No, you can’t get a temporary car insurance policy. No reputable car insurance company offers a policy shorter than six months, so if you find an offer online for “one-day” or “weekend” car insurance coverage, it’s probably not legitimate.
However, you can get coverage for a short time by purchasing a standard six-month policy, a non-owner policy, or a pay-per-mile insurance policy and then canceling it when you no longer need the coverage.
When Temporary Car Insurance Can Be Useful
- You need car insurance in order to drive for a ridesharing service using a car that you don’t own.
- You are going on a road trip and will be taking turns driving.
- You are temporarily driving an insured car but want supplemental coverage in addition to the owner’s insurance.
- You plan to frequently drive rental cars within the next few months and don’t want to pay high fees for rental car insurance.
- You are purchasing a car for a short period of time.
- You are a college student and will only be driving when you’re home.
- You’re a seasonal employee and your work requires you to drive.
- You are traveling to Mexico or Canada and need temporary international coverage.
Alternatives to Short-Term Car Insurance
Standard Car Insurance
You need a standard car insurance policy if you own the car you’re driving, even if you may not be driving it for the full length of a policy (six months or a year). For example, if you’re in the process of selling your car, you still need insurance. But you’re free to cancel it once you sell your vehicle.
Non-Owner Car Insurance
Non-owner insurance covers you when you’re driving any car that you do not own. Since you’re only covering yourself and not a vehicle, non-owner insurance costs less than a standard insurance policy.
This is a great choice for seasonal employees – students who might only need to drive for a summer job, for example. Some families also want new drivers on a separate, temporary policy until they really learn how to drive, and non-owner insurance works for them, too. Plus, it’s your best bet if you’re going to borrow or rent a car for an extended period, such as a long vacation.
Pay-as-you-go insurance is a great option for people who don’t drive frequently, such as seasonal workers, students and occasional commuters. Insurers like Metromile charge drivers a base rate for coverage, then determine additional costs based on how many miles the policyholder drives. If you take a longer trip, the insurer will cap your miles and won’t charge you for distances beyond that cap. Additionally, some insurers like National General offer discounts to policyholders who drive only a few thousand miles annually.
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