There are few things as great in life as driving out on the open road, taking in scenic views, and exploring new locations. Because auto accidents are always a possibility when you share the road, it’s important to ensure that you are covered in the event of a crash.
If you are planning on taking a road trip in the near future, it is important that you take steps to protect yourself if an accident occurs. Generally speaking, it is easier to protect yourself financially when you have a valid and adequate insurance policy. What should you do to ensure that your policy will be honored if your car is damaged? Here’s everything you should know about keeping your car insurance up to date before hitting the road.
Pay Your Insurance Premium
You may be all packed and ready to hit the road, but first make sure that your insurance coverage is ready for the road ahead. Simply having a policy in place isn’t enough to ensure that you’re covered, you also need to make the necessary payments toward your insurance premiums. Insurance companies may not honor a claim if you have not made your most recent premium payment. Your auto insurance premium is essentially what you pay for insurance . Insurance premiums tend to vary based on what you’re insuring, the amount of coverage you are looking for, and your driving history.
In order to be protected, you need to make sure that all your payments are current. You should either go online or call your insurance agent to verify that all payments have been made in full and in a timely manner. If the latest payment is past due, make sure to pay it before you go on your trip.
Keep an Up-to-Date Card
When you purchase an insurance policy, you will be given an insurance card. Typically, the card is valid for six months after the policy's effective start date. Therefore, if a policy was purchased in September, the corresponding auto insurance card would be valid until March. The card will also have your insurance policy number, the name of the company that sold the policy, and information about which cars are covered by the policy.
In some cases, you could be ticketed for not having an up-to-date card even if you have a valid insurance policy. It’s important to pay close attention to when your insurance expires so that you will never be without your proof of insurance.
Provide Proof of Insurance
Now that your payments are current and your card is up-to-date, make sure that you keep this insurance information handy in the car. If involved in an accident, you must show proof of insurance proving that you can pay for damages you cause. In most cases, your insurance card is the proof that you have a valid policy and is what you will present to a police officer. In the event that you do not have your insurance card, you may be able to provide proof of insurance using:
- Physical insurance policy or binder
- Letter from your insurance company
- Certificate of self insurance
Your insurance information will be recorded as part of a police report that will be given to other drivers or victims in the case. Your insurance company may also be given a copy of any accident report compiled by the authorities. Failing to produce proof of insurance could result in a ticket, suspended license, and other penalties. If you don't have a valid insurance policy, you could be liable for any damages that a victim incurs.
Ready to Hit the Road
While no one ever plans on getting into an accident, there is no way to guarantee that one won't occur. Therefore, it is important to take as many proactive steps as possible to guard against any negative consequences that may stem from a traffic collision. By staying current on your insurance payments, keeping your card up-to-date, and providing proof of insurance, you will be able to hit the road knowing you’re covered. An attorney or insurance company representative may provide more guidance about what could happen if an accident was your fault.
In the event that your car is damaged in an accident, MotorCar Doctors can handle your auto maintenance and repair needs. Contact us to learn more about our auto repair services.