miles, mechanical breakdown coverage is also a good idea. This coverage will pay for repairs to your vehicle if you break down, and this can be an immense help for expensive repairs, such as rebuilding the transmission. 

Roadside-Assistance Club Membership

While insurance companies do offer roadside assistance as an additional option, it's a good idea to get a membership to a roadside-assistance club, such as the well-known AAA. With a club membership, you will be able to take advantage of various services, such as help with planning and mapping the entire excursion. Also, most club memberships also provide discounts to various attractions and eateries around the country. And customer-service representatives are only a phone call away to help you with things like finding a nearby pharmacy for your prescription-medication needs. 

Fully Stocked Kits 

A huge reason to be prepared for the unexpected is for the safety of yourself and your passengers. While insurance coverage and roadside-assistance club memberships will help in case something happens, it's a good idea to have a fully stocked first-aid kit and an emergency roadside kit complete with flares and triangles. That way, you can use the kits to be safe while you are waiting for assistance. These types of kits can be purchased at any big-box store. Also, buy a backpack and stock it with water and energy bars so you can stay hydrated and nourished if you get stranded. 

A Prepared Vehicle 

Get your vehicle serviced before you take to the roadways. Make sure that your tires have enough tread and that your brakes and brake lights work. You should have a spare tire that it is properly inflated and balanced. Obviously, a vehicle that is in tip-top shape will have a better chance of not breaking down. More importantly, losing control of a vehicle due to a mechanical failure can cause you to be in a serious accident. If this were to happen, one of the first things your insurance company will try to figure out is whether or not the mechanical failure could have been prevented and the accident avoided. 

Last but not least, check your seat belts to make sure they work properly. A faulty seat belt can be detrimental in an accident. Talk to a company such as AALL Insurance for more information. 


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understanding your insurance policy

You keep a copy of your insurance policy in your file drawer, but do you know how to read and understand the policy? Having an insurance policy will protect you from losses, but it won't protect you from all losses. To get a better understanding of what your policy will and will not cover, read through this blog. You will learn about all different types of insurance policies and learn the terminology used in the documents that you have read. Hopefully, by the time you have read through the content here, you will know exactly where your insurance policies are lacking so you can make changes.