5 car insurance questions that need answering before your Easter road trip

Australians right across the country face a daunting dilemma when packing for their Easter long weekend away - whether to sacrifice the spare pair of socks for an extra chocolate bunny...

But despite what many may think, this isn’t the most important question you need to be asking yourself before you pack the car full of board games and beverages, and hit the road for a relaxing weekend away.

Instead, make sure you know the answer to these five car insurance queries so you’re not caught short on cover over the imminent Easter long weekend (and pack the chocolate bunny, for goodness sake).

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Do I have a comprehensive car insurance policy?

Knowing your level of car insurance cover before a long road trip is critical, especially if something goes wrong and you have to make a claim. Down under, you’re legally required to have basic CTP insurance (cover for injury and death on the road) but it’s up to you to choose to take up third party property cover or comprehensive cover beyond that.

While third party property cover will bear the brunt of any costs to someone else’s property if you’re at fault in an accident, comprehensive car insurance policies go that bit further, covering the costs to your own vehicle as well. More than that, comprehensive cover usually comes with features that could come in handy on longer road trips like emergency towing or accommodation cover if your car is to break down.

So if you haven’t considered a comprehensive policy, now might be the perfect time.

Do I have roadside assistance?

The chances are your Easter long weekend road trip will involve travelling along some pretty remote stretches of road and the last thing you need is to break down without a road assistance service prepped and ready to rescue you.

The thing is, even if you are comprehensively insured, your policy might not provide roadside assistance as standard. Actually, of the 60 policies in Mozo’s database at the time of writing, just 8 come with this road trip friendly feature but 33 list it as an optional extra (and 19 providers don’t offer it at all), so it may be worth contacting your insurer to tie up roadside assistance before you reverse out of the driveway.

Is everyone covered to drive?

Rotating drivers on a long haul is one of the best ways to stay safe on the road and while some insurance providers like Mozo Experts Choice Award winner, NRMA, will allow anyone to drive your car, others will charge excesses of up to $1400 for unlisted drivers responsible for an accident. This can get even more expensive if a young driver gets behind the wheel with excesses of up to $2,000 for drivers under the age of 21.

The good news is most insurers will allow you to add drivers onto your policy at any time, but this could result in a bump in your premium.

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Do I have windscreen cover?

This kind of cover really kicks in if you’re going outback for Easter as many rural roads are unsealed leaving your windscreen increasingly vulnerable to rogue rocks or bitumen.

While this is a cost you’re likely to confront once you’re back home from your weekend getaway, how much it costs you will depend on your particular policy. According to the Mozo database, 13 comprehensive car insurance policies will cover at least your first windscreen claim each year without any excess at all but the vast majority (47) will require you to pay an additional excess to unlock the cover. It is a potential cost to keep in mind, especially if road trips are a regular occurrence for you and your family.

Is my trailer insured, too?

Fed up of playing packing tetris in the boot of your car? This may be the first road trip you choose to take a new trailer with you, freeing up some precious space in your car and making the long commute to your camping ground way more comfortable.

If that’s the case, you’ll need to know whether your trailer (and its contents) are covered by your current car insurance policy. The good news: 19 policies in Mozo’s database offer cover for a trailer and 39 offer cover for trailers and caravans. The bad news: These policies will typically exclude cover for your contents of the caravan or trailer meaning your precious Easter chocolate stash or family heirloom edition of Scrabble might not be covered.

Planning to hit the road this Easter long weekend? Make sure you’ve got a comprehensive car insurance policy in your glove box first.