Summer Road Trips: 5 Things to Consider When Hitting the Road

10:05 AM, Jul 21, 2020
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Summertime is the optimal time for families to break from the ordinary and explore, taking advantage of the sites and experiences closer to home or miles away. No matter how far you travel, keep in mind the following advice if your vehicle and family are going to see extended time on the road.

1. Your car insurance policy covers you in all states

You may wonder what might change if you get in an accident outside your home state. State Farm agent Pam Hansen Alfred reassures drivers their car insurance coverage takes care of them, no matter where they travel. For instance, if you journey to a state with higher coverage requirements, your insurance will adapt to those requirements.

Furthermore, if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, rest assured you are protected. “If you’re in an accident with an uninsured motorist, no matter what state you’re in, your uninsured motorist coverage on your vehicle will pay if you are injured by another vehicle that is uninsured. It will pay for you and anyone in your vehicle for the coverage limit for bodily injury, loss of income, and loss of quality of life,” says Alfred.

2. Prepare by packing the essentials

Long-distance travelling requires planning for unforeseen events on the road and turning back because you forgot something is a disappointing way to kick off your trip.

Make your trek smoother by investing time into writing a complete list of what you know you will need or what you will possibly need during your trip. Whether preparing for empty stomachs, dead cellphone batteries, or a potential accident, you will thank yourself later for planning ahead.

Alfred specifically notes jumper cables, a shovel, toilet paper, and water as must-haves when travelling.

3. If anything you are hauling has value, make sure it is covered

Summer travel can mean transporting more than your family and friends. Recreational toys, like boats, ATVs, camping trailers, and the like, require their own insurance to guarantee they are fully covered. Alfred elaborates, “The liability coverage from the vehicle towing the boat, travel trailer, etc. will extend to these items but normally, the physical damage coverage does not automatically extend. These items should be insured separately if they have value.”

Boat insurance and off-road vehicle insurance will supplement your existing insurance policies, taking into consideration specific cares for each category. For instance, boaters may want additional coverage for the permanently attached equipment in their vessels, like seat cushions and trolling motors. Off-road vehicle owners have additional coverage options not only for damage caused to their items, but the damage those items can cause when in use.

4. Rental car reimbursement and travel expense coverage provide added peace of mind

Your vehicle is yours and your family’s home base during a road trip. If an accident interrupts your trip, it can also take away your ability to go anywhere while you are awaiting repairs. It is for these instances that insurance companies provide addons such as rental car reimbursement and travel expense coverage.

Rental car reimbursement will cover the daily costs of a rental vehicle while yours is receiving repairs. Each claim has a total rental coverage limit.

Travel expense coverage, if added to your policy, will step in to assist with food and hotel accommodations.

These two addons work hand in hand. “If you have a separate rental car and travel expense coverage on your policy, it will pay for a rental car if you have a comprehensive or collision loss and will also pay an extra amount for additional meals and lodging expenses that you have as a result of that loss. It will also pay you to get home commercially,” says Alfred.

5. Be mindful of your pets’ safety during road trips

If you decide to bring your furry friend on the road, prepare them for the journey. Getting your pet used to trips in your vehicle, finding a well-ventilated, roomy carrier for the trip, and packing the right pet supplies for extended travel will help keep them comfortable and safe.

As a final note, Alfred reminds pet owners to pay special attention to the temperature in their vehicles. “Under no circumstances should you leave your pets in the car alone when you are traveling. The inside temperatures make it unsafe for your beloved animals.”

For further assistance on your insurance needs, reach out to Pam Hansen Alfred and her team at (406) 453-6010, stop by their offices at 2817 10th Ave. So., or visit

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Great Falls, MT

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