Does Auto Travel Insurance Work for Road Trips?


There’s nothing quite like breezing down a highway with the windows down, the wind in your hair and a cooler full of sodas in the back seat. Whether you’re traveling alone or enjoying a road trip with friends or family, you’ll want to be sure that you’re covered with travel protections on your drive. This is as true whether you’re embarking on a classic American road trip — like U.S. Route 66 — are or braving the roadways in a foreign country, in your own car or a rented vehicle.

Let’s take a look at road trip travel insurance, how it works and the best plans for auto travel insurance to suit your needs.

How road trip insurance works

Road trips aren’t immune to disruptions, and road trip insurance works similarly to travel insurance. Most plans require purchase before your trip begins and cover your prepaid expenses.

For rental cars

Rental car travel insurance policies generally protect against damage to the rental vehicle only. Causes not within your control, such as collision, theft, vandalism, windstorm, fire, hail or flood damage are typically covered.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Because of the limited scope of rental car insurance, know that you may be on the hook if you’re liable for damage to other vehicles or if there’s bodily injury.

When picking up your rental car, you will likely be offered the insurance sold by the rental car company at the counter, typically called a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) or Loss Damage Waiver (LDW). You can decline this protection if you have sufficient coverage elsewhere (e.g., via a third-party policy or a credit card).

For your personal vehicle

Getting road trip insurance for your own vehicle isn’t as common as travel insurance for rental cars, but it can still be a valuable consideration depending on your situation. For instance, access to roadside assistance can provide peace of mind if you are driving for long stretches in rural areas.

Finally, road tripping doesn’t end at driving a car. Other trip protections you may consider including in a travel insurance policy include medical evacuation, trip cancellation insurance, trip interruption coverage and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance. This is true whether you opt to drive your own vehicle or rent one for your trip.

How to choose between road trip travel insurance companies

With several travel insurance companies out there, it can be difficult to narrow down the one you really need. Before buying, always get quotes from multiple businesses.

This is because coverage levels and prices can vary dramatically. Insurance aggregators such as InsureMyTrip or Squaremouth (a NerdWallet partner) allow you to generate multiple quotes at once, plus they include filters for sorting so you can find the right policy for you.

Here are a few things to consider when looking for road trip insurance:

  • Whether you’re renting a car.

  • Whether you already have car insurance. 

  • What types of coverage you’re interested in.

  • If you’re also planning on flying, cruising or using a ferry. 

  • How long you’ll be gone.

Best plans for road trip travel insurance

To figure out the best road travel insurance, we combed a variety of insurance providers to check out their offerings.

Our quotes were built using a hypothetical 37-year-old from California taking a road trip throughout the United States. The total trip time was 15 days, and the total trip cost was $2,700. Here were the top contenders.

IMG

IMG

IMG’s iTravelInsured Travel SE plan came out significantly cheaper than competitors’ plans at just $100.43. This includes primary rental car coverage and a whole host of trip protections.

  • $40,000 in rental car coverage — $5,000 more than similar plans.

  • Pre-existing conditions covered. 

  • Rental car coverage is only for collision, theft or damage to the vehicle.

  • $40,000 rental car coverage maximum. 

  • AD&D doesn’t cover strokes or any cardiac events.

hth travel insurance logo

HTH Worldwide

HTH Worldwide is another top option for travel insurance for car trips. Coming in at $185.29, the TripProtector Preferred plan provides up to $35,000 for rental car coverage, as well as other unique coverage options.

  • Covers additional kennel fees for your pet if you’re delayed. 

  • Includes $500,000 in primary emergency medical coverage.

  • Offers up to $200 to reinstate frequent traveler rewards, which is handy if you booked hotels on points for your trip.

  • Max of $35,000 in rental car coverage.

  • Repatriation of remains covers just $25,000.

  • Coverage excludes trucks, campers, motor bikes, recreational vehicles and exotic vehicles (defined as antique, limited production or collectible car or any other private passenger vehicle with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price over $75,000).

usi affinity

USI Affinity Travel Insurance Services

USI Affinity’s Diamond plan rang in at $187, just a little more than HTH Worldwide’s plan. While it includes rental car insurance, the limit is quite low, making this a better option for those who are driving their own vehicles.

  • Travel delay starting at six hours.

  • $50,000 limit for 24-hour AD&D. 

  • $1,000 rental car insurance maximum.

  • $100 deductible for rental car insurance. 

  • Maximum trip length of 30 days. 

AXA Assistance USA

AXA FINAL FINAL

AXA Assistance USA is our final recommendation due to its nonmedical evacuation policy, which will transport you to safety during a natural disaster or time of political or civil unrest. This can be especially important if you plan on driving somewhere remote with unknown weather conditions. The total for AXA’s Gold plan came in at $215.

  • $50,000 in nonmedical evacuation. 

  • $35,000 in rental car coverage. 

  • Includes coverage for sporting equipment. 

  • Minimum 12-hour travel delay before benefits kick in.

  • $25,000 limit for 24-hour AD&D.

  • Max of $35,000 in rental car coverage. 

Other tips for road trip travel insurance

We’ve gathered a few other tips for road trip travel insurance for you, so be sure to consider these before purchasing a policy:

  • Check out your own auto insurance policy. Within the U.S., your personal policy will usually also cover you when you drive a rental car.

  • Secondary policies pay out after other options have been exhausted, but if you don’t have primary coverage, they automatically become primary. Keep this in mind when comparing plans. 

Top cards with travel insurance for road trips

Waive the rental company’s insurance and pay for your car with one these travel cards to get complimentary insurance on your rental and more:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

NerdWallet Rating

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

NerdWallet Rating

The Platinum Card® from American Express

NerdWallet Rating

Rates & Fees

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

NerdWallet Rating

Travel protections (not a comprehensive list)


Primary rental car coverage: Up to the cash value of most rental vehicles.

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per ticket for delays more than 12 hours.

• Trip cancellation: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

• Trip interruption: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

Primary rental car coverage: Up to $75,000.

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per ticket for delays more than 6 hours.

• Trip cancellation: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

• Trip interruption: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

Secondary rental car coverage: Up to $75,000.

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per trip for delays more than 6 hours.

Trip cancellation: Up to $10,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $20,000 per 12-month period.

• Trip interruption: Up to $10,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $20,000 per 12-month period.

Primary rental car coverage: Up to the cash value of most rental vehicles.

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per ticket for delays more than 12 hours.

• Trip cancellation: Up to $10,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $20,000 per 12-month period.

• Trip interruption: Up to $10,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $20,000 per 12-month period.

Horizontal scroll

Road trip travel insurance recapped

It’s important to ensure that you’re covered when you’re traveling, whether that’s by airplane, trains or automobiles. Depending on where you’re going, you may already have coverage — but do your due diligence and check first.

If not, consider getting a travel insurance policy that’ll cover your road trip, both for peace of mind and safety when you’re away from home.

To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page.

American Express travel insurance disclosures

Insurance Benefit: Car Rental Loss & Damage Insurance

  • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance can provide coverage up to $75,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible Card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the Commercial Car Rental Company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply.

  • Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply.

  • Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

Insurance Benefit: Trip Delay Insurance

  • Up to $500 per Covered Trip that is delayed for more than 6 hours; and 2 claims per Eligible Card per 12 consecutive month period.

  • Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply.

  • Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

Insurance Benefit: Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance

  • The maximum benefit amount for Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance is $10,000 per Covered Trip and $20,000 per Eligible Card per 12 consecutive month period.

  • Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply.

  • Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

How to maximize your rewards



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top