Are you planning a family road trip? It’s great to have the opportunity to get away with family. But, unfortunately, we can’t always prevent accidents from happening. Before hitting the road, there are several important points about how auto insurance works that you should be aware of. By understanding how auto insurance works, you will also be able to make sure your auto insurance coverage is sufficient.

If You are Taking Your Own Car

If you plan to take a road trip with family or friends and you plan to use your own car, there are a few things you should know: First, always understand that the auto insurance policy follows the car. That means that if you allow your friend Johnny to drive your car during your journey on the road and Johnny gets into an at-fault accident, it will not be Johnny’s auto insurance that kicks in to cover any damages to your car or the car of the other party. Your insurance will pay for the damages. And, depending on how severe the damages are, you may be forced to fork up some cash out of your own pocket if your policy’s limits are exhausted.

Also, each state is going to have different requirements related to auto insurance coverages and the minimum amounts of coverage you will need to have from a legal standpoint. For example, Maryland’s auto insurance limits are: $30,000 minimum per person/$60,000 minimum per accident/$15,000 minimum for property damage. Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage is $30,000 minimum per person and $60,000 per accident. To compare, New York’s state limit requirements are: $25,000 for Bodily Injury per person, $50,000 if one person is killed in an accident, $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 if two people are killed in an auto accident. Property Damage limits are $10,000. If you have an auto insurance policy in one state and get into an accident in another state, your auto insurance company will bump up your limits to that of the other state’s. Be careful not to disqualify yourself from this policy by doing something that is deemed unlawful i.e. driving will intoxicated.

If You Are Renting a Car

If you have comprehensive coverage for a vehicle that is listed on your auto policy, the cost of a rental car is covered in the event of a covered comprehensive loss. This coverage is $20 per day/$900 per loss in Maryland, in Virginia, the coverage limit is $600, and $15 per day or $450 per loss in North Carolina.

Driving to Mexico

If you drive to Mexico, understand that rental cars purchased in the United States are not covered once you cross the border into Mexico. However, if you are driving a car that you own yourself, collision coverage will apply in the event of an accident. Rental cars that are obtained in the United States are not covered overseas.