UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Should You Get Temporary Car Insurance?
Are you in a situation where you need to insure a vehicle, but only for a relatively short amount of time? Then you should definitely be shopping around for a temporary car insurance policy.
But finding the right kind of coverage – especially the right price – can be a difficult task. However, once you understand everything you need to know about temporary car insurance, it’ll actually be a lot easier than you think.
Defining Temporary Car Insurance
The shortest amount of time that a temporary car insurance policy will cover you is 6 months. If you need insurance coverage for less than 6 months, you are either going to have to bite that financial bullet and buy the extended coverage or face leaving yourself vulnerable to an insurance scam.
There are plenty of fly-by-night companies out there that may promise you temporary car insurance for less than 6 months but will take advantage of legal loopholes in your area while also taking your money and leaving you high and dry.
Furthermore, if you think an insurance policy that covers you for a whole 6 months is still excessive, you might want to look into non-owner car insurance. The only problem, though, is that non-owner car insurance provides liability coverage only.
You won’t be able to file any claims which apply to comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, MedPay/personal injury protection coverage, or anything that isn’t covered by liability (meaning that the accident was your fault) coverage.
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What’s the Difference Between Temporary Car Insurance, and Non-owner Car Insurance?
There are some very important distinctions between temporary car insurance and non-owner car insurance, and your personal circumstances will determine which one is more appropriate for you.
After all, purchasing the wrong coverage could either leave you paying more than you have to, or paying extra out of pocket expenses due to lack of coverage.
Learning the difference between these two coverages is the best way to avoid that.
Non-owner car insurance protects you when:
- You are driving any vehicle
- When you need mandatory liability coverage; but only liability coverage
- When you don’t own your own vehicle, but frequently borrow or rent
On the other hand, temporary car insurance is most appropriate when:
- You are temporarily adding a new driver to your policy but need coverage for more than a month
- You need to protect your driving record and prevent premium hikes by making claims on the temporary policy instead of your own (like when your teenager is first learning to drive, for example)
- Putting a vehicle in storage, because temporary car insurance policies offer comprehensive coverage to protect against vandalism and theft (non-owner auto insurance will not sell comprehensive coverage)
- Rental car insurance is more expensive from your credit card company or the rental car agency
Applying and managing your temporary car insurance is a very different process from non-owner car insurance (which we’ve already covered in a different article).
For starters, you will have to stay on top of when your payments are, and also the date and time your temporary policy is set to expire.
In some situations, there can be a miscommunication and your insurance company may decide to renew the policy and bill you for another 6 months.
To protect yourself legally, call up the company, let them know that the policy is temporary, request a cancellation confirmation number, and keep notes about the time of day and for your customer service representative was.
If you decide to pay for your temporary car insurance month-to-month, you may not be able to request a cancellation confirmation number until the final month of your policy.
Shopping around for quotes, finding the best deal, and building your temporary auto insurance policy is very similar to what you experience when normally shopping for car insurance.
Most of this is due to how customizable temporary auto insurance policies are since you’re basically getting the same service that you would if you were a recurring customer.
But you should make a point to let the agent that you speak to know that the policy is temporary and to discuss any concerns or issues that may cause in the near future.
But first, you should let us help you shop for a quote among providers in your area. You may be able to find a better deal on a recurring auto policy in the future. Just enter your ZIP code now!