The Best Temporary Car Insurance Companies

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 car driving covered by temporary car insurance coverage

Maybe you’re a student home for the holidays dying to take your parent’s car for a spin, only to find you’re no longer on their policy. Or you bought a car you’re planning to resell soon. If you’ve found yourself in one of these situations, you’re likely searching for a form or temporary insurance.

It’s often more cost-efficient to purchase temporary insurance than pay for a standard policy. Although major insurance companies won’t sell temporary policies outright, there are ways to secure short-term coverage.

Read on to find out the best car insurance companies for temporary car insurance and what other options are available for short-term coverage. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Since driving without auto insurance is illegal, choosing a temporary insurance policy can help you avoid a lapse in coverage.
  • Auto insurance companies don’t sell temporary insurance policies, so you’ll need to buy a standard policy and cancel it to avoid paying for the months you won’t drive. 
  • Alternative options for temporary car insurance include non-owner car insurance, rental car insurance, permissive driver car insurance, and pay-per-mile insurance. 

How Much is Temporary Car Insurance?

Major insurers don’t offer temporary car insurance. Reputable car insurance companies only sell insurance policies for six months or a year. So you’ll need to purchase a policy and cancel if you want coverage for less than six months. 

Similar to standard insurance, temporary car insurance costs vary depending on multiple factors. Insurance companies will look at the following factors when calculating your premium:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Zip code
  • Vehicle make and model 
  • Driving record
  • Credit history 

To determine how much you’d pay for auto insurance, it’s best to shop around and compare rates between insurers. Since each auto insurance company sets different prices based on the factors mentioned above, comparing rates can help you find the best policy for your budget. 

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How Does Having Temporary Car Insurance Affect Your Premium?

Similar to standard car insurance, temporary car insurance varies depending on several factors. Although each company is different, the following three situations can affect the cost of your premium:

  1. You forfeit your down payment: Most policies require drivers to make a down payment of 30 or 45 days of the total premium, although some insurers may ask for less. You risk losing this down payment if you cancel your policy a few days into the premium. In addition, some insurers may charge cancellation fees on top of keeping your initial payment. 
  2. You can’t get access to your premium coverage immediately: Most auto insurance companies have a grace period for coverage. Companies may limit your collision and comprehensive coverage in the first 30 days of your premium. For instance, If you’re looking for an insurance policy for 10 – 14 days, you won’t have access to all types of coverage
  3. You could have gaps in your coverage: Car insurers want to see that a driver has at least six months of continuous coverage before taking them on. If you had an active license but failed to maintain coverage, insurers may label you as a high-risk driver. Insurance history gaps will cause  your insurance premiums to rise.

What Situations Call for Temporary Insurance? 

It makes sense to temporarily adjust your car insurance coverage in a few situations. Here are a few cases where you should contact your insurer to see if your policy has any wiggle room. 

You’re a Student Driver

Got a college student heading home for the holidays or summer break? You should adjust your policy to reflect this temporary life change.

Parents looking to save money while maintaining coverage for young drivers should ask insurers about “student away from home” discounts. For example, suppose your college student attends a school over 100 miles away from home. In that case, you could enjoy significant savings on your insurance premium with this discount program.

If your child has an address other than yours on their license, temporary insurance might be an option, but remember, the policy follows the car instead of the drivers. Your insurance would still be the primary responding coverage in any loss. The temporary insurance taken out by your child would be secondary if the limits on your auto insurance policy are exhausted during the claim.

You’re Temporarily Adding a Driver to Your Insurance

If a family member asks to borrow your car for a day, they’ll fall under your current insurance policy. However, if they plan to borrow your car all summer, you may want to adjust your coverage to accommodate whoever will be driving your vehicle. This situation can also apply to if you have a nanny or anyone else who plans to drive your car regularly. 

You’ll need to add this driver to your insurance policy temporarily. To add them to your policy, you’ll need the following information on hand:

  • Name 
  • Age/Date of Birth 
  • Gender
  • Social Security Number 
  • Occupation 
  • Length of license 
  • Recent traffic tickets/ incidents

When this additional driver stops using your vehicle, you can remove them from your policy. However, it’s important to remember that adding any driver to your policy could cause your rates to increase, so it’s best to shop around and compare rates to ensure you’re getting the best deal. 

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You’re Getting a Long Term Rental 

Are you planning an extended getaway in another state? If you don’t have car insurance, you might wonder whether springing for the pricey coverage offered by the rental company is worth it. Securing a temporary car insurance policy might be a good option in this case. 

Though keep in mind the temporary insurance policy will most likely only offer liability and property damage coverage, not physical damage coverages. You’ll still need the physical damage coverages offered through the rental car company.

You Need Rideshare Coverage

Securing temporary insurance for ride-sharing purposes can take time and effort. Ridesharing companies do offer drivers insurance coverage, but it may only apply to some situations. For example, you may have coverage while transporting a customer but not while waiting for your next passenger. If you fall into this category, you should purchase additional insurance for higher coverage levels.

What are the Best Car Insurance Companies for Drivers With Temporary Car Insurance?

woman smiling with son and dog in the car

So, which companies offer the best options for temporary car insurance? While these companies don’t have temporary car insurance policies, they are reputable companies to secure insurance from. Here are four companies that are great picks for drivers looking for temporary car insurance.

Best Temporary Car Insurance for Discounts – Progressive 

Progressive is our top pick for drivers who want to save big. With a reputation for offering discounts to 99% of its policyholders, Progressive is sure to have at least one discount you can qualify for. 

For example, students searching for temporary car insurance can save up to 7% with Progressive if they get good grades. In addition, they offer a seamless claims process you can complete right from your smartphone. 

Geico – Best Temporary Car Insurance for Budget Drivers 

Geico is a great company to secure temporary car insurance. Although it doesn’t offer an insurance policy for less than six months, you can add coverage to your existing policy. For example, you can add car rental coverage or secure temporary auto insurance in the form of a non-owner policy. 

Geico also offers generous discounts for multi-car households and drivers with good driving records. With no cancellation fee and coverage in all 50 states, Geico is perfect for budget conscious drivers searching for short-term car insurance.

Best Temporary Car Insurance for Pay-per-mile – Allstate 

Allstate is our pick for drivers who want temporary mileage-based insurance. In addition, Allstate’s MileWise program is perfect for drivers who spend less time on the road but want to maintain vehicle coverage. 

Since Allstate is available nationwide, you can get coverage no matter where you live. The company also offers great new car and safety discounts. These perks make them an excellent choice for drivers wanting to insure a new investment. 

Best Temporary Car Insurance for Rideshare Services – State Farm 

State Farm offers some of the best insurance coverage for rideshare drivers. Their rideshare driver coverage adds 15% to 20% to your current State Farm premium. So you’ll be covered whether you’re waiting for orders, matched with customers, or transporting items. State Farm offers cheap rates with no cancellation fees, so you can cancel coverage when you no longer need it. 

What are Other Options for Temporary Car Insurance?

If you don’t think you fall into the typical temporary car insurance situation, don’t fret! There are some other options on the market for drivers who need to secure temporary car insurance. Here are three common alternatives:

Non-Owner Car Insurance

If you’re thinking about temporary car insurance because you regularly drive cars that aren’t yours, consider paying for non-owner car insurance. Non-owner car insurance offers two types of coverage to drivers: bodily injury liability and property damage liability. 

Non-owner car insurance is typically a good fit for drivers that fall into the following categories:

  • You were required to fill out an SR-22 or FR-44
  • You’re in between cars and want to avoid a lapse in coverage 
  • You usually rent cars and use ride-sharing services 

Rental Car Insurance 

You can purchase insurance through the rental company if you’re driving a rental car and don’t hold insurance coverage. Although it’s not the cheapest option, this insurance will protect you while using the vehicle. It also saves you from needing to purchase a full insurance policy. You might even avoid paying a deductible if you choose additional insurance coverage from the rental car company. 

Permissive Driver Insurance 

Permissive use auto insurance kicks in to allow other drivers unlisted on your insurance policy to drive your car. This driver doesn’t need to live at the same address as the policyholder to get coverage. Although each insurer will differ, many cover permissive drivers up to 12 times a year under this car insurance. 

Even if you fall under the permissive driver-car insurance of a friend or family member, don’t let your guard down. A car accident or incident will lead to a spike in future auto insurance rates, even if their insurer covers the cost of damages. If you aren’t sure whether your insurance coverage includes this policy, check with your insurance agent to clarify. 

Pay-Per-Mile Insurance 

According to the Federal Highway Administration, the average American drives 13,476 miles annually. If you drive less than that, this insurance could help you save big throughout the year—several major insurers like AllState and MetroMile offer pay-per-mile or mileage-based car insurance.  

Drivers with this mileage-based insurance will pay a low monthly base rate and an additional rate per mile driven. Keep in mind, though, that some insurers will require you to move your vehicle occasionally to keep the sensor active. 

How Can Drivers With Temporary Car Insurance Save on Their Insurance Policy?

Although insurance companies don’t offer temporary car insurance, there are other ways to save money on your insurance policy. Here are a few things drivers can do to find the cheapest insurance premiums. 

Use Discounts 

Even if you don’t plan to use your insurance policy for the entire six months, you can still qualify for discounts. While major insurers may offer some of these discounts, they may not be available nationwide. Talk to your insurance agent to find out what discounts you may miss out on. 

Here are some standard discounts to save money on your temporary car insurance policy: 

  • Vehicle Safety Discount: Vehicle safety features like airbags, anti-lock brakes, or running lights can save you money on auto insurance. 
  • Anti-Theft Discount: Save 15%-20% on your premium when you have a car equipped with an anti-theft feature like a vehicle tracking system. 
  • Good Student Discount: Save up to 15% on auto insurance when you maintain a B average or 3.0 GPA.
  • Good Driver Discount: Being a good driver without a ticket or accident for three years can save you anywhere from 10% – 40% on car insurance. 
  • Accident-Free Discount: Have you been accident-free for three years or more? Your insurance company may reward you with a discount of up to 30%. 

Store Your Car 

If you want to lower your monthly insurance costs, why not store your car when it’s not in use? Your insurer may give you a comprehensive-only policy to keep your vehicle safe while parked. Remember that some companies may require you to store your car for 30 days before coverage kicks in. 

Should you choose to store your car long-term, you could remove the registration from your vehicle and stop insurance coverage entirely. Make sure to contact your local DMV before canceling insurance to avoid a gap in your insurance history. 

Shop Around and Compare Insurance Rates

As you shop for auto insurance, you’ll notice a big difference in rates between insurers. This is because each insurance company chooses to calculate the cost of insurance coverage differently. You’ll need to compare insurance rates between insurers to find the best quote. 

Instead of visiting each insurer’s website, use an online insurance comparison tool. You’ll see rates from several companies at once, making it easy to choose a premium that best fits your budget. 

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FAQs About the Best Car Insurance Companies for Temporary Car Insurance

Can I temporarily insure someone so they can drive my car?

While you can temporarily insure someone on your car, you likely only need to in some situations. Many car insurance companies cover a friend or family member borrowing your vehicle under the permissive use clause. However, suppose someone regularly uses your car for an extended period. You can add them to your policy and remove them when they stop using it. 

What are the best car insurance companies for temporary car insurance? 

Some of the best car insurance companies for temporary car insurance include Geico, Nationwide, Progressive, and Allstate. All of these companies offer discounts or pay-per-mile options to help you save money on short-term insurance.

What does temporary car insurance include?

Because temporary car insurance is standard for less than six months, it can include all the same coverages as a typical car insurance policy. 

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