Whether you are planning on traveling over the hills and through the woods this winter, or just down the highway, please don’t forget to get your car and equipment winter-ready! Snow storms can hit fast – and whether you have a break-down, an accident, or are simply stuck in traffic, sometimes it’s just that granola bar, pair of gloves, or merely the feeling of being prepared, that can change a situation from ‘disastrous’ to ‘manageable’.
Build an Emergency Kit
Your basic car emergency kit should include the following items:
1. Water and food (crackers, granola bars or trail mix)
2. Flashlight and batteries
3. First aid kit
4. Boots, hat, gloves and rain poncho
6. Basic tool kit and spare tire
7. Paper, pen, insurance card, cell phone charger, list of important phone numbers car manual
8. Plastic garbage bags, paper towels
Don’t forget to adapt the kit for your family’s particular needs, such as including a small supply of emergency medicine, a supply of formula or diapers, or some pet food. It may be a good idea to carry an “everyday” emergency kit with the essentials, and to expand supplies to cover your family if you set out on a longer road trip.
Know Your Insurance Coverage: Rental Reimbursement Coverage
Having basic supplies in your car in case of emergency is one way to be prepared. Another is to make the necessary arrangements that help you manage through an emergency situation financially. This is where a good car insurance policy comes into play.
Having insurance is one thing. Knowing that you are protected with ‘little’ coverages that aren’t often mentioned, such as PIP (Personal Injury Protection), Towing, or Rental Reimbursement, is a different story. An independent insurance agent can help you put together a protection plan that keeps you covered.
For example, Rental Reimbursement Coverage pays for a rental car if your car is out of commission due to a covered insurance claim. What might be a quick fix by a body shop any other time of year, could become a long-term wait if repairs are backed up after a Puget Sound storm. (One of our agents waited over 3 weeks for minor body work to be completed several winters ago.) Unless you have more cars than drivers in your home, the cost per car will seem minor compared to the hassle if you have a claim.
This winter, stay safe and mobile with both a pro-active insurance policy and a hands-on emergency kit.