If you are using your own vehicle to “road trip”, you legally have to be insured with the minimum liability insurance (amount of liability insurance varies from state to state). But even if you are using your own vehicle, it is a good idea to consider supplemental insurance such as AAA Roadside Service. The cost is minimal, but can be a vacation-saver should you experience mechanical failure, flat tire, dead battery, or even lock your keys in the car.
If you are planning on renting a vehicle for your road trip, then there are 2 things to consider:
1. If you currently have an auto insurance policy, then in most states, your auto liability insurance will transfer over to cover the rented or borrowed vehicle. With that being said, if you carry low limits of liability–let’s say $30,000 in property damage and you rent a brand new Cadillac worth $50,000. If you wreck that Cadillac and it’s a total loss, your liability insurance will only pay the rental agency $30,000 (the limit of your property damage) and the other $20,000, plus loss of use for the rental agency, plus other potential charges will be owed by you.
2. If you do not have a current auto insurance policy and you rent a vehicle, it will be required that you purchase their liability insurance. This way, if you do get into an accident that is your fault, you will have liability insurance to cover property damage and/or bodily injury.
Each situation should be handled on a case by case basis and I encourage those that are preparing for trips like this to have a conversation with their insurance agent.
Any questions or clarification needed regarding this, please feel free to contact me.