No, you can’t get one-day car insurance. Many websites throw around terms like “one-day,” “short-term,” and “temporary” insurance, but there’s a reason they don’t mention where to buy it or which companies offer it: one-day car insurance policies don’t really exist—in some cases, they may be scams.
The only time you can get one-day coverage is if you pay for rental car insurance at the counter. No reputable insurance company will offer a policy shorter than six months for your own car. And even in the case of rental cars, you may be covered by your current policy or have other, better alternatives.
Alternatives to One-Day Car Insurance
People looking for one-day insurance coverage are usually borrowing a car. In that case, non-owner car insurance may be an option. Non-owner insurance supplements the owner’s policy after an accident.
Insurance usually follows the car, so the owner’s insurer will pay for the claim. But if damages exceed the owner’s policy limits, you’re financially responsible. A non-owner policy kicks in as secondary coverage to protect you while driving a borrowed car.
If you’re an infrequent driver, a pay-per-mile policy (also known as usage-based insurance) may fit your needs better than one-day insurance. Pay-per-mile policies price your premium based on how much you drive and how responsible you are when driving, as measured by an electronic monitoring device that attaches to your car or operates through a phone app.
Such usage-based policies can be purchased through Progressive, State Farm, Esurance, Nationwide, Liberty Mutual and more.
If you drive less than 5,000 miles per year, you fall into the low-mileage bracket and likely qualify for cheaper insurance. That could be the case if you drive for leisure, own a classic car that only comes out of the garage on holidays, or mostly use public transportation and store your car.
You could always purchase a standard policy and cancel it when you don’t need it anymore. You pay for coverage in advance, so when you cancel, you’ll get a prorated refund. But even if you cancel one day into the policy period, you’re not guaranteed a full refund. In addition to possible cancelation fees, you could be billed for more days of coverage than you need.
Bottom Line on One-Day Car Insurance
A one-day insurance policy is not something insurance companies offer, but there are better policy options to meet your short-term needs. For more information, you can check out WalletHub's guide on temporary car insurance.
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