Can I sign up for daily, weekly, or monthly car insurance?
You may find lesser-known insurers advertising one-day or weekly car insurance, but be wary, as they could be a scam or offers for insufficient coverage. In contrast, major auto insurance companies typically sell six-month or yearly policies.
Luckily, it's easy to sign up for a standard auto insurance policy and only use it temporarily. For example, you can enroll in a six-month policy and cancel it after a couple of months when you're done driving. You won't be charged for the remaining months after you cancel, though you may pay a cancellation fee.
What other options exist if I own a car?
If you own a car that you only drive occasionally, you could save money by enrolling in a pay-per-mile insurance plan. Drivers who don't drive much could be rewarded with lower rates.
What about short-term insurance for a car I don't own?
If you're planning to drive a car you don't own, here are some options to consider:
Non-owner car insurance works similarly to standard auto insurance, but it's available when you'll be driving a car you don't own. A few examples include driving a friend or family member's car, renting a car, or using car-sharing services like Zipcar and Getaround. You can purchase non-owner insurance in increments of six months or a year, and it's generally cheaper than standard car insurance. You can also cancel a non-owner policy whenever you want to avoid paying for extra months you don't need. It includes liability coverage, which helps pay for property damage and another driver's injuries if you're at fault in an accident. Some non-owner insurance plans also offer extra coverages like medical payments, personal injury protection, and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
Rental car insurance
While standard car insurance and non-owner insurance will keep you protected while driving a rental car, the rental car company will also have insurance options available. These options are usually more expensive, but they have a couple of perks if you'll only be driving short term. Rental car insurance typically has a very low or no deductible, and any claims you make won't impact the rates on your personal car insurance policy.
When a friend or family member gives you permission to drive their car, their auto insurance will protect you in case an accident occurs. Your friend or family member can also add you as a driver on their policy temporarily if you plan to drive their car regularly. Keep in mind that there will be a deductible to pay, and their premium could go up if you get into an accident while driving their car.
When would you need temporary auto insurance?
There are several circumstances where you may need temporary car insurance. A few examples include:
- You're a college student and only drive during summer break
- You're visiting a location where you'll want access to a car (for example, New Yorkers who spend winters in Florida)
- You'll be staying with a family member or friend and borrowing their car
- You live abroad and will be driving while visiting the US
- You own a car that's only driven seasonally (for example, a convertible that you only drive in the summer)
- You bought a car that you're planning to resell soon