When Would You Need Temporary Auto Insurance?
There are a few different situations where you may need insurance for a short amount of time. Some of the more common scenarios are outlined below. But remember to also consider some of the alternative solutions described previously.
Temporary Coverage for Student Drivers
As a student, especially if you are attending school away from home without a car, you may not need year-round insurance coverage. Perhaps you are only using a car when you are home for the holidays. If this is the case, you may seek temporary coverage for the time you are back home.
An option here would be to remain on your parent’s policy. Some insurance companies allow exclusions for drivers, meaning that you wouldn’t be covered to drive, but your parents wouldn’t be charged for you either. When you’re home, you can remove the exclusion to drive and only pay for the time you were driving.
Temporarily Adding Someone to Your Car Insurance
Another common scenario where you may need car insurance temporarily is when someone is going to be using your car for a short time. When I worked in customer service, I would see this situation frequently with nannies or au pairs. Parents would hire a nanny for the school year and wanted them insured to use their car during this time.
They can be added to the policy as a driver and then removed when they are no longer living in the home or using the car. Just be warned that adding a driver can be a lot easier than removing one. Insurance companies will frequently require proof that this driver is no longer an exposure, which can mean providing documents that they don’t live with you or have their own insurance policy.
Temporary Car Insurance for a Rental Vehicle
Renting a car usually requires some type of insurance to protect the rental car. If you already have a standard auto policy, that coverage will carry over to the rental. However, in cases where you don’t have an underlying policy, you will need some sort of temporary solution.
Fortunately, you have a few different options. You can either purchase insurance through the rental car company, get coverage through your credit card or obtain insurance through a temporary insurer.
Temporary Car Insurance for Drivers Who Don’t Own Cars
If you don’t own a car, you may still have access to them. Whether it’s borrowing a friend’s car or renting one, it’s a good idea to have insurance on the car you’re driving. While insurance typically follows the car and not the driver, you don’t always know if the car is insured or what coverage it carries.
A temporary policy that can be useful in these scenarios is a non-owner policy. This policy typically offers six to twelve-month terms. But like a standard auto policy, you can cancel whenever you no longer need the coverage and usually without penalty.
Temporary Car Insurance for Infrequent Drivers
Those that aren’t driving frequently are also in need of insurance coverage. However, where they get that coverage may depend on how infrequently they drive. This is because most insurance policies offer permissive use.
If you are not driving regularly and the owner of the car gives you permission to use it, coverage on their auto policy should extend to you as well. However, if you’re driving regularly, you’ll need your own temporary auto policy or to be added as a driver to their policy. A non-owner policy may be an option here as well.
Temporary Car Insurance for International Drivers
For international drivers who are moving to the U.S., you may need temporary car insurance to match the length of time you are allowed to drive on an international license. This amount of time can vary by state but is usually up to three months. Some standard auto insurers may also allow you to be added as a driver until you obtain your U.S. license.
Temporary Car Insurance for Vehicles in Storage
Some vehicles are only used in certain seasons or for small windows of time. This is common with motorcycles as well. A temporary auto policy will allow coverage for the time the vehicle is being driven.
However, almost all states require insurance on vehicles with active registrations. So insuring a vehicle temporarily may not be compliant with state regulations. It’s best to check local laws to ensure you’re not penalized.