That is how my car insurance bought me stranded | MyWalletHero – Motley Idiot Germany
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Did you know your car insurance could stall you? This is because most policies do not allow you to travel home if your car is unable to drive after an accident.
It happened to me this summer. Having a bad car accident while on vacation in Cornwall was bad enough, but what happened next was worse! I called my insurance company and found out that they would only offer home travel for my car, not my family!
So my husband and I were stuck in Cornwall with no car and four young children. We had to take my family home to Suffolk, but there were no rental cars and no train stations within an hour's drive.
Let's look at why I wasn't insured for onward travel after a car accident and how you can prepare so the same doesn't happen to you.
Why wasn't I covered by my car insurance?
I was shocked to find that most auto insurances do not cover people for onward travel after a car accident. And yes, you are not insured with fully comprehensive insurance either!
Many fully comprehensive car insurance companies offer a replacement vehicle. However, this will not be possible until your car has been towed back to your home town and is being repaired.
In fact, according to its website, Direct Line is the only car insurance that offers onward travel after an accident as part of its fully comprehensive car insurance.
I also have puncture protection, but that wasn't good because that only applies to breakdowns and not accidents.
Check your car insurance
It is worth checking your car insurance policy to see what would happen if you had a car accident while on vacation. When reviewing, consider the following questions:
- Are you insured for onward travel after an accident?
- If your car is towed home and is being repaired, will you get a replacement car?
- What is the excess on your policy?
What options do you have if your car insurance does not include onward travel?
If you want to avoid getting stranded on vacation, there are two things you can do.
Put some money aside
It's a good idea to keep some emergency savings in a separate account to cover large bills or unexpected expenses. And this is one of the times when you may need to top up your emergency reserves.
Here is a list of the additional costs you could incur in a car accident and without onward travel insurance:
- Taxi to the next train station. I was listed as 70 pounds.
- Return home by train. It cost £ 250 to bring my family home and it would have been more expensive if I hadn't had a Family Railcard.
- Rental car for the journey home. I was offered £ 800 for a seven-seater car to pick up in Cornwall and drop off in Ipswich.
- Rent a car while your car is being repaired. It took me three weeks to fix my car. Fortunately, my policy included a replacement car, but it would be an extra charge if yours didn't.
- Car insurance deductible. Mine was € 400.
And here is a list of the money wasted because my family had to go home earlier:
- Hotel for two nights £ 200
- Entry fees £ 50
Think about your goal
If you're planning a vacation, check to see if your car insurance company offers transportation home after an accident. If not, it makes sense to plan a little ahead.
Are there train stations or car rental companies within a reasonable distance from your holiday destination? And could you take a taxi to the nearest train station if you can't go home? As I found out at my own expense, it is better to be on the safe side.
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About the author
As a chartered accountant, mother and personal finance geek, Alice writes on topics such as budgeting, saving and investing.
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