For Immediate Release - December 23, 2011

Division of Insurance Encourages Drivers to be Safe and Informed during Winter Road Trips

BOSTON - December 23, 2011 - The Patrick-Murray Administration's Division of Insurance is encouraging drivers to make sure their car and car insurance is ready before they hit the road this journey, and is reminding drivers that planning ahead can help avoid mishaps that could ruin your vacation.

The Division of Insurance recently issued a consumer alert on tips for consumers who will be hitting the roads this holiday season, including knowing what is and is not covered by an individual policy. 

Whether you are traveling near or far, you will likely be lugging some valuable items such as skis, a laptop or a video camera -  none of which are covered by a car insurance policy. According to an April 2011 survey released by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, 40 percent of Americans incorrectly believe their car insurance will cover the replacement of personal items stolen from their vehicle.

"The truth is that these items are covered by your home or renters insurance policy to be reimbursed if they are stolen or damaged," Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Joseph G. Murphy.

One-third of Americans also believe their auto insurance automatically covers a rental car, according to the NAIC survey. However, this is not true, and the NAIC recommends checking with your auto insurance agent to make sure you have adequate car insurance whether driving your own car or a rental.

The Division of Insurance offers these tips to drivers for the holiday and winter driving seasons:

  • Confirm your car insurance is active and premiums are up-to-date, and you have selected limits that are appropriate to your financial circumstances.
  • If renting a car check your policy to see if it includes coverage, and verify coverage limitations with your agent or company.
  • Check your home or renters insurance to see if it covers the theft of personal items from a car.
  • Check to see if your policy includes roadside assistance. You can be covered for towing, fuel delivery, lockout service, jump starts, and more.

The Massachusetts Division of Insurance ( is an agency within the Patrick-Murray Administration's Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. Follow the Office at, its Consumer Connections Blog and at its Twitter feed, @Mass_Consumer.