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Check Your Auto Insurance Before a Holiday Trip

It may sound simple, but checking your automobile insurance before a holiday trip could save you a lot of time and trouble, miles and miles down the road from home. Holiday travel has become an American tradition for some families, from exciting getaways in the bright city to relaxing loafing in the country. In some cases, with automobile transportation cheaper than flying, more Americans get behind the wheel of their vehicle rather than fly to their holiday destination. In fact, since 2000, the number of Americans flying during the holiday has drastically dropped by 62%.

Holiday Travel can be exhausting given the increase in traffic, but if you plan and prepare accordingly, it will be a piece of pie-almost as good as grandma's pie she makes at Thanksgiving.

Basic Holiday Travel Tips

The first and most important thing to consider before getting behind the wheel of your vehicle during the holidays is to make sure your vehicle is working properly. It may sound obvious, but with the rush of the holidays some forget simple things like servicing your car before you hit the open highway. Go ahead and tell your mechanic that you are traveling and how far you will be going. This way he can take extra care of your vehicle and check things that he may not check during normal service.

When servicing your vehicle, start with the basic things like checking the oil and all fluids. If you're not sure how to do these things on your own, go to an automobile mechanic shop a few days before you're scheduled to leave. Also, make sure the mechanic checks your tires for traction and air. Not having proper traction can turn a casual stop into a wreck in no time, and having proper air in your tires can ensure you get the best gas mileage out of your vehicle.

After your vehicle is serviced and ready to go, now you can focus on making sure your insurance is up to date. First, double check to make sure you have an insurance card inside the car. Some people keep it in the glove compartment. Regardless of where you keep it, it should be in a place where all drivers of the trip know where to find it. Oftentimes during holiday trips drivers' switch out as the current driver becomes tired. While this is a safe practice, make sure all individuals who might be driving know where the insurance card is located within the car.

It's also a good idea to make sure your insurance will not expire while you're visiting relatives away from home. Call your insurance provider to ask when your policy expires, or you can double-check your copy of the policy. Having expired insurance is the same as no insurance at all, and most states require at least minimum insurance coverage. Don't get caught without it.

Holiday Travel Abroad and Insurance Coverage

An increasing number of travelers are taking their vehicle abroad with them as they enjoy the beautiful sites of Europe during the holidays. One thing travelers sometimes forget is to make sure their insurance plan covers their travel abroad. It's never good to assume you are covered. Go ahead and talk to your insurance provider to see if you're covered. If you're not covered, you can also talk to them about policy options that best suit your travel needs. Holiday travel can be fun and adventurous, but if you find yourself abroad with no insurance coverage, your holiday cheer can turn into more of an excitement than you hoped for.

To make sure you get the best quote out there, it never hurts to shop around. Shopping around not only helps you find the best quote, but oftentimes you can tailor your coverage to just what you want, instead of unwanted coverage that you waste your money on. Don't be afraid to shop online. Remember, you're the consumer, and it's up to you to make sure you're getting the best deal.

One thing to keep in mind when considering holiday travel is that it will not cost you extra to travel abroad with your children. This is important to know when obtaining travel abroad insurance coverage. This helps make it easier for the whole family to stay together, travel abroad and enjoy the holiday season.

Keep your travel route in mind as well, since you will need to make sure you have coverage no matter where you drive during the holidays.

Europe is catching on to holiday abroad travelers, and ferry routes such as Calais in France and Hollyhead to Dublin, make it increasingly easy for Europeans and holiday abroad travelers to enjoy. In May 2009, a survey revealed that 38% of travelers did not know if their insurance covered them during holiday travel. Remember to stay informed on your holiday travel insurance coverage.

Saving Tips for the Entire Year

Not only is it important to save money on auto insurance during the holidays, there are many ways to save on insurance all year long. If you're hoping to reduce what you pay for automobile insurance, you may want to consider downsizing your vehicle. Oftentimes, driving an older but reliable vehicle costs less to insure than does a brand new vehicle. While this move may be drastic to some, you may be surprised at the hundreds of dollars you can save if you only downsize your vehicle.

If you have a teenage driver on your policy, it may be a good option for you to put them as the driver of the oldest vehicle your family owns. Putting them as the driver of the older vehicle saves you money since teenage drivers are one of the most at-risk drivers. It doesn't hurt to make sure your teen takes defensive driving. Some insurance companies provide a discount to anyone who takes defensive driving. In fact, it might not be a bad idea for the while family to take defensive driving. It could be a fun activity to share on a Saturday. Encourage your teen to keep at least a B average in school, as you may be able to also get a discount this way. Call or go online to get details about teen discounts on automobile insurance.

Other ways to save include bundling your insurance policies. For example, if you have homeowners insurance as well as automobile insurance, you may bundle them into one policy and save up to hundreds of dollars each year by using the same company for all your insurance coverage needs. Sometimes insurance companies fail to mention the option of bundling. Be sure to ask yourself and stay informed on the various ways to save.

The most important way to keep your premiums low on your automobile insurance is to keep a clean driving record. Insurance companies like customers who don't have wrecks, don't speed and follow all safety precautions. Doing this really does save you, the customer, and a lot of money. Accruing speeding tickets costs you money immediately due to having to pay a fine. It also costs you in the end as well because the cost of your insurance increases.


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