Few states make for a better road trip than the great state of Arizona. Weekend warriors head off to explore rural canyons while retirees and vacationers may venture beyond state lines and throughout the U.S. Whatever your preferences, one thing is true about frequent travel: you need the right car insurance coverage. Do you know what happens to your coverage when you leave the state? What if you travel to a state with different insurance requirements than your own? Continue reading to learn more about the best car insurance options for people on the go.
Rental Car Insurance
Perhaps you want to leave your vehicle at home and opt for a rental during your trip. Does that mean you need to purchase separate insurance coverage? The answer depends on your personal auto insurance policy. Some insurance companies provide policies that extend coverage for your rental cars. If your policy includes this clause, chances are you can forego the rental company’s coverage. Also, remember that any traffic violations you receive while driving a rental car follows your license – not the car. That means that the ticket you receive for speeding in Ohio could affect the cost of your premiums back in Arizona.
While you might have coverage extended to your rental vehicle, we do recommend opting for the rental companies damage waiver. There are a couple of reasons for this recommendation. The first is that while your insurance will pay for the damage you cause to a rental vehicle, you still may be liable for the revenue lost by the rental car company while the damaged vehicle is in the shop. The second reason is that if you do have an accident, the resulting claim will not affect your car insurance premiums.
Personal Injury Protection(PIP)
Most states’ minimum coverage requirements stop with liability protection. Some, however, have different or expanded requirements – specifically no-fault states that require personal injury protection (PIP). Since many drivers forego personal injury protection in states that do not require it (such as here in Arizona,) what happens to those drivers when they are involved in an accident in a state that does? For many companies, if you are involved in an accident out of state, your coverage will be amended to meet the minimum requirements for the state you are driving in. However, it is a good idea to check your coverage before you travel to confirm that your policy includes a clause that extends one-time personal injury protection coverage in these types of special cases.
Beware of ‘Gotcha’ Coverage Limits
It may seem unfair, but insurance companies can insert loopholes into your policy that prevent you from claiming the full amount of your benefits if you are involved in an out-of-state accident. This is especially true of policies with high coverage limits. When selecting coverage, be sure to ask if your limits are affected when traveling outside of your region. If you have a lot of assets to protect, you may also want to consider adding umbrella insurance to protect yourself against exorbitant liability expenses.
Talk with an Agent
One of the worst mistakes you could make is trying to determine which type of coverage you need on your own. Only a licensed insurance agent knows the ins and outs of which types of coverage provide the best car insurance for frequent travelers. What if your travel takes you out of the country? Does it matter if you are driving to Mexico versus Canada ? How about if you are using your personal vehicle for work-related travel?
Harnish Insurance Group is an independent insurance agency representing many top-rated companies. Let us help you find coverage that is suitable to your unique circumstances.