If you find yourself in a situation where you’re paying full price for insurance on a car you rarely drive, or don’t plan to drive that long, there are options for you to save. While there are many examples, this is sometimes referred to as short-term car insurance and can be used for weekend warriors and temporary cars alike.
This article includes five instances in which you might need short-term car insurance: if you have a classic car, if you need to rent or borrow a car, if you have a special car for weekends, if you’ll own the car for less than six months, and if you have a vacation car.
Part 1 of 5: If you have a classic car
Generally speaking, if your car is 25 years or older, it is legally classified as a classic and can qualify for limited use short-term coverage. This type of policy will likely have mileage restrictions ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 a year, but will keep it covered when it’s stored safe and dry in your garage.
Part 2 of 5: If you need to rent, share, or borrow a car
If you travel a lot and aren’t a big fan of ride sharing or conventional taxi’s, then there might be a car insurance option for you. Non-owner car insurance provides liability coverage for you when you’re behind the wheel of a car that you don’t own, such as a rental, a car-sharing car, or a friend’s.
If you rent cars often, this might be a cheaper overall alternative to buying the rental company’s insurance. For car-sharing services, this provides you with coverage in the event of a collision, as well as if you borrow other people’s cars often.
Part 3 of 5: If you have a weekend warrior
Let’s say you have a car you enjoy during the weekends while you have another to drive during the week, but it’s not old enough to qualify for classic registration. Usage-based car insurance can be a good option as it rates your premiums based on how much you actually use the car.
Some providers do require special devices that plug into your car’s onboard diagnostic computer, which may not be desirable for some drivers. However, there are providers that simply track your car’s odometer. Call your provider to find out what usage-based policies they offer.
Part 4 of 5: If you’ll own a car for less than six months
Let’s say you’re moving temporarily for work and need a car for a few months. Because most car insurance providers divide payment periods by six months, you can simply open a policy for that period of time and cancel before your next payment. You will need to contact your provider though - do not simply fail to pay the bill.
Part 5 of 5: If you have a vacation/winter home car
Let’s say you’re a “snowbird” - you spend your winters down south, but the rest of the year up north. If you have a car that stays at your winter home, you might be thinking you can get temporary car insurance. The truth is, this doesn’t really exist, but there are options.
Where the car spends most of its time is where it should be both registered and insured. During the months that this car isn’t being used, you can either turn in your plates and insurance, or work with the insurance provider to get as many low mileage/usage discounts as possible.
If you don’t need car insurance all the time, there’s no reason why you should pay for it like you do. When talking to your car insurance provider about short term coverage options, it’s really important to be as transparent as possible regarding your situation. Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of being excluded from coverage altogether.