»Insurance over the holidays

Insurance over the holidays

This is being written as we approach Thanksgiving and most people will be meeting up with family and friends to celebrate. As we plan for these big holidays, the main focus tends to be on planning the menu for the feast, buying the food and deciding who's going to be responsible for laying in the alcohol. Not that many take out the auto policy to check nothing will go wrong with their insurance. This is a mistake. There will be bumper-to-bumper traffic on all the main routes as everyone gets on to the road to get where they are going. These are the busiest times of the year on the road. At peak times on regular days, the usual suspects are making their commuter runs to and from work or dropping off the kids at school. These are the seasoned drivers with years of experience. Switch to a national holiday and you have a completely different look and feel to the roads.

The moment more drivers spend more time on the road, the chances of an accident increase dramatically. Instead of making short runs along familiar roads, whole families are suddenly loaded into cars for longer journeys along less familiar roads. There are a lot of weekend drivers all around you. With one driver and no passengers, it's easier to concentrate and, with fewer distractions, there's less risk of an accident. Fill the back seat with kids and the distractions are hard to ignore. The short, boring commuter trip is suddenly converted into a stressful epic. Worse, some drivers never think to have their vehicles go through a routine maintenance before setting out. The family car may be alright on short runs, but curl up and die when asked to cruise at high speeds down an interstate. Precautionary time in a repair shop will reduce the risk of an engine or tire blow-out but, in a recession with family budgets under pressure, most give this a miss. Those who are worried about their vehicles or know they need something bigger to fit in everyone and their baggage, rent a car. This puts them behind the wheel of something unfamiliar and the chances of an accident just increased again. Many carpool with family and friends - the people who still have SUVs find themselves in demand.

Put all these causes together and the chances of accidents are high. Now look at the auto insurance quotes and resulting policy. If you are proposing to share the driving in your vehicle on a long journey, are you insured for more than one named driver? Are you insured when driving a vehicle belonging to someone else, whether a family member, friend or rental company. If you have rented a vehicle, what's the relationship between your own insurance policy and the policy the rental company may be selling? Now the hard questions. If you only drive with the mandatory minimum cover, what happens to the medical bills if you and your family are injured? It may be worth looking at short-term medical cover for yourself and your passengers. It may be worth covering the cost of repairing or replacing your own vehicle if it's damaged or totaled. Get multiple auto insurance quotes to get the best protection. Stay safe on the roads and and have peace of mind.

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