Road trip tips for long-weekend travellers

20 October 2016

Prepare for your long-weekend road trip with the following IFSO Scheme tips.

“Driving carefully is the most important thing,” says Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman, Karen Stevens, “but we also recommend you take steps to ensure you’re insured, if anything does go wrong.”

The IFSO Scheme responds to about 300 complaints and 3,000 complaint enquiries each year about insurance and financial services. “Unfortunately, some of the most common complaints could have been avoided,” says Karen. “We urge people to take note of these tips to avoid having insurance claims declined.”

1. Read your insurance policy
Understand what you are covered for. Take note of the policy exclusions and limitations.

2. Check your car before you travel
Make sure your car has a warrant, and check its “road-worthiness”, including the tyres. Claims can be declined because the car is unsafe or un-roadworthy – even if it had a warrant. Tyres with a low tread, for example, can contribute to accidents.

3. "Lock it or lose it" on your road trip
If you fail to take reasonable care by leaving your car unlocked, windows down, or your handbag or valuables visible, insurers can decline a claim.

4. Comply with your driver licence conditions
Driving “in breach” of your licence is grounds to decline a claim. “Parents often end up paying for the damage, not only to their own car, but to another car, if they allow their son or daughter to drive outside their learner or restricted licence conditions and an accident occurs,” says Karen.

5. Take note of alcohol driving limits
There are insurance, as well as legal, consequences for driving over the limit. “Be aware of the new alcohol limits,” says Karen. “If you’re over the limit and an accident happens, you won’t be covered.”

Take care and enjoy your break!