Winter has finally come to India. With good weather, you may already be planning your winter trip; whether it’s to your favorite beach destination or to a favorite all-weather mountain. With better road connectivity, road conditions and a seamless GPS navigation system, road trips are becoming increasingly popular among Indian travelers. Whether it’s a long drive or a short one, it requires some planning and proper safety precautions before embarking on the journey. Here are some tips to keep in mind to make your road trip comfortable, safe and full of fun:
Start by checking that the tool kit, jack, hazard triangle, distilled water, engine oil etc. are on point. Since potholes can upset your wheel balance, go for a wheel alignment and balancing before traveling.
Make sure the tires have the correct air pressure; keep it at low to medium pressure while traveling in hot areas and medium to slightly high for traveling in hilly areas with slopes. If you are traveling to a snowy destination, be sure to put a snow chain on the tires to prevent slipping. For night driving, it is crucial that all of your vehicle’s lights, including the parking lights, brake lights, license plate lights and indicators, function properly.
Comprehensive insurance plan
A self drive is fun, but to ensure maximum protection it is essential to always keep the vehicle covered with a comprehensive insurance policy and with the appropriate set of add-ons. This will help you avoid any monetary loss due to damage to your vehicle
or expenses for third party damages.
To limit your financial liability from issues such as flat tires, vehicle breakdowns and engine damage caused by external factors, you can purchase add-ons such as:
Car Protection Cover: Engine failure can happen any day at any time, and the best thing you can do is be prepared for the eventuality. An engine is of course the most expensive component of a vehicle and replacing it is quite expensive.
Having an engine protection cover will help in case of an engine failure not only during your trip but anytime during a policy year. This covers the repair and/or replacement costs and gives you peace of mind.
Tire protector coverage:
Tires of your vehicle should be in the best condition when you go on a long drive. However, driving for longer hours without stopping weakens the strength of the tires and makes them prone to
damage from rough terrain, sliding etc.
By purchasing this add-on, you can be sure that all tire repair/replacement expenses and labor costs will be covered if damaged or lost due to
accidental damage. And you don’t have to worry about your own expenses.
24 hour roadside assistance coverage: This coverage comes in handy if the vehicle breaks down in the middle of the road and leaves you stranded with no garage nearby. With this cover, you can call your insurer 24X7 for assistance.
Emergency hotel accommodation cover: If you have a road accident during your trip and need emergency accommodation, with Emergency Hotel Accommodation Cover you will receive an allowance for your hotel room rent. It is wise to map a hotel every 50 kilometers on your route so that if
your vehicle ever breaks down, you can also take a break while the repairs take place.
Finally, keep the route map downloaded. Don’t forget a FasTag for seamless travel on toll roads. Make sure all passengers wear seat belts and install a booster seat if you have a child. Going on a road trip will be stress-free if you follow the above checklist.
(The writer is the Chief Executive Officer of Reliance General Insurance)