For some people, summer means baseball, picnics, and cross-country road trips. The warm summer air and longer days provide the perfect time to pack up the car and get away from it all. But a successful road trip takes more than tossing some clothes and snacks into the car and heading out onto the highway. To be a smart road trip planner, make sure you've got the right coverage. With these road trip tips, you can be ready in case something unexpected happens while you're driving down the road.
There's something romantic about a summer road trip. But heading onto the open highway comes with hazards, too. Wherever you're going, remember that every successful road trip takes thoughtful preparation. With just a little planning, you can take a cross-country road trip that's both fun and safe.
No matter where you're going, auto insurance is a crucial part of your trip. Before you take that first turn out of your driveway, take a moment to learn the parameters of your policy. Do you have collision coverage? What about comprehensive coverage if your car is stolen or there's a natural disaster? When you're putting together your road trip planner, make sure you understand your liability coverage, which helps pay for injuries to another person or property in case of an accident.
Part of the fun of a cross-country road trip is staring out the window and watching the countryside fly by. Since you probably won't be the only person behind the wheel, be sure to find out to what extent your policy covers other drivers. Your coverage typically insures you, your spouse, and anyone else driving the car with your consent. But liability coverage has limitations, so talk to your agent to make sure you've got the coverage you need.
Not every road trip involves a car. Our Planning the Perfect Motorcycle Road Trip article provides several road trip tips for motorcyclists, including road trip ideas such as packing hints, planning suggestions, and more.
Unfortunately, sometimes cars simply break down. But something like an overheated radiator doesn't have to end your trip—Allstate has several roadside assistance plans that will get you back on the road in no time, including the Good Hands Roadside Assistance program. This new service gives you free access to our 24/7 Roadside Network, and there's no annual fee-you pay only for the service as you need it and when you need it. Allstate's roadside assistance plans cover towing, jump starts, lockouts, and even legal defense if something unexpected happens.
A cross-country road trip means being away from home for a few days, so you'll likely have some of your belongings with you. This could be a good thing if you want to have your laptop handy, but it could spell trouble if someone steals your stuff. So check with your agent to find out which policy covers your belongings. Your car's broken window, for instance, would likely be covered by your comprehensive coverage, but the smaller items could be covered by your homeowners (or renters or condo) insurance. Give your agent a call to be sure.
If you're taking a cross-country road trip, you may come across an aggressive driver who makes your trip more difficult. It's not easy to deal with road rage, so check out our article, Be Aware of Aggressive Driving and Road Rage. No matter how frustrated you get, our article recommends getting out of the way of an angry driver. It's simply better to stay safe than engage in a potentially dangerous conflict.
Accidents happen, no matter where you are. If you're involved in a fender bender, your Allstate insurance will still cover you anywhere in the country. But in addition to road trip tips, keep in mind these steps if you get in an accident:
- Get medical help, if you need it.
- Call the police if it's warranted.
- Call 1-800-ALLSTATE (1-800-255-7828) or go to www.allstate.com to report the accident.
- Don't admit fault, no matter what caused the crash. It's the adjuster's job to determine the details, not yours.
- Get as much information as possible on the other driver, including the name of the driver's insurance company and policy number.
- Stay organized: there's a lot of information flying around after an accident. Allstate has an insurance claim worksheet that will help you keep the important information together.
Summer's hot temperatures can be tough on cars. Make sure your car is good to go with our Prepare Your Car for the Warm Season article, which provides road trip tips for keeping your car in road-ready shape. Ideas include keeping your fluids topped off, keeping the right gear in your trunk, and making sure the driver is alert.
Nothing deflates a good time on the road faster than a flat tire. Our How to Prevent Flat Tires article reminds you to keep your tires at the correct pressure, rotate your tires when you get your oil changed, and more. This article's tips will help you keep rolling down the highway without any unplanned stops on the side of the road.
One way to keep costs down on your road trip is to increase your car's mileage. Learn how in our Tips to Increase Your Gas Mileage article. It's easier than you think to save gas - driving the speed limit and using your car's cruise control are simple ways to spend less at the pump.
Before you hit the road, make sure you have the most auto insurance protection at the best price. Get an easy no-obligation quote, call us at 1-800-ALLSTATE (1-800-255-7828), or find an agent near you.
Published: December 2012