Don't Let a Neglected Auto Insurance Policy Make Aggravating Holiday Driving Even Worse

By Insurance.com Posted : 11/02/2009

Insurance.com RateWatch Finds Average Car Insurance Rates at $1,804

CLEVELAND - November 2, 2009 - Consumers are already busy planning trips for Thanksgiving, one of the busiest times of year for travel in the United States. It will be bumper-to-bumper traffic soon, so Insurance.com urges consumers to double check their policies before heading out this season to make sure they are adequately prepared for any unexpected mishaps.

"With more drivers spending more time on the road this time of year, the potential for accidents is greater," says Sam Belden, vice president at Insurance.com. "Many drivers are traveling long distances, renting unfamiliar cars and carpooling with friends and family, so it's important for drivers to take the proper safety precautions and also make sure they have the right auto insurance for any incidents that could occur."

Drivers that are not insured for multiple drivers or damage to rental cars may want to consider shopping for a new policy. Car insurance rates have come down significantly since last fall, so those shopping for a new policy could add additional coverage and still save hundreds of dollars a year. According to Insurance.com's October RateWatch report, the average lowest rate quoted to drivers last month was $1,804 per year, compared with $1,949 last fall. Those who shopped and switched policies using the site in October saved an average of $536 a year.

Driving Home for the Holidays? Consider These Tips:

Be Sure You Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Insurance.com estimates that 15 to 25 percent of drivers go without insurance today, so Uninsured Motorist coverage is more important than ever. And it costs very little to increase your limit.

Stay Alert When Behind the Wheel

Many accidents occur when a driver is distracted or overtired. Talking on your cell phone and eating while driving take your attention away from the road, which could lead to an accident.

Determine Whether Your Policy Will Cover Your Rental Car

Most companies will extend the coverage on your personal auto policy to a rental car. The important fact is whether you have purchased comprehensive and collision coverage on your own car. That's the coverage that pays for scratches, dents and thefts, among other things. Call your insurance company to check before you head out.

Use Caution When Splitting Drive Time

If a friend gets into an accident while driving your car, it is your responsibility. This means that the accident will go on your insurance record and your insurance premium could go up.

Don't Drink and Drive

Not only is drinking while driving deadly, it's very expensive. According to Insurance.com data, the average lowest rate quote to drivers with a Driving While Intoxicated violation was $435 more than a driver with no violations.

Upgrade or Change Your Auto Insurance

If you have a policy with minimal coverage, visit Insurance.com. Here, you can compare multiple competing rates from best-in-class insurance providers - helping you find the best auto insurance coverage for your needs.

The RateWatch report data is based on the lowest average car insurance rates quoted to consumers in each state.

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