Car Insurance For A Week: Everything You Need To Know In 2024

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Updated: 18 March 2024
Written by
Jeff Bray
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Many drivers today are not getting behind the wheel as much. 64% of Americans are driving less due to gas prices. Their cars aren’t seeing much road time. Car insurance is beginning to seem like an unwarranted expense since their vehicle sits in the driveway or garage half the time.

Other situations can also arise, which involve driving another vehicle, like you need to assist a family member or friend. Both require a second glance at the type of insurance you are carrying. It has been my experience that weekly car insurance is often overlooked when drivers are looking for temporary insurance. Through our discussion, I want to take you through how weekly insurance works and how short-term car insurance can help drivers in both situations.

Key Takeaways

  • Weekly car insurance is not available from your major car insurance companies. They offer a form of insurance called pay-as-you-drive that is similar.

  • Pay-as-you-go car insurance is a type of car insurance that caters to low-mileage drivers. It is usage-based, and you only pay for the miles you drive.

  • Other types of temporary car insurance are non-owner car insurance and rental car insurance. These both involve driving vehicles you don’t own for a short period of time.

  • Weekly car insurance is possible when you purchase a six-month insurance policy and then use the insurance company’s ‘no cancellation fee’ option to cancel your policy.

Can You Get Weekly Car Insurance?

Under the law, you must carry auto insurance. It doesn’t matter if it is temporary or permanent coverage. Your vehicle must have the minimum coverage your state requires. As we stated in our points above, few companies offer weekly car insurance to the 282,000 registered vehicles on the road in the U.S. When you shop for your coverage, as long as you meet the standards of the insurance company you are applying to, you can acquire coverage.

If you are searching for a way to insure your vehicle on a weekly basis, your options are limited. There are less than a handful of companies that offer temporary car insurance. However, you have options to protect your car with a policy that acts much like weekly insurance. One option is to purchase a standard policy that does not have a cancellation fee and then cancel the policy once you no longer need the insurance.

How Does It Work?

There are two ways temporary insurance works. The first is through a pay-as-you-go insurance policy. This can also be called pay-per-mile insurance. The second is through an actual weekly car insurance policy. Both can work when you need an alternative to a traditional auto insurance policy.

Pay-Per-Mile Insurance

Pay-per-mile insurance is designed for those who don’t drive that often and only need auto insurance when their vehicle is on the road. This is not an insurance your everyday driver would have. Usually, insurance plans are for six months and one year. Pay-per-mile, or pay-as-you-go, are usage-based. You connect a device to your vehicle that monitors your driving, and you only pay for the miles you drive. Some companies like Nationwide offer a flat fee regardless of miles driven.

Temporary Auto Insurance

Temporary car insurance is a type of policy one would have that only covers a vehicle on the days you drive it. If you are not driving your car, turn off your insurance, and you don’t pay for it on those days. This type of policy is relatively new in the U.S. It has been popular in the U.K. for some time. Policies are available from a few days up to a month.

Saving for not driving: 41% of drivers see themselves as low-mileage drivers, while Thirty-nine percent consider low-mileage insurance as a way to save money on the cost of their insurance.

Who Would Benefit From Weekly Car Insurance?

Not everyone needs a traditional car insurance policy. Some would benefit more from a weekly car insurance plan. But who are these individuals? Who would benefit most from temporary car insurance?

You Own A Car But Do Very Little Driving

In today’s evolving workforce, more people have the option to work from home and not have to drive into an office. For 2023, 12.3% work from home, and 23.8% have a blend of working from home and office work. Also, if one has a medical condition that keeps them at their residence most of the time, a traditional car insurance policy may drain finances since they do not use a vehicle daily.

You’re On Vacation And Plan To Rent A Car To See The Sights

Sometimes, when you rent a vehicle, the rental car company either relies on the one renting the vehicle to provide the insurance through their personal policy, or they offer their own insurance option, which would increase their daily rate, which could be quite expensive.

You Often Run Errands For A Friend And Use Their Car

If you are using another person’s automobile, in most cases, you are not covered under their policy. Any incident would affect the car owner and you as the driver.

The ideal driver: Ridesharing drivers, students’ home on holiday, tourists, or visitors, and if you have a gap between insurance policies, these are other reasons to purchase temporary car insurance.

Do I Need Insurance If It’s Only For A Week?

Currently, only three states do not require drivers to carry auto insurance. New Jersey does not have a mandate if you can prove you meet the state’s minimum financial responsibility. South Carolina and Virginia have mandates; drivers can opt out if they pay an uninsured motorist fee yearly.

Currently, those fees are $600 and $500, respectively. In all other 47 states, drivers are mandated to carry some form of auto insurance, even if it’s only for a week.

When you do not have car insurance, it can leave you open to consequences that vary depending on the state you live in. These can be:

  • Fines
  • License suspension
  • Vehicle impoundment
  • Vehicle registration suspension
  • Jail time

Who Can’t Buy Weekly Car Insurance?

Pretty much anyone can purchase temporary car insurance. There are no restrictions other than the company you are attempting to purchase it through does not sell it in that state. For instance, Metromile is only available in eight states, three of them being California, Washington, and Pennsylvania.

However, insurance companies do look for and grade you depending on some key factors:

Age: If you are outside the 19-64 age range, you must have held your independent license longer than twelve consecutive months.

Authority: You will need a driver’s license. If you do not have one, or it is suspended, you will not be able to purchase a weekly car insurance policy.

Accident history: Are you offense prone? Driving history can prevent you from getting behind the wheel. Or at least paying decent rates.

Where Can You Buy Weekly Car Insurance?

Options are limited in the U.S. to purchase weekly car insurance. It is a fairly new concept to the states, but many companies are in the process of being able to provide this service to drivers. However, there are ways to obtain weekly car insurance through traditional insurance providers.

How Much Is Weekly Car Insurance?

Depending on the insurance company, you can have a variety of payment options. Temporary car insurance companies offer increments of a few months or weeks. Some may offer payment options of days or even hours. So, the cost of weekly car insurance will vary depending on the schedule you select.

Most traditional insurance companies only offer policies on a six-month or one-year basis. To get the same benefits of weekly car insurance, you can purchase the policy and use the advantage of a non-cancellation fee to receive the benefit of a weekly policy.

Company Weekly Rate Monthly Rate
Geico $7.50 $30
State Farm $8.25 $33
Travelers $9.25 $37
Progressive $9.75 $39
Nationwide $1.11 $44

There are drawbacks to purchasing temporary car insurance.

  • If your car insurance company has a waiting period, you cannot file a claim during that time period.
  • Canceling a policy can cause a gap in coverage if you do not have another form of car insurance ready to take its place.
  • There is always the possibility of a rate increase due to insurance hopping. Long-term customers tend to get the best rates and discounts.

What Is Temporary Car Insurance?

Temporary car insurance is the umbrella name for any type of insurance that is less than six months. It will depend on the insurance company itself on the time period it is sold in. As we mentioned, some sell it in increments of days, weeks, months, and even hours.

However, temporary car insurance is not available everywhere, and not all options can be purchased with every company. As we have discussed, one can purchase a six-month car insurance policy and not be penalized if they were to cancel the policy short of the six-month anniversary. Read the fine print before signing up with your car insurance company.

What Is Non-Owner Car Insurance?

One alternative to weekly car insurance is non-owner car insurance. This type of insurance is for those who don’t own the car they are driving. It has all the coverage options that Liability Insurance has:

  • Bodily injury to the other party in an accident
  • Property damage to the other vehicle
  • Legal defense expenses

In some states, Uninsured/Underinsured motorist and medical payments for you and your passengers are included within Liability Insurance. Check with your state’s minimum coverage standards.

Another thing to understand is that when you are in an accident driving another person’s vehicle, your non-owner car insurance policy will be secondary insurance. The car’s auto insurance policy will pay first, and then your non-owner’s policy will pay what is above and beyond the policy limits. This is especially helpful if their policy doesn’t cover drivers not listed on the policy.

Weekly Vs. Non-Owner Car Insurance

The main difference between weekly car insurance and non-owner car insurance is who owns the vehicle. Weekly car insurance, the named insured will primarily drive the vehicle.

With a non-owner car insurance policy, the driver will not have a financial stake in the car but will drive the vehicle enough to warrant having an insurance policy to cover themselves should anything happen while behind the wheel. But what exactly are the differences? Let’s walk through the table below.

Peril Weekly Non-Owner
Bodily Injury Yes Yes
Property Damage Yes Yes
Legal Defenses Yes Yes
Damage to your vehicle With a rider No
Owner’s injuries With a rider No
Business Driving With a rider No
Personal Belongings With a rider No
Uninsured/Under Motorist With a rider/In some states In some states
Medical Payments With a rider/In some states In some states

As you can see, a non-owner vehicle primarily protects the secondary driver financially should the primary driver’s insurance not cover the incident fully and leave them on the hook for damages that arise from an incident on the road.

Other Options Available To You

We’ve talked about non-owner car insurance and pay-as-you-go insurance, but are there other options available to drivers?

Rental Car Insurance

This type of coverage will provide insurance while you are behind the wheel of a rental vehicle. It covers personal accident insurance, personal property coverage, liability coverage, and loss coverage should the vehicle be stolen.

It must be said that you should check your auto insurance policy because it may cover rental cars through an add-on called rental reimbursement. If you have a credit card, it too can provide coverage when you use that as your form of payment.

Permissive Use

Sometimes, you can drive a vehicle for a family member or friend and not be listed on their policy. Perhaps you are volunteering your time or caring for a sick family member. Running errands for someone is different than borrowing their car. Permissive use is designed to allow one to legally drive and not be penalized or have to go through the process of being added to the policy and raising the insured’s rates.

Traditional Car Insurance

This is one option that, through our research, all the sites mentioned. You simply purchase a standard six-month insurance policy, and once you no longer need the policy, you simply cancel the policy. The only caveat is that you must read the fine print. First, sometimes there is a waiting period for benefits to kick in. Second, be sure there is no cancellation fee. You must also consider the ramifications of switching companies often. This could increase your premium on future policies.

FAQs

Can I Get Car Insurance For A Week?

Unfortunately, you cannot get weekly car insurance with most car insurance companies. The only company that currently offers weekly car insurance in the U.S. is Hugo. They label their insurance on-demand with micropayments. You can also purchase a standard six-month car insurance policy, carry it for the period you need, and cancel it. You need to read the fine print and ensure the policy has no cancellation fee.

What Is The Shortest Time You Can Get Car Insurance For?

With a standard car insurance policy, the shortest period you can purchase car insurance is six months. Hugo offers three-day, one week, and one month plans in addition to their traditional insurance plans. As we mentioned, if you choose to purchase a standard policy and cancel it, be wary of fees and waiting periods. Always read the fine print before you sign up.

Is Weekly Car Insurance Expensive?

When you find a weekly car insurance policy, you will see that it is not that expensive. Since you are only paying for a fraction of the time of a monthly policy, the cost will be minimal. However, if you are applying for a standard car insurance company, the shortest period of time you may pay for is one month. Also, be wary of cancellation fees. Read the fine print before you sign up.

Sources

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