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The Van Dweller’s Dilemma: How To Handle Car Insurance When You’re Mobile

Not all of us prescribe to the idea that a life worth living comes with owning a multi-story house and attached three-car garage. Not all of us believe that renting an apartment with floor-to-ceiling windows and a park view means we’ve reached the American standard of success.

For some of us, life is about adventure. Life is about experiencing the world. Who wants to live in a world “where you buy furniture. Where you tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed, The drapes. The rug. Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you.” For those of us with a spirit more in tune with characters like Tyler Durden, characters challenging the status quo and seeking something more, living in a van and roaming around the country is the ultimate dream—but some of society’s rules still apply, like maintaining auto insurance.

Compare auto insurance quotes with CoverHound to find the essential insurance package for your life on the road.

Why Living in a Van Shouldn’t Have a Stigma

As you think about de-cluttering your life and heading out on the open road, what are some things you can expect to witness? Life unfolding. Too often we’re quick to judge those living their lives differently from the societal “norm.” We question what they’re doing, and why they’re doing it. Living in a minimal, economical way helps bring us back to nature and the wonders of the natural world. We’re able to meet new people, try new foods, and live in a whole new way.

Van Dwelling and Auto Insurance: What Policy Should I Get?

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III) auto liability insurance is the most common form of auto insurance required by state law across the country. The minimum amount of insurance, a liability policy offers financial coverage to the person or persons that you were involved with in a traffic accident if the accident is found to be your fault. Most states require that you carry both property liability and bodily injury liability coverage. But know this: not all insurance packages are offered in every state.

As you are making your travel plans, make sure you have the insurance you need to protect yourself. Many drivers go with an auto liability insurance policy. But as someone who will be living out of their van for an unknown period of time, this package is a little bare-boned.

As the van will be your home for the next several months, you’ll want to make sure that you, your van and all of your belongings (your bed, books, clothes, cooking gear and any electronics) are covered in the event of an accident or break-in. Auto liability insurance can’t protect against this. While you should carry a liability insurance plan (again, it is required in a majority of U.S. states) there are three other plans worth looking into: comprehensive, collision and guaranteed auto protection.

Comprehensive:This auto insurance type protects your car in instances not related to an accident, including theft, vandalism and natural disasters. This package is usually purchased with collision insurance.

Collision:This auto insurance type will cover the costs of repairing or replacing your car after an accident, be it a single-vehicle accident (car crashed into a tree, electricity pole) or multi-vehicle. This coverage type can only be purchased if you have or are buying comprehensive coverage.

Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP):This auto insurance coverage type protects you when your vehicle has been declared a total loss. Because your car’s value depreciates over time, your insurance carrier will only cover your vehicle’s actual cash value. If you drive an older van, this could mean taking a huge financial hit. GAP insurance covers the dollar amount “gap” between what the car is worth and your financing.

Auto Insurance: A Must Have

What’s more, we must have auto insurance in the state that we live in. If you live in New York and decide that you would like to drive your way over to Vermont and park and live there for a while, you will need an auto insurance plan that is valid in Vermont. If you’re only travelling through and plan to return to New York, you can keep your New York auto insurance policy without fears of breaking any laws.

Every state in the U.S. gives you a certain amount of time before you need to switch auto insurance policies to meet the laws in their state, usually between 30 and 90 days. If you have questions about the specific state you’re visiting, visit their DMV or transportation website for more information.

Living simply doesn’t mean you don’t need protection. At CoverHound, we can help you find an affordable insurance package that’ll keep you covered. Click here to find your plan today.

Insurance shopping simplified

Review personalized quotes, select coverages, and buy online - Everything insurance, all-in-one-place.

Insurance shopping simplified

Review personalized quotes, select coverages, and buy online - Everything insurance, all-in-one-place.

Insurance shopping simplified

Review personalized quotes, select coverages, and buy online - Everything insurance, all-in-one-place.
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