Get Short Term Car Insurance

Short-term car insurance is defined as a car insurance policy that covers you from one day to 28 days. You’ll find many situations that may require the driver or the owner of a car to obtain a short-term policy. If someone borrows your car for any reason, you may need to purchase short-term insurance, depending on the state you live in and the type of policy you have (some insurance follows the driver, some follows the car). When you get a short-term policy, it should be separate from your existing car insurance to protect your premium and it should cover the same risks that your existing insurance policy covers.


Determining If You Need Coverage

  1. Get coverage details if you lend your car to another driver. Nearly all states require cars and drivers to carry insurance. Talk to your insurance carrier about what your insurance policy covers and, more importantly, what it does not cover. [1]
    • Coverage when borrowing or lending a vehicle may vary depending on the state and the policy. It is important to clarify exclusions, or what specifically is not covered by your insurance.[2]
    • If you have liability coverage, this usually means you are insured when you operate a vehicle even if it is owned by another party.[3]
    • If you have comprehensive and collision insurance, this follows the car and protects it against damage from accidents or vandalism.[3] It may not, however, cover the person who is driving the car if he or she is not the owner.
    • Ask your insurance agent if permissive use is covered by the liability terms of your policy, or whether or not other drivers will be covered by your policy if you allow them to drive your car.[3]
    • You may lend your car to someone when an emergency occurs. A friend or family member may need to drive your car and this should be covered under your insurance policy.
    • Short-term car insurance covers you when someone borrows your car and has an accident. If you borrow someone else’s car, you should also have this insurance in place to protect yourself as you drive.
    • A driver should insure their car when a child is home from college and is using the car for a short time.
    • If you have a student driver who is using your car, you may need short-term insurance.
  2. Look into coverage if you borrow someone else’s car. Many of the same driving risks exist if you borrow someone else’s car. Because you don’t normally drive the car, you may be at a higher risk of an accident.[4]
    • If you have insurance, ask your agent if your policy covers you and/or another car if you borrow someone else's vehicle.
    • When you rent a car, the rental agency will ask if you want to purchase their short-term coverage, or use your own insurance policy. Speak with your insurance agent to determine which decision is right for you. Rental car insurance is usually very expensive and may be a duplication of the coverage you already own.
    • In addition to cars, renting a moving van also requires short-term insurance. It’s very unlikely that the van’s driver has any experience driving a moving van. The risk for an accident may be higher.
    • You may borrow a car while your main vehicle is being repaired. Make sure that you look into short-term coverage, as your insurance may not cover the borrowed car.
  3. Consider the risks that your short-term policy needs to cover. You need to insure against the same types of risks your primary car insurance policy covers. An insurance agent can explain the items your policy can cover, and the monthly premium cost of each item.[5]
    • Your state may only require a minimum level of coverage to drive a car — almost every state requires drivers to carry liability insurance. However, it’s important to discuss the risks you may face with an insurance agent. The minimum policy may leave you exposed to other types of risks, should an accident occur.
    • You want coverage for both your car and any damage you cause to other cars, due to a collision.
    • Your short-term policy should cover any injuries incurred by others if you caused an accident (any injuries you suffer should be covered by your health insurance).
    • The lender may require you to be covered beyond simple liability insurance, especially if the car is particularly valuable.

Getting Proper Coverage

  1. Inquire about a short-term policy through your existing insurance company. Your current insurance provider may offer short-term insurance at a reasonable cost. Since you’re already a customer, you may be able to earn a discount on the new policy premiums.[6]
  2. Keep your short-term policy separate from your primary car insurance. Your current insurance policy may offer a no-claims bonus. This is a discount on future premiums if you don’t have any claims over a certain period of time. Keep your short-term policy separate, so that you don’t increase the risk of having a claim on your existing policy.
    • Any claims may increase your insurance premiums. Make sure that you understand what each policy is covering.
  3. Find an insurance company. If your current insurance company does not offer an effective short-term car policy at a reasonable cost, you can look for a second insurance firm. It’s important to do some homework about any company you choose.[7]
    • Verify that the insurance company is licensed to sell insurance in your state. To do this, check with your state’s insurance department.
    • Many states provide a searchable database of licensed insurers.
    • Contact a licensed insurer and ask if they sell short-term insurance. If they do, ask for a quote. Be ready to provide basic information about yourself and the vehicle.
  4. Compare short-term insurance quotes to make sure that the coverage provided under each policy is the same. For example, bodily injury, personal property damage, and medical coverage amounts should be equal, and the policies should be for the same number of days.[8]
    • You should check on each company’s credit rating through A.M. Best. This firm reviews the financials of insurance companies. They review to determine the financial ability of the company to pay claims on insurance policies.
    • To be comparable, each policy should cover the same type of vehicles.
    • Comparable policies should have the same maximum dollar amounts of coverage.
  5. Purchase the short-term car insurance policy. After you’ve checked with your existing firm and possibly researched other companies, purchase your policy. If you choose a new company, however, they may ask you for more information than your current insurance provider.[9]
    • You will provide the make, model, year and vehicle identification number (VIN) of the vehicle you plan to insure.
    • Give the insurance company your name, address and driver's license. If someone else will be driving your car, you may also need to provide his information.
    • Explain any recent accidents or tickets you have been issued. The same information may be required of another person driving your car.
    • It’s critical that you verify that your policy is in place. In many cases, you can pay for your policy online and print your own insurance cards. Verify your coverage before you drive someone’s car, or you lend your car to another driver.

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