Jessica Sautter has a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

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Written by Jessica Sautter
Content Writer Jessica Sautter

Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around auto insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Reviewed by Natasha McLachlan
Content Writer Natasha McLachlan

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2020

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Table of Contents

Temporary car insurance is designed for individuals who only need coverage for a short period ranging from one day up to six months. However, apart from the time frame, this type of coverage is for the most part like standard monthly car insurance.


If you qualify for standard car insurance, then you qualify for temporary coverage as well. This means having a driver’s license and owning a vehicle. Most temporary coverage policies are set at the state minimum levels for insurance, which means liability and uninsured or underinsured motorist.

However, there are some plans that offer more coverage depending on your needs, such as comprehensive if you are still paying on an auto loan used to purchase the vehicle. Each insurance company will have its own standards that you will need to read first, but in most cases, whatever differences exist will usually be small.

Otherwise, qualifying for temporary car insurance is the same as standard. You need not make any special arrangements or have additional qualifications to get the insurance. However, in many circumstances, the vehicle itself will need to fall under specific requirements for you to purchase this form of policy. What follows are different examples of when temporary vehicle insurance is the right choice.

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There are certain circumstances where temporary car insurance may work for your needs, especially if you have vehicles that you only drive occasionally.

Borrowed Car Qualify for Short Term Policy

Rentals: One of the most common reasons is when you are renting a vehicle and either need more insurance coverage or the rental company does not offer what you want. In either case, getting temporary insurance for a rental vehicle will be needed.

Borrowed Vehicles: Keep in mind that this is only for vehicles with no insurance. If you borrow your friend’s car and it has insurance, then it will cover you in case you are in an accident. Even if you have your own insurance, it will be considered secondary to the primary insurance of your friend.

Occasional Use: If you have a vehicle that is only driven 2,000 to 3,000 miles annually, then temporary coverage may work for you. This is usually reserved for vehicles that are only driven during certain times of the year, is used mostly off-road, a vehicle you keep at a vacation home, or just driven occasionally for whatever reason.

Other reasons include a vehicle that you intend to resell in a few months, which makes getting short term insurance a temporary event. Another is when you sell or get rid of one vehicle, but some time is going to pass before you get another. Purchasing temporary insurance during this time will help you avoid paying penalties that are included if you are uninsured and sign up for a new policy.

While temporary vehicle insurance is not for everyone, there are times in which it makes perfect sense to purchase it. You should talk to your insurance agent if you have a question about when is the best time to use temporary insurance and whether it is right for your needs.