How to Get Short-Term Car Insurance (2022)

So if you only need auto insurance for a short time, what can you do? In fact, it’s quite easy to get a car insurance policy online and then cancel it when you no longer need it. Your options might include trying non-owner car insurance, getting rental insurance, or trying usage-based coverage options.

Standard car insurance policy

The simplest alternative to a short-term car insurance policy is a standard policy that you only use temporarily. Most car insurance policies kick in after the first payment, which means you don’t have to wait long for coverage to kick in.

Although many car insurance policies do not have cancellation fees, check to see if the policy you are considering does. Still, it may make more sense to take out a car insurance policy for a month and pay a small cancellation fee or lose a deposit than to find another means of transportation.

Non-owner car insurance

A non-owner car insurance policy can be a good alternative to term insurance if you often drive vehicles that you don’t own. Perhaps you travel and use a car-sharing service or regularly use a friend’s car. You can receive non-owner insurance large companies for six or 12 month increments.

The good thing about a non-owner policy is that it is less expensive than standard auto insurance. Indeed, it generally only includes Liability coverage for personal injury and property damage if you cause an accident. Non-owners insurance is useful if you:

  • Use car sharing services
  • Rent cars often and don’t want to pay rental insurance
  • Drive a family member’s or friend’s car often

To obtain non-ownership coverage, you will need to speak to an insurance agent.

Permissible Use Coverage

Most auto insurance policies cover a primary driver as well as anyone who may occasionally drive the car. This means that you would be covered if you were driving someone else’s vehicle. However, if you plan to drive someone else’s vehicle often, consider purchasing non-ownership coverage or adding yourself to their insurance policy if you live at the same address.

Rental car insurance

If you are using a rental car and do not have your own insurance, you can obtain coverage from the rental company. Rental car insurance won’t be the cheapest option available, but it will cover you while you’re using the car and save you from taking out a full insurance policy. If you opt for additional insurance with the car rental company, you may not have to pay an excess in the event of an accident.

Usage-based auto insurance

Safe drivers can get discounts with usage-based programs like Progressive’s Snapshot® or Drive Safe & Save™ from State Farm. These programs, also called telematics insurance, track driving habits like acceleration, cornering, braking, and time of day. They also track mileage, which is often a big part of the overall score.

This means people who don’t drive often can save more on insurance costs with usage-based programs compared to people who commute every day.

Mileage-based car insurance

Mileage-based auto insurance is a subset of usage-based insurance. But with this option, the only thing that matters is your mileage. If you only drive occasionally, you could save a lot of money since you don’t put a lot of miles on the odometer. Here are some examples of this coverage:

  • Metromile
  • Allstate Milewise®
  • Nationwide SmartMiles®

With these programs, you often pay a low monthly base rate plus a per-mile rate. Pay-per-mile programs also have caps on daily mileage charges so you can take a road trip without paying a huge amount of money.

Know that some per kilometer insurance programs may require you to drive your car or at least move it occasionally to keep the sensor active. This is the case of Metromile.

Use the discounts for students absent from school

If you are a student leaving for school, most companies will give you a discount on your family insurance if you leave the car at home and go to school more than 100 miles away.

Store your car

If you store your car when not in use, you may be able to obtain a comprehensive policy only from your insurance provider. This covers events that could damage your vehicle while parked in one location, such as a hailstorm or vandalism. But it doesn’t cover accidents, so you can’t drive your car. Some companies may require you to store your car for at least a month to qualify for this coverage.

If you are storing your car long-term, you can remove your vehicle registration and then stop the insurance altogether. Contact the DMV to remove your enrollment before canceling insurance or you will have a lapse in coverage.

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