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The best car insurance companies rarely offer temporary car insurance. Although many car insurance companies provide payment plans that allow policyholders to pay monthly, you can only acquire a car insurance policy in six-month or one-year increments.

Think twice before buying a short-term or temp car insurance policy if you encounter adverts for them. One-day car insurance, one-week, or car insurance for a month may not provide the optimum coverage for your needs.

We'll go through how to deal with your short-term auto insurance needs, including how to get temporary auto insurance and when to do so.

What is Temporary car insurance?

The best car insurance companies rarely sell temporary or short-term auto insurance that lasts less than six months. Websites may entice you with promises of cheap one-day, seven-day, 14-day, or 30-day temporary auto insurance plans or even one-day insurance. However, submitting your information for car insurance quotes online or phoning their phone number would almost certainly connect you with a regular licensed agent who can only sell six-month coverage at the most.

If you want coverage for fewer than six months, the shortest policy you'll find from large respectable insurance companies is likely a six-month policy that you'll have to cancel halfway through.

Even if you require auto insurance for a short period — one or two months, for example — you must get a six-month coverage. Ask your insurer if they may change your coverages for a temporary scenario if you already have an insurance policy for a car you own.

Drivers who require temporary car insurance coverage may either change their current coverage or look into other choices such as rental car insurance or nonowner auto insurance. A nonowner insurance policy or rental car insurance may be the ideal fit for your short-term circumstance if you don't own a car but yet require insurance.

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Tips to getting car insurance for temporary situations

Car insurance is only available in six-month or one-year increments, so you won't be able to acquire it every month.

Set a reminder, in either case, to ensure you don't forget to cancel your policy before it expires. Make sure to seek a refund if you paid in full up ahead. Obtain a cancellation confirmation number and keep a record of the time, date, and representative with whom you spoke.

Typically, car insurance companies do not charge cancellation fees and will reimburse any unearned monthly amounts. If you stop coverage after six weeks but have only paid for four, the insurer will send you a bill for the two weeks you didn't pay for.

However, keep a watchful eye on your bank statement: Payments can be handled even though the order has been canceled, and refunds can take along.

To find low-cost car insurance for a short-term situation, compare quotes from several firms to ensure you're getting the best deal. Make sure you're comparing insurers with the same coverage, limitations, and duration.

Short term circumstances to opt for temporary car insurance

There are a few situations where adjusting your auto insurance coverage makes sense temporarily. Here are some frequent short-term scenarios in which you should contact your insurer to see if your coverage can be adjusted:

Coverage for student drivers temporarily

If your child attends college or university and drives a car regularly, they will want continuous car insurance rather than temporary coverage. However, if they only drive during the winter or summer vacations, you may want to adjust your insurance coverages to reflect those changes temporarily.

You can save $1,000 to $2,500 per year by temporarily suspending car insurance coverage for a college-aged driver by removing them from your policy during the semester, depending on the student's age and driving record. However, remember to temporarily add them back when they return for winter and summer breaks; driving without insurance is unlawful and can result in penalties or jail time.

However, be cautious: some insurers require that all licensed household members or have attained driving age be mentioned on a policy, even if the drivers don't use the car very often or at all.

Other auto insurance firms give discounts to consumers who keep their college-aged drivers on the policy. For example, State Farm provides the best savings for college students.

Depending on your insurance company, you may be eligible for similar reductions. Call your insurance agent, explain your position, and weigh your coverage alternatives carefully. While temporary insurance coverage for college students during breaks may appear to be a no-brainer, it may not be the most cost-effective option.

If a college-aged student leaves their car at home for the semester, reduce their coverage to the state's minimum, then briefly increase it when they return. When the car is not in use, your charges will be lower.

Temporary addition of a new member

Are you lending your car to a friend or roommate for an errand? It's unlikely that you'll need to add this temporary driver to your auto insurance policy.

Do you have a babysitter, cousin, or friend that can drive the car regularly for a short length of time? You should add this person to your auto insurance policy. To temporarily add someone to your auto insurance policy, phone your insurer and provide them with the following information:

You can drop the friend, babysitter, or family from your coverage if they stop driving regularly. Adding someone to your auto insurance for a limited time will raise your premiums, but it's worth it to ensure that your car is insured if this individual is involved in an accident.

Rental car insurance temporarily

Are you looking for auto insurance for your weekend rental? While purchasing short-term rental car insurance may appear to be a good idea, verify with your insurer before paying for coverage offered by the rental firm.

When driving a rental car, your personal auto insurance policy may give sufficient coverage, and many credit cards also provide coverage when you use the card for the rental.

Be aware that your auto insurance coverage may not cover an car borrowed for business purposes. If you're on a business trip, you might wish to acquire temporary car insurance from the rental company to fulfill your demands.

Temporary car insurance for international use

Are you planning a trip to Mexico or Canada? You may need to supplement your auto insurance with temporary overseas coverage. Many major insurers, such as The General, Farmers, and Progressive, will extend your United States coverage to Canada but not Mexico.

Before driving across international borders, double-check with your insurer to be sure you're covered. If you take a short trip across Ontario, your car insurance may protect you, but it is unlikely to cover you in Mexico.

Are you a foreign visitor to the United States? All foreigners must get temporary car insurance. You can acquire temporary car insurance from a rental car business if you are a foreign traveler for a short length of time. If you intend to stay for an extended period, you may need to purchase insurance from an American insurer.

Car in a storage facility

If you're planning to place a car in storage for a few months, temporary coverage can be a decent alternative. Even if you aren't driving the car, it is still vulnerable to theft or damage, which the comprehensive section of your insurance policy may cover. Your state may also require you to keep your car insured, including a minimum level of liability coverage, or you will be forced to unregister it and forfeit your license plates.

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Various other scenarios requiring temporary car insurance

There are a few more scenarios in which you might consider getting a temporary car insurance policy. Here's what you should do if you come across one:

Driving test for a day: If you're a permit driver, you should be insured by your parent's, spouse's, or significant other's insurance coverage while you're learning the rules of the road. Because the car you use to take the test must be insured, there should be no need to acquire a separate, one-day policy.

Car-sharing insurance for the short term: Car-sharing insurance isn't as simple as you would imagine. Insurers treat your car differently from using it for personal purposes because you are temporarily transforming it into a commercial car. When driving for ridesharing businesses like Lyft and Uber, check your state's regulations and insurer's requirements to make sure you're protected.

Car dealerships provide temporary insurance: Even if you've already purchased a car, you must demonstrate that it is insured before driving it from the lot. (When you take a car for a test drive, you're insured by the dealer's insurance.)

If you have insurance on another car, that policy may cover you for a limited time, up to the limitations of your current policy. You don't have to get temporary auto insurance from a car dealership, even if the dealer offers it. If you don't currently have auto insurance, check around for the best cost instead of buying from a dealership. This may take a little longer, but it will almost certainly save you money.

Auto Insurance Data Methodology

The auto insurance rates published in this guide are based on the results of research completed by Way.com’s data team. Using a mix of public and internal data, we analyzed millions of rate averages across U.S. ZIP codes.

Quotes are typically based on a full coverage policy average unless otherwise noted within the content.

These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only — your own quotes will differ. Given this, it’s important to go through our insurance steps form to find how much you can save with way.com

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