Before Starting that Summer Road Trip...

June 30, 2011

Before leaving on their summer road trips, people tend to forget checking to make sure that their auto insurance will cover them in case something should happen.

Americans love to get away during the summer. According to the Federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the average long-distance trip is 568 miles and 91% of summer travel is in personal vehicles.

However, before hitting the road there is one thing summer travelers need to be have: car insurance. Imagine being out on the road, two or three states away from home, when something happens. Where do you go to get help quickly?

“While many people remember to check their tires, belts, hoses and fluids, insurance coverage is often overlooked,” Mark Desrochers, president of The Hanover’s personal lines business, said in a statement. “However, drivers can face significant unexpected expenses that may ruin a long-awaited trip if they don’t have the right insurance coverage.”

Here are some tune ups summer travelers should consider to help minimize risks on their road trips.

can recommend valuable optional coverage that best addresses an individual’s lifestyle.

Local, independent agents have considerable experience and can advise as to which coverage best fit a motorist’s needs. Additionally, they work with a variety of insurance carriers and

For example, an independent agent may suggest a policyholder add “Roadside Assistance.” This coverage provides 24/7 emergency assistance when your vehicle is disabled. Services may include: tire change, fluid delivery, battery jump, lockout assistance, and towing

providing piece of mind that drivers will have protection when taking a long holiday road trip.

There is also protection for trip interruption and rental cars. With trip interruption coverage, motorists who are over 100 miles from home and have a covered loss that makes your car unsafe to drive can be reimbursed up to a total of $1,000 for any combination of necessary and reasonable expenses for food and lodging, additional travel expenses to get home or to the intended destination, and the cost to transport the covered auto to the motorists’ local repair shop.

If you are renting a car and have an accident, rental car coverage pays for the loss of use of the rental car while it is being repaired, any decrease in value to the rental car that you are required to pay as a result of the accident, and the rental car company’s cost to process the claim.

Often policyholders continue to renew their policies with the same limits that were originally written, despite a significant lifestyle has changed.

“It’s important to remember that the dollar limits on your automobile insurance coverage be realistic for today’s legal environment,” Desrochers said. “It doesn’t take a serious accident to exceed limits that may have been appropriate a few years ago.”

Consider adding insurance for any recreational vehicle that might be used on a summer trip, such as a boat, trailer, all-terrain vehicle, golf cart or Jet Ski. In most cases, these vehicles are not covered through a standard auto or home insurance policy. Without the right insurance an individual might not have coverage to repair their damaged item and might also be personally liable for an accident caused while operating vehicle.

At-fault accidents can easily lead to bodily injury lawsuits that can seriously impact an individual or family’s finances. These types of judgments have been known to lead to severe financial consequences. Many individuals opt for a $1 million or $2 million “umbrella” policy, which adds a layer of protection against significant legal judgments far exceeding those provided under a standard auto insurance policy.

“Summer-time travel and vacations should be worry-free,” Desrochers said. “As you formulate your summer vacation plans, consider consulting with an independent agent to ‘tune-up’ your insurance.”

The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc.

, based in Worcester, Mass., is the

holding company for a group of insurers that includes The Hanover Insurance Company, also based in Worcester, Citizens Insurance Company of America, headquartered in Howell, Michigan, and their affiliates.

Enlist the Advice of a Local Independent Agent Check Your Limits Cover Recreational Vehicles Consider an “Umbrella”