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Short-Term Auto Insurance

Ashley Kane

Planning a long road trip but don’t own a vehicle? About to make the move into the city and already sold your car? There are many possible reasons that short-term auto insurance might be for you. Here’s what you need to know.

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What Is Short-Term Car Insurance?

Essentially, it’s temporary coverage. When a driver chooses to purchase a short-term policy, they’ll be insured for a designated period of time. Maybe it’s a week, ten days, or a whole month. They don’t need to sign a long-term policy, and can pay for coverage only for the exact length of time they need it.

Sound appealing? Originally popular in the UK and other European countries with 1-28 day policy options, the trend is just starting to spread to the United States.

Why Might I Need It?

  • Moving

If you’re renting a moving truck or borrowing a friend’s car you may need auto insurance. You can usually purchase a plan through the company you’re renting from, but it may be more affordable for you to purchase a temporary car insurance plan. Research quotes to find the most affordable option for you.

  • Rental Car

If you’re on vacation using a rented vehicle, you typically need a minimum amount of coverage. Sometimes, credit card companies offer to cover insurance if you pay for the rental with the corresponding card. Just be sure to read up on the details so you know exactly what you’re covered for. If the policy isn’t adequate, you can always shop for temporary auto insurance and compare rates. 

  • Students

Short-term auto insurance can be a perfect option for college students who attend school far away. If they only come home for breaks, they might need auto insurance for a very short amount of time. Instead of adding them onto an existing policy, which can be pricy, perhaps they can purchase a temporary policy for a car. You may also decide to look into a distant student discount. 

  • Cover the Gap

If you’re switching car insurance policies and your term is about to expire, you can always purchase short-term auto insurance to prevent a lapse in coverage. Driving without auto insurance, even for a day, can result in fines and penalties when you go to reinstate your insurance. 

  • Weather Conditions

Worried about tornados, snowstorms, or natural disasters? Consider buying a temporary policy to protect your vehicle with comprehensive coverage. This isn’t available everywhere, and if you live in an area with a lot of weather phenomena, you may just decide it’s worth the assurance to purchase comprehensive coverage. However, if you’re renting a car for a couple weeks or are extra concerned about hurricanes for just the month of September, a short-term comprehensive policy might be right for you.

Is Short-Term Car Insurance for You?

It all depends. If you own a vehicle, you’ll likely decide to just purchase a policy. However, short-term coverage can be a great option for added protection or when you have a driver who might not be insured under your car insurance.

By comparing rates and shopping around, you may find that a short-term policy through a known insurance companies offers the best rate for your vacation car rental.

Of course, you can always buy a long-term auto insurance policy and decide to cancel if you no longer need it. The best way to find out whether temporary auto insurance is available to you is to compare quotes or contact an agent. A lot of the major car insurance providers offer rental policies and short-term options, and there are a few companies specializing in short-term policies. Explore the possibilities and compare today.