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Short Term Car Insurance for Short Term Driving

Short Term Car Insurance for Short Term DrivingShort term car insurance is something most of us never think about. In fact, there are plenty of American drivers who have never even heard of such car insurance. But it does exist, and it serves a very good purpose under certain circumstances.

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Short term car insurance is available from almost every major auto insurance provider. Rates and coverage options vary from provider to provider, but not to the degree that one insurance company stands out above the rest.

With a little research, you should be able to find one or two companies offering short term policies to meet your needs.

The Basics of Short Term Car Insurance

Short term car insurance is essentially an auto policy providing coverage for short periods of time, rather than the typical six to twelve months of a standard policy. Short term car insurance can be purchased for as little as one day, or for as long as six months.

Most auto insurance companies charge a flat rate for temporary policies based upon a predetermined amount of time. In other words, a standard per-day rate may be established, while separate rates are established for one, three, and six month periods. Generally, you must choose one of the predetermined periods and then pay the standard flat rate regardless of whether you need the policy in force for the full amount of time.

Short Term Car Insurance Coverage

All short term car insurance will cover the minimum requirements for liability, bodily injury, and property damage according to the regulations of the state in which it is issued. Coverage for uninsured or underinsured drivers of other vehicles will also be provided.

Some companies offer additional coverage against lawsuits which may be in excess of property damage or personal injury limits. It’s also possible in some cases to get fire and theft coverage to provide benefits in case your personal property is stolen from the vehicle or damaged in a fire.

When renting a car for a vacation or other personal use, collision coverage may or may not already be provided by the car rental company. If it’s not, you can purchase a collision rider in addition to standard short term insurance. If your auto rental is part of traveling away from home, you may want to check with any credit card accounts you have. Some credit cards provide auto collision damage coverage to all cardholders at no additional cost.

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Reasons for Purchasing Short Term Car Insurance

Before discussing the specific reasons for buying short term car insurance, it must be understood that it is illegal in all 50 states to drive a vehicle that is not insured. The only exception to this rule are certain farm vehicles which are understood to always remain on farm property. While a couple of states will still allow a surety bond to be paid instead of having insurance, it is prohibitively expensive for most drivers.

Although most American drivers fail to understand their policies, it is standard procedure among auto insurance providers to cover car owners and their immediate families only. That means there is no automatic coverage for friends or Aunt Mabel or Uncle John if you allow them to borrow your car. Generally, an insurance company will cover claims made as the result of others driving your car to perform tasks on your behalf, but not for the personal use of your vehicle by other people. So, what are the main reasons for seeking this coverage?

  • The number one reason for purchasing short term car insurance is to provide coverage for out-of-town guests that may be staying with you and using your car for extended periods of time. It’s important that you realize loaning a car to an out-of-town guest for their own personal use is a dangerous practice. If accident claims are not covered by your insurance company, you could be held personally liable.
  • The second most common reason for purchasing temporary car insurance is to provide coverage when renting a vehicle for long trips. Coverage provided by your regular auto policy, and the policy of the auto rental company, may be insufficient if you are ever sued by an accident victim or property owner. If you have significant assets that need to be protected and plans to rent a vehicle, short term car insurance is a good idea.

There are other reasons for purchasing short term car insurance too numerous to discuss in this space. Suffice it to say, short term car insurance is a niche product that fills a very specific need. If you ever have need of short term car insurance, contact your auto insurance provider to see what they offer. Then shop around among other providers to find the best coverage and price.

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