How to Insure Your Car for a Short Period of Time

In doing auto insurance research you may have run across some information about temporary car insurance. If you ask Google “Do I need temporary insurance for my situation?” we have the answers.

In most cases, experts say, additional auto insurance is not necessary or even useful. Exceptions pop up, but chances are the comprehensive auto policy you already have also will work in a “temporary” situation. Realize something else: With some exceptions, “temporary insurance,” usually means terms lasting six months or a year. However, it’s also the kind of agreement you can cancel once you no longer need it.

No matter who your insurance company is — Progressive, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, or any of Bond Insurance Group’s many trusted carriers — getting in touch with your agent to review your policy is a smart move. In the meantime, let’s check out a few scenarios where someone might think they need additional auto insurance.

Renting a Car Internationally

Rules differ from company to company, but auto coverage in the U.S. typically (though not always) extends to Canada. This is much less the case in Mexico, where many insurance carriers licensed in the U.S. do not have operating privileges. Some companies offer temporary auto insurance packages for Mexicothat include everything from liability to collision and theft, to medical payments and legal assistance, to vandalism and U.S. repairs. Conversely, for people coming to the U.S. — maybe road tripping on a motorcycle — offer short-term insurance solutions are available.

U.S. residents traveling anywhere else — Europe, South America, Australia — won’t be covered by their regular policies. One possible solution to keep in mind: Credit card companies often will make available insurance policies if you pay for the rental with the card. Check with your credit card company for details.

Ride Sharing Professionals

Drivers who use their own car to transport people for a fee may realize a regular policy does not cover ride sharing. Getting paid transforms your car from a personal vehicle into a commercial one. Uber and Lyft extend insurance with certain limits to drivers. You might never need it, but the more you drive, the greater the chance of an accident. No matter how long you plan on working as a driver, any supplemental insurance solution won’t be temporary. Talk to your carrier about commercial insurance.

Frequent Car Renters

Business people who rent cars first want to make sure their primary auto insurance covers their needs. Spending extra money on insurance at the rental counter is an option. Most experts will tell you the car insurance sold at rental counters is not necessary. Your regular insurance probably gives you the coverage you need.

An effective primary auto insurance policy goes wherever you do, and extends to family, friends, the neighbors, or any chosen occupant.

People ‘In Between’ Cars

It depends on what “in between” means. Do you to buy a vehicle in a few weeks or even months? You should have some kind continuous insurance. Have you sold your car and plan to ride the subway or take taxis (or use ride share) everywhere? If you plan to literally never drive, and don’t need to purchase insurance for reasons other than driving, perhaps you can ditch your insurance policy. Something to consider: If you think you might drive again, a long lapse in coverage will make insurers wary to sell you a policy, which could affect your rates.

Non-Car Owners Insurance Needs

If you don’t own a car but might need to drive one occasionally, look into a non-owner policy. People who don’t own vehicles but instead borrow cars for personal use, or perhaps drive cars professionally that are not their own, should pursue a non-owner policy. Like other policies (away from the car-rental counter), it’s something that keeps you legal.

With few exceptions (most of them at the airport rental counter) there’s no such thing in the U.S. as temporary car insurance. The most important thing to remember is having the right continuous insurance so you’re covered no matter where, when or what you’re driving.