Americans do a lot of stuff well. We're are extremely creative, resourceful, hard working. "Get the job done," that's our motto. But let's face it, there are some things that we don't do as well as folks in other countries. One of them is tied to our work ethic, and that is we don't vacation well. Or maybe it's more accurate to say that we don't vacation enough. In any event, the result is that Americans can be real amateurs when it comes to planning our vacations.
We make lots of mistakes, to be honest, and some of those have to do with our cars. Plan the best vacation possible by understanding how your car insurance works when you take some much needed time off.
Taking your car on vacation with you.
Let's get this straight right up front. I'm not talking about giving your car a vacation. In fact, it may be the only thing that will be working hard for you while you're on holiday. The most important factor to consider is how your coverage will be effected when operating your vehicle in another state.
- Does my car insurance work when I'm driving outside my home state? If you have your policy with a reputable insurance company, then your car insurance will follow you when driving another state. It's pretty likely that your policy will keep you covered when driving in Canada or Puerto Rico, also. Mexico and other foreign countries are another matter, however. In fact, it his highly unlikely that your policy will cover you in those places. So if you are planning to drive your car in another country, be sure to know the laws in that country and purchase the necessary insurance before crossing the border.
- What if I am involved in an accident while driving outside of my home state? The main question here has to do with the varying state insurance laws and what might happen if you cause an accident in a state that requires different types and/or higher minimum coverage than you carry. The answer is that if your policy is with a major insurer, you can relax. If you have an out-of-state accident, most carriers will automatically adjust your coverage to meet that state's required minimums if your policy amounts are less.
- Additionally, if there is coverage required in the state where the accident happens that is not required (and you do not have) in your home state, your insurer will temporarily apply the coverage to the accident event. Remember, though, that we are talking about an accident that occurs outside your home state but within U.S. borders. If you are planning on operating your vehicle anyplace else, it is crucial that you take care of any insurance requirements ahead of time.
- Increase Coverage: Consider increasing your car insurance coverage while on vacation. Putting all those miles on your vehicle puts you at a higher risk for damage. Adding collision coverage, and or roadside assistance, and lowering your deductibles are all options that could benefit you on your trip. Talk to your insurance agent about making changes to your policy to find out what makes the most sense for your given situation.