For many, traveling is just not about reaching the destination, it is about the experiences and adventures that follow along the way. Road trips have become popular in recent times as you get to relax and enjoy peacefully with nature. A car is the best mode of transportation for long distance road trips. Not only does it give you a comfortable drive, but also provides ample amount of storage space for your luggage.
Traveling long distances via road, involves uncertainties like mechanical breakdown, tyre puncture, accident, battery discharge, etc. Therefore, before you start the journey, it is important to ensure the car is insured properly.
Be it a rental or your own car, having a car insurance policy is a statutory requirement by the law. If it is a rental car, then the rental company would have already insured the car. However, while traveling, if any damage has been caused to the rental car, the repair costs will be covered by the insurance company. If the damage caused to the car is due to your careless driving, the repair costs will have to be borne by you.
For a personal car, it has to be insured with either a third-party policy or a comprehensive car insurance policy. Meanwhile, a third-party car insurance policy is the minimum coverage required by the law. On the other hand, a comprehensive policy is the ideal cover for a car, especially, if you travel long distance frequently. A comprehensive policy provides protection for accidents, own damage, thefts, natural calamities, etc. Though it is a little expensive, the plan covers most scenarios that a car could possibly face during a long-distance travel or within the city commuting.
A comprehensive car insurance policy can be upgraded with some top-up optional covers which will extend the coverage capacity. The top-up plans can be availed for extra premium. If you are a frequent traveler, then some of the additional covers that would be useful in your journey are roadside assistance cover, cashless claim cover, and engine protection cover.
Roadside assistance cover: It is possible that a car may have mechanical breakdown despite maintaining it properly. Therefore, being prepared to face such situations will help you to tackle the problem without panicking. If your car has broken down in the middle of nowhere or the battery has been discharged, all you have to do is call the insurer and mention about the problem and your location. The insurer will send help immediately to the location. Roadside assistance cover is useful when the car has to be towed to a network garage for repair.
Cashless claim cover: This is the most convenient mode of claim for insurance policies. The insurer will have a network of garages across the country. So, if your car needs to be repaired and the cost of repair is expensive to pay from your own pocket, this facility is a boon. The estimated repair cost will be sent to the insurer by the garage office and this bill will be inspected by an officer sent by the insurer. On approval of the claim amount, the insurer will send an intimation to the garage office to release the vehicle. The insurer will pay the cost of repair to the garage. So, even if there is a delay in all these processes, you can continue your journey peacefully once the repair is complete.
Engine protection cover: Engine is the main part of a car and it is essential that it is in good condition, and oiled properly. Hence, any problem with this part of the car will cause major damage and may take days to repair. However, the cost of repair, be it minor or major, is expensive and it is better to have an engine protection cover, wherein the insurer will take care of the repair cost. Under engine protection cover, oil leakage, damages to piston rods, gearbox, etc. are all covered.
Ensuring you have a proper car insurance policy along with other documents like sales certificate, Registration Certificate, Driving License, etc. is very important. When you are traveling from one state to another, it is important to keep these documents in place, if in case the car is stopped for a random check.
When you are traveling for days together on a road trip, it is essential that you keep the below-mentioned factors in mind:
Fuel: Before the start of your road trip, make sure that you have filled the fuel tank completely. The mileage provided is relatively high when the fuel tank is full. It is possible that you may not get any fuel stations for many kilometers on your way once you cross the city limits. Hence, a fully filled fuel tank should be the first priority on your checklist.
Travel light: Keep minimal essentials that you will need for your trip. Depending on the destination and the activities planned, pack your personal belongings accordingly. If it is an adventure trip, then boots, full pants, jackets, etc. are few of the essentials that you should pack. If it is a non-adventure trip, then you may already know the things you should carry. So keep it light and travel with a backpack rather than a suitcase or a kit bag. It is easy to carry and can be accommodated easily in the car.
First-aid kit: A must-have on your checklist is a first-aid kit. It should include a mosquito repellant, anti septic cream, pain-relief spray, cotton roll, Band-Aid, basic medicines, etc. Make sure that you carry these in a small box as it can easily fit inside your bag. Any medical condition like fever or a wound, needs immediate medical attention. Therefore, carrying a first-aid kit is important.
Travel on budget: Unless you are a rich lad who doesn’t mind spending a few extra thousands, always travel on a budget. Plan your trip much in advance to figure your stay, travel expense, traveling time, route, food, and other expenses. This will give you an estimate of the total expense of the trip. Once you have a clear picture of the basic expenses, you can then keep extra cash for personal expenses like shopping or for any other activity. India is not completely transitioned to digital payment yet, so carry cash with you.
Service your car: It is recommended that you service your vehicle at least two days before your trip. Make sure that you check the engine oil level, coolant, smoke exhaustion pipe, brakes, tyre pressure, wipers, and gearbox condition. Also, do not forget to carry a spare tyre, tool box, and hazard sign board for any mechanical emergency.
Other essentials: Do not forget to carry mobile chargers, flashlights, warmers (if needed),an extra pair of clothes, footwear, power banks, and flashlight. Check for the weather condition at your destination and plan your traveling time accordingly. Do not drive alone for long hours, share the drive with another person to reduce the driving stress.
Road trips, when planned with the right people is fun and entertaining. However, it is important not to forget the above-mentioned points as a necessity for car insurance and travelling checklist to have a safe trip.
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