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Tyron Jones

Car Insurance Expert
Updated: 11/2019

Tyron Jones is a car insurance expert who has operated within the auto insurance business for more than 10 years. 

Temporary car insurance protects those using a car for only a short amount of time. Although you may find yourself in a situation in which you will only be using a car for a short period of time, you will still find yourself legally responsible for the vehicle as well as passengers or anyone you may get into an accident with.

The nature of driving is such that it is unpredictable. Drivers have no guarantee that they will be safe driving a vehicle, even if it is only for a short amount of time. It is best not to take any risks and instead ensure that you are properly insured.

There are multiple situations in which you may find yourself in need of temporary car insurance.

Temporary Car Insurance

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Types of Insurance

Non-Owner Liability Insurance

When renting or borrowing a vehicle that does not belong to you, you will likely want to consider receiving non-owner liability insurance. This insurance recognizes that you are not the owner of the vehicle but still remain liable for any damage to said vehicle during the time it is insured and under your possession.

This type of insurance differs slightly from short-term insurance policies.

Short-Term Insurance

Most insurance policies are sold to auto-owners on a 6-month basis. For this reason, if you will be the owner of the vehicle for a short amount of time, you may find yourself eligible for regular insurance.

Compare rates; if you can find affordable insurance on a 6-month basis and will own the car you will be driving for only a short amount of time, you may be able to purchase or transfer a preexisting regular insurance policy to the vehicle.

Pre-Existing Insurance

Some pre-existing insurance policies cover temporary vehicles. In order to be sure your insurance does this, it is best not to assume and to instead contact an agent from your insurance company.

An agent will be able to best break down your policy and give you a straight yes or no answer as to whether your temporary vehicle will be covered by your insurance. If so, they will also be able to tell you exactly what the insurance will cover. As with regular insurance, you will have to check rates and limits regarding liability, physical damage, additional drivers, maintenance, personal item recovery, and more.

What Does Temporary Car Insurance Cover?

Collisions

Perhaps the costliest of things that could go wrong with your vehicle, you won’t want to find yourself paying out of pocket for damage to a vehicle that is only temporarily in your care.

In the event that you do find yourself the victim of a collision when using a car for only a short amount of time, temporary car insurance can help you cover the bill for any repairs or costs to other drivers and vehicles.

Temporary Car Insurance

Medical Costs

Likewise, medical costs can be the source of crippling debt for many. While no one expects to get into a serious accident, the severity of an accident may have little to do with extensive medical costs. Those who report being hurt in fender benders often experience lasting back problems that they will carry with them through the majority of their lives.

A simple collision can cause damage to the spine that requires years of insurance-subsidized chiropractor visits for multiple parties. The last thing you want is to end your vacation or tenure as a ride-share driver being sued for medical costs for which you have no insurance to help cover.

Mechanical Malfunctions

While rental and new vehicles must undergo regular check-ups in order to assure they are in good working condition, the possibility a vehicle will experience loss of functionality while you are using it is highly possible.

In the event that your vehicle will need routine repairs, temporary insurance will likely be able to cover the cost of otherwise expensive mechanic bills.

Even worse, vehicles may malfunction so severely that drivers find them to be unusable. Oftentimes, rental agencies will gladly swap out your vehicle for a functioning one. At other times, the rental agency may attempt to find you at fault for the vehicle’s malfunction under your care.

Temporary car insurance can help alleviate the damage of these often unavoidable occurrences when using a vehicle that is not yours.

Towing Services

It happens to the best of us. One gets a flat tire and finds themselves in need of roadside assistance or towing. Batteries die, and drivers in foreign countries find themselves accidentally off-roading with vehicles ill-equipped for such adventures.

In times like these, you’ll likely not want to deal with the sudden expense and hassle of finding a towing company. Instead, your temporary car insurance may be able to provide a tow for you for free or at a reduced cost, as well as save you the hassle of vetting towing companies you may not be familiar with while on vacation.

Temporary Car Insurance

When Do I Need Temporary Car Insurance?

Ride-Share Drivers

While you may find yourself in need of ride-share insurance as a ride-share driver, you may also need to look into temporary car insurance if you do not own the vehicle you are driving.

If you are in-between vehicles and using a vehicle as a placeholder it is of great importance that you insure the vehicle. As a ride-share driver, any vehicle you drive is more likely than the average vehicle to undergo excessive wear and tear. Be sure to protect the vehicle, even if you are only using it for a short amount of time.

Additionally, if you were to find yourself at fault in an accident that occurs while you are driving for a ride-share, you will be responsible not only for the other vehicle’s damages but any medical bills your passengers may acquire.

Vacationers

If you are renting a vehicle as part of your vacation, you will need to insure it. The last thing you want is to be tied up in litigation somewhere far from home. Avoid the risk of legal complications and ensure the vehicle you are driving is properly protected when you are on vacation.

Most accidents tend to occur in situations in which the party at-fault has relaxed their sense of precaution. This is why many accidents occur when drivers are close to home, as they feel they are able to let their guard down.

Likewise, drivers on vacation similarly let their guard down and forget they are not untouchable when driving in areas foreign to them.

Renting a Car

Even if you are not on vacation, you will need to be sure to insure your vehicle when renting a car. If you find yourself in need of a personal vehicle when between cars or your car is undergoing repairs, you’ll likely choose to rent a car. You must be sure to insure this vehicle.

Again, although you are close to home, you must not operate under the assumption that your vehicle is untouchable. Your vehicle is just as likely, if not more likely, to be damaged when you are driving in familiar areas. Do not take any chances and be sure to get the proper insurance for your rental vehicle.

Renting Cars Frequently or Temporarily Driving a Vehicle

Similarly, if you will be renting cars on and off for a long period of time or will find yourself purchasing a vehicle you intend to sell shortly, be sure to protect yourself with temporary insurance.

This will help you keep rates down drastically. New vehicle insurance and rental company insurance can both prove to be fairly pricy. When choosing temporary solutions such as these, there is no reason to pay exorbitant prices just to insure a vehicle you will not keep for the long term.

Choosing insurance meant for use on a temporary basis will help to ensure that you are not only protected on the road but protected for a reasonable amount of money.

Borrowing a Car

If you are using a car that belongs to someone else only occasionally, you will likely not see the need to purchase temporary insurance. For example, if you use your partner’s vehicle to run to the store on weekends, you will probably not need temporary insurance.

If, however, your partner lends you their vehicle for an extended period of time, you would do well to consider purchasing temporary insurance for the vehicle. Your partner’s, or other loved ones, insurance will likely cover other drivers with their vehicle.

If, however, you find yourself in a situation in which the ownership of the vehicle becomes murky because you are driving it quite often, you would do well to consider insuring the vehicle for yourself, if only temporary.

The person whose car it is will likely thank you in the event that you get into an accident or something goes wrong with the vehicle. Their insurance rates may not go up and they may feel better knowing they will not experience any liability for any mishaps that occur when you borrow their vehicle, making it more likely they will consider lending you their vehicle again in the future.

Is Temporary Car Insurance Affordable?

As with all car insurance, your temporary car insurance rate will rely on a number of factors. These include your driving record, as well as the type of vehicle you are attempting to insure.

Likewise, you will want to shop around for temporary car insurance, just as you would with regular car insurance. Rental companies will likely offer you temporary car insurance rates that higher simply because consumers don’t have the knowledge that they are able to shop around for their own temporary car insurance at a lower rate.

Similarly, those working for ride-share companies will likely have the company they are working for push a specific type of ride-share insurance on them. Inquire as to the possibility of obtaining your own outside ride-share insurance and shop around for better rates before accepting the suggested insurance.

Your temporary car insurance costs will also depend on the type of coverage you are looking for. If you’re worried about collision insurance, liability, looking for comprehensive coverage, and more, you’ll likely pay more.

It is, however, worth paying for better insurance in most scenarios. Preventative measures often save motorists from headaches and debt in the long run. Accidents and breakdowns are unpredictable. Be sure to look out for yourself when using a temporary vehicle and find the temporary car insurance solution that works best for you.

FAQ

General Temporary Car Insurance Questions

This section covers the basic questions people have about temporary car insurance

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What is temporary car insurance?

Temporary car insurance is a short-term insurance product that does not automatically renew. It provides you with state minimum required or better insurance coverage.

How to buy temporary car insurance to rent a car?

The car rental agency will sell you temporary car insurance for the term of your rental.

When would you need temporary car insurance?

You might need temporary car insurance when renting a car, borrowing a car long-term from a friend, after getting a new car, or any other situation where you need coverage but don’t need a full policy.

How much is temporary car insurance?

The cost of temporary car insurance depends on several factors, like the car, how long you need insurance, your driving record, and more. You’ll need to talk to a local agent to get more information.

When to get temporary car insurance?

You should get temporary car insurance as soon as you know you’re going to need it. That way you can be covered when you start driving.

How to add temporary car insurance?

You’ll need to talk to your insurance agent to see how to add temporary insurance to your policy. Most companies will have a process for this.

Who can get temporary car insurance?

Almost anyone can get temporary car insurance. You’ll need a license and there may be other requirements depending on the state.

What is temporary 6-month car insurance? Why do you need it?

A 6-month car insurance keeps you covered for 6 months but does not renew at the end of that term. You need it to drive legally in most states as well as to protect you from liability when you drive.

What do I put for vehicle for temporary car insurance?

For the vehicle you should list the vehicle that you’ll be driving. That will ensure you’re covered for that vehicle.

Why is it so hard to get short term car insurance?

It shouldn’t be that hard to get short term car insurance. Look for local companies that specialize in temporary car insurance rather than major national brands if you’re having problems.

Temporary Car Insurance and Specific Companies

We’ll answer common questions about temporary car insurance and specific companies in this section.

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What insurance companies offer short term car insurance?

Many insurance companies offer short term car insurance. You should check with your primary insurance provider. You can also check with local insurance agents that represent national brands.

Which companies offer temporary car insurance?

There are lots of companies that sell temporary car insurance. Some of the most popular include Geico, Nationwide, Progressive and American Collectors Insurance.

How to get temporary car insurance from State Farm?

The best way to get temporary car insurance from State Farm is to contact your local State Farm agent to initiate the process of getting insurance.

How to add temporarily someone to your USAA auto insurance?

You can temporarily add someone to your USAA auto insurance by calling your agent at the number listed on your insurance card.

How to get a temporary car insurance identification card from Nationwide?

Nationwide allows you to download and print a car insurance identification card. There should be a link or attached card in your confirmation email.

How to print temporary insurance for car from good2go?

You can print temporary insurance from good2go by using the print option on your browser while your information is on screen. You can also print the attached card good2go emailed you.

Temporary Car Insurance and Specific Locations

This section answers the most popular questions about temporary car insurance in specific places.

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How to get temporary car insurance in Pennsylvania?

You can get temporary car insurance in Pennsylvania by contacting a local agent and asking for temporary coverage. Nationwide, State Farm, and Progressive are good options.

How much is short term auto insurance in Michigan?

The cost of short-term auto insurance depends on lots of factors, like your driving record, the car you’re driving, how and where it’s stored, and so on. An agent will be able to give you more precise information.

Where can I buy temporary car insurance from Geico in Los Angeles?

A local Geico agent is the best person to talk to when it comes to getting temporary car insurance from Geico in Los Angeles.

How can I get a temporary insurance for a rental car in LA?

The car rental company will offer you car insurance. You can also usually get car insurance through your credit card or through your primary insurance company.

How to get temporary car insurance in NJ?

The best way to get temporary car insurance in NJ is to find an NJ agent that will set you up. You can also use internet search tools to compare prices on different temporary policies.

Where to get temporary auto insurance for Oregon?

Progressive, Nationwide, American Collectors Insurance, and GEICO all offer temporary car insurance in Oregon.

How to get temporary car insurance in Washington?

You can check with the most popular short-term insurance companies, these include GEICO, Progressive, Nationwide, and American Collectors Insurance.

Which states can you get temporary car insurance in?

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Getting Temporary Car Insurance

We’ll help you understand how to get temporary car insurance in this section.

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How to get temporary car insurance?

The best way to get temporary car insurance is to contact a local agent or buy it online using an internet search and comparison tool.

Where can I get temporary car insurance?

Progressive, Nationwide, American Collectors Insurance, and more all offer temporary car insurance options.

How to get short term car insurance?

The best way to get short term car insurance is to contact your insurance company. Most national companies will offer short-term car insurance, especially for current customers.

Where can I get cheap temporary car insurance?

You should use an internet comparison shopping tool to see which company offers the cheapest short-term car insurance in your area.

How to buy a temporary non owner car insurance?

You should contact any insurance company you currently use to see if they will provide temporary non-owners insurance. Most companies will offer this product.

How can I get temporary car insurance for driving test?

You will need to buy a temporary insurance policy for your driving test. GEICO, Progressive, and Nationwide are some of the most popular options.

How to get temporary 1-day car insurance?

Depending on your situation, you can get 1-day insurance from a car rental company or from your current insurance company. There are also local companies that specialize in short-term and temporary insurance.

How can I buy temporary auto insurance for a month?

You’ll need to buy a short-term temporary policy to get auto insurance for a month. Travelers, State Farm, Nationwide, and Progressive are popular options for this.

Which insurance companies sell short term car insurance for foreign visitors?

Many insurance companies will offer short term car insurance for foreign visitors. However, your best bet may be to obtain insurance through the car rental agency you’re using.

How to add on temporary car insurance for a week?

You can add temporary car insurance for a week by contacting your current insurance agent. They’ll tell you what you need to do to add this protection to your policy.

Temporary Car Insurance Claims and Coverage

This section will help you understand how temporary car insurance claims and coverages work

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What to do when my car is broken into temporary insurance?

You’ll want to file a claim with your insurance company. The information on the back of your card or the letter or email the insurance company sent you will tell you how to file a claim.

What does temporary auto insurance cover?

Every temporary auto insurance policy is different based on what you want. All should at least offer state minimum liability protection.

How do I make a claim on my temporary car insurance?

The best way to make a claim on your temporary insurance is to contact your insurance agent. You can find the number for claims on your insurance card.

Temporary Car Insurance and New Cars

We’ll answer the most common questions about temporary car insurance and new cars in this section.

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How long is the temporary insurance on new car?

Each state has different rules and each insurance company has different policies. You should contact your current insurance company to discover your grace period for new car insurance.

Do you have temporary insurance when you buy a new car?

Many insurance companies will extend your current insurance coverage to a new car as a curtsey for up to 2 weeks. However, they don’t have to do this and you should always check first.

When auto dealers sell vehicles do they give a temporary auto insurance with paper license plate?

Not in most cases. Most auto dealers ask you to contact your current insurance company and change insurance policies before you drive away from the dealership.

When you buy a car does it come with temporary insurance?

Not usually. Most insurance companies will extend your coverage to your new car for a short period, but they aren’t always required to do so. It’s best to change your insurance as soon as possible.

Leasing car - do I have temporary insurance when driving home?

You should ask the auto dealer you’re leasing your car from if they provide insurance. If not, then you will need to set up insurance for your new car before you drive it home.

How long is the temporary insurance on new car in California?

There is no new car temporary insurance period in California. You should contact your insurance company to change your insurance ASAP.

I bought a new car. How long does temporary insurance last?

You probably have temporary insurance through your previous insurance company. Each company has their own policy regarding how long they’ll extend coverage to a new car. You should contact your insurance company to find out more.

Other Temporary Car Insurance Questions

This section covers temporary car insurance questions that don’t fit into our other categories. Check here if you can’t find your answers elsewhere.

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How to save money on temporary car insurance in USA for visitors?

One of the best ways to save money on temporary car insurance in the USA for visitors is to use the car insurance offered by your credit card provider.

How to buy a temporary insurance for car that is not mine?

You can buy temporary insurance for yourself as a non-owner policy if you need insurance for a car that isn’t yours.

What is the difference between one day auto insurance and temporary car insurance?

One-day auto insurance is a type of temporary car insurance. Temporary policies are anything that lasts less than six months.

Where can I get temporary car insurance for under 21?

Many car insurance companies will provide coverage for those under 21, but you should be prepared to pay a lot more. Nationwide, Progressive, and GEICO are good options.

How old do you have to be to get temporary car insurance?

Each state and company has their own standards regarding how old you need to be to buy an insurance product.

How to get a friend temporary car insurance?

The best way to get someone temporary car insurance is to give them payment information and have them take out the temporary policy themselves.

How to print the right size for temporary car insurance?

There’s no standard size you need to print for temporary car insurance. You can print your information on any size paper, so long as you carry it with you.