What is Temporary Car Insurance?
Temporary car insurance, also known as short-term auto insurance, is a policy that insures the driver of a vehicle for a fixed interval of time.
Most auto insurance policies are long term policies, purchased in increments of six months or a year, designed to provide protection against losses incurred as a result of automobile accidents involving a driver’s primary motor vehicle. Temporary auto insurance may be purchased for intervals as short as a single day and are designed to provide a driver with protection against losses incurred as a result of automobile accidents in unusual circumstances.
Buying Temporary Car Insurance
As when purchasing long term insurance policies, comparison shopping that allows you to evaluate one quote against another is your best strategy when trying to decide what temporary auto insurance will meet your needs best. Before you begin shopping, make sure you know exactly what interval of time your short term auto insurance policy needs to cover.
Many different kinds of short term auto insurance offers can be accessed over the Internet. If you see one whose terms you like, you can purchase it quickly. You can print out your policy document just as soon as your credit card goes through.
A number of auto insurance companies, more often associated with long term coverage, also offer temporary car insurance, including Geico, Progressive, State Farm and American Family Insurance.
Short term car insurance is not cheap. Typically on a pro-rated basis, temporary auto insurance costs significantly more than a standard policy. For that reason, it is not a cost-effective substitute for an annual policy. However, there are a number of situations where purchasing temporary car insurance is your best move.
Reasons To Buy Short Term Car Insurance
Almost every state requires vehicle insurance as a precondition for permitting license plates to be displayed on that vehicle. This makes it mandatory to provide some sort of insurance if the vehicle is to be driven at all.
• Purchasing a New Vehicle
It’s your brand new toy with that great new car smell and you want to get it home as quickly as possible so you can show it off. If it’s a second automobile, no sweat – a quick call to your agent and your new car or truck will be added to your existing insurance policy. But what if this is the first time you’ve ever purchased an automobile and you’re still shopping around for the best deal?
The only state in the nation that does not by law require drivers to carry auto insurance is New Hampshire. If you live anywhere else in the country and you want to obey the law while you’re driving your new car home, you will need temporary auto insurance.
• Temporary Driver
If you are lending your car to someone who doesn’t regularly drive it, and your auto insurance policy does not cover occasional drivers, then a short-term car insurance policy in that person’s name is a smart idea.
• Extreme Weather
Comprehensive temporary auto insurance policies cover damages done to a third party, damages inflicted by oneself and damages that come about through vandalism, theft, fire and extreme weather.
Extreme weather? If your hobby is restoring old automobiles, you may have one or two vehicles sitting on your property in various states of disrepair that you never drive. If you live in a region where winter is severe, it makes sense to protect these cars against weather damage.
• Renting a Car
Frequently rental cars may be covered by car insurance policies or other protections the renter already has access to. Some automobile insurance policies, for example, contain provisions that extend coverage even when the person whose name is on the policy is driving a rented car. Some credit cards also include basic collision and theft protection, although often those benefits are secondary insurance, meant to extend the renter’s personal auto insurance policy or the coverage sold by the auto rental company.
If rental cars are not covered by your existing auto insurance policy, or insurance is not offered as a benefit by the credit card you are using to pay for the rental, then you need to purchase short term insurance. Short term insurance is an important profit center for most car rental agencies who typically sell personal accident insurance, personal effects coverage, a loss damage waiver and supplemental liability insurance. Although the insurance offered by rental car agencies is priced slightly higher than temporary insurance purchased elsewhere, most insurance experts recommend getting it even if the renter is insured through some other means: in the event of an accident, the supplemental insurance will help prevent a dramatic increase in the renters’ usual insurance premiums.
• Recreational Vehicles
If you own a motorcycle but can only drive it in the summer time, it may not make economic sense to insure it all year round. Taking out short term insurance on the vehicle during the moths the vehicle will be in use is much less expensive than buying an annual policy.