A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products, including home, life, auto, and commercial, and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, mainly in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Oct 18, 2021

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Important facts to know...

  • Road trips are exciting and fun, but they do require careful planning when it comes to auto insurance
  • Auto insurance is a legal requirement in nearly every state
  • Before going on your road trip, look over your policy to ensure you have the appropriate amounts of coverage
  • For full coverage, you may want to consider roadside assistance, rental car coverage, collision, and comprehensive coverages

Taking a road trip is a fun and exciting way to spend your time. Whether you are out to see new sights, seek adventure, or just want to spend time with those you love, you can’t go wrong with a road trip.

However, before starting off on such a trip, it is important to make sure you are protected by the right types and amounts of auto insurance.

You can also have more money for your road trip by using an online price comparison tool to pay the best premium possible on your auto insurance coverage.

Try our FREE online quote tool and start comparing auto insurance rates today! Enter your ZIP code above to get the best rates!

Why auto insurance?

There are several reasons to be protected with auto insurance coverage, no matter if you are going on a road trip or not. First and foremost, not having auto insurance coverage is illegal in most states.

Although, each state has their own rules and regulations as to what types of coverage you need and in what amounts.

Having auto insurance coverage not only protects you but also your fellow motorists from financial problems or even financial ruin.

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The Consequences of No Auto Insurance

There is a lot at stake if you choose to forgo auto insurance coverage on your vehicle. You can face a variety of legal issues and requirements, such as:

  • Fines
  • Jail time
  • Vehicle impoundment
  • SR22 insurance requirement
  • Suspension or revocation of your car registration and plates
  • Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
  • Mandatory community services

These penalties can vary between states and become worse with each infraction. You can face them if you are pulled over without insurance and if you are in an accident without insurance.

Additionally, if you cause damages to other people or their property, they may sue you in civil court to get their bills paid.

If you caused the accident, you will likely be found financially responsible and could end up owing thousands of dollars to other parties.

Not getting car insurance isn’t worth the risks for so many reasons. Being on a road trip increases the time you are spending on the road, and therefore, you are at a higher risk for needing to file an auto insurance claim.

Types of Auto Insurance

Now that you know that you need to have auto insurance, especially for a road trip, you may be wondering what kind of auto insurance you should get. Figuring out what you need for car insurance can be confusing to some drivers.

Your auto insurance policy consists of several policies rolled into one that covers different situations. It is important for drivers to know what each policy covers and what their options are.

– Property Liability

Property liability coverage is a minimum coverage that most states require. This portion of your policy pays for damages you cause to other people’s property such as their vehicle, landscaping, or structures.

– Bodily Injury Liability

In addition to coverage to pay for property damage, most states also require drivers to carry bodily injury liability to pay for medical bills or funeral expenses in relation to any accidents you have caused.

It is important for drivers to note that liability coverage covers only the damages they cause to other parties.

– Medical Payments or Personal Injury Protection

In no-fault insurance states, drivers are required to carry medical payments, also known as med pay, or personal injury protection (PIP).

This coverage pays for your medical bills, funeral expenses, therapies, medications, and even lost wages or hired help around the house that is necessary due to injuries you sustain in an accident.

You can file a claim on your personal injury protection policy no matter who was at fault for the accident.

– Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist

Even though auto insurance is a legal requirement in the majority of states, some drivers still choose to ignore this fact.

If you are a victim of an uninsured motorist or are the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you can rely on your uninsured motorist coverage to help pay for your damages.

If you are in an accident with another driver who has insurance but not enough coverage to pay for all of your damages, your uninsured motorist policy will pick up where their policy limits were exhausted.

This coverage is required in some states.


GAP coverage is contractually required for most leased vehicles and some financed ones as well. If you have a leased vehicle, it is likely that gap insurance has already been rolled into your leasing fees and contract.

It is also a wise coverage for other drivers to select if they rolled negative equity from a previous vehicle into their current loan, if they had a small or no down payment auto loan, or if their vehicle type depreciates faster than others.

GAP coverage is used when your car is damaged in an accident and your auto insurance carrier decides it will be cheaper to pay you the fair market value of the vehicle instead of getting it fixed.

If you still owe on your loan, it is likely that the fair market value of your car is less than what you still owe. GAP coverage will pay that difference.

– Collision

Collision is an optional coverage that pays for your property damages if you are in an accident. With this type of coverage, you select your deductible and your policy limits.

– Comprehensive

Comprehensive coverage is similar to collision in that it is elective and drivers can choose the policy limits and deductibles.

However, comprehensive covers other damages to your vehicle, such as:

  • Hitting wildlife or other animals
  • Floods
  • Fires
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Natural disasters

– Roadside Assistance

While not required, roadside assistance can make a convenient addition to your auto insurance policy.

Having roadside assistance can help if you run out of gas, need a jump start for your car, have a flat tire, or some other reason that your vehicle is disabled and you need help.

– Rental Car

Although also not required, rental car coverage can help if your vehicle is in need of repairs or you must wait a few days before getting your vehicle repaired and it is not driveable.

In most cases, rental car coverage is good for up to 30 days at a certain dollar amount per day.

What specific coverage do I need for a road trip?

When selecting coverage for a road trip, you likely want to save as much money as possible, yet still have the protection for any situation you may encounter.

First, make sure you have all of the legally required types and amounts of insurance in your home state. Your road trip could end in a trip to the local jail if you do not.

Next, weigh your options with your finances. You may want to temporarily add roadside assistance or rental car coverage to help you out if you face unforeseen circumstances.

If you still have a car loan or a lease, you should already have comprehensive and collision coverages in place. If you do not, it would be a good idea to add them to your policy before starting off on your adventure.

Planning and taking off on a road trip can be very exciting but don’t forget to add checking your insurance coverage to your pre-trip to-do list. You can potentially increase your road trip budget by paying lower prices on your auto insurance.

To do this, be sure to use an online price comparison tool when comparison shopping for auto insurance coverage. These tools allow you to easily compare several auto insurance premiums at the same time.

Start comparison shopping today for better auto insurance rates by using our FREE online quote tool! Enter your ZIP code below to begin!