Is My Idaho Auto Insurance Ready for a Winter Road Trip?
Colder temperatures and turbulent weather can pose threats to Idaho motorists readying for a winter road trip. When there's rain or snowfall, the possibility of being involved in an accident can increase, and the minimum level of coverage required to legally drive in ID may not be high enough to adequately cover potential damages.
The property damage and bodily injury liability coverage required in the Gem State covers only other people's damages that the policyholder is liable for. Additional weather-related damages to the policyholder's car, including damage from falling objects and ice, are not covered in a minimum policy. Before braving the winter roads, residents should contact their Idaho automobile insurance provider to find out how they can better prepare their policies.
A common suggestion for drivers looking to improve their protection plans is to purchase a higher liability threshold. In Idaho the minimum limits are 25/50/15, but these thresholds can easily be exceeded after an accident. Icy roads and poor visibility can contribute to accidents involving multiple vehicles. If a motorist is liable for damages to multiple cars, $15,000 for property damage liability may not cover the necessary repairs.
Increasing a motorist's bodily injury liability limit can also be beneficial. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average hospitalization cost for a fracture on a patient's leg was over $26,000 in 2005. Because of rising medical costs and dangerous conditions commonly associated with colder weather, an accident in which multiple people are injured can be financially devastating for the motorist at-fault. Luckily, purchasing additional liability coverage can be a cost-effective way for ID motorists to improve their insurance policy before departing for a winter road trip.
Before traveling out of state, it is important for motorists to ensure that they are equipped with an adequate amount of coverage. For example, the minimum liability requirements in neighboring Wyoming are 25/50/20, which is slightly higher than the required 25/50/15 in Idaho. To legally drive in another state, a motorist would need to increase their vehicle coverage to match or exceed the state's own requirements. Some companies will automatically bump up the limits on a policy when the insured car is driven out of state so that their policyholders will be in compliance with other states' mandates for minimum requirements. Drivers planning on crossing state lines should check with their insurer to see if this is the case.
Motorists are also encouraged to consider adding optional coverages to their policy, including comprehensive and collision. Collision pays for damages to the policyholder's own vehicle as the result of a crash, and the comprehensive portion of this protection pays for damages caused by flooding, falling/flying objects, fire, hail, vandalism, theft, and other incidents. In Idaho the winter months can create a variety of hazards that may leave underinsured motorists with expensive repairs.
Before setting out on a road trip, residents may want to add roadside assistance to their insurance policy if possible. Breaking down in warm weather can be unfortunate, but breaking down in freezing conditions can be dangerous. It's important to be prepared for an accident before getting behind the wheel of an automobile, and this can be especially true in the cold and the sporadic bad weather that frequently accompanies Idaho's winter months.