Best Temporary Car Insurance

Learn how to choose the right short-term car insurance policy

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Not all cars stick with you for the long haul. Sometimes, a car is only temporary, and you don’t need a long-term car insurance policy. That’s why there is temporary car insurance, a kind of short-term coverage that will protect you and your vehicle for a limited period of time. Most major car insurance carriers actually use traditional policies that you cancel before the six or twelve-month term. You only pay the prorated amount for your short-term needs.  

Before you sign up, however, there are a few things you should know. For example, not all insurance providers are created the same. The insurance company you can choose can significantly impact what coverage you can buy and how much it will cost you. We researched the best temporary car insurance companies based on features, costs, and more. Here are our top choices.

Best Temporary Car Insurance of 2021

Best Temporary Car Insurance
Best Temporary Car Insurance

Best Overall : USAA


USAA

 USAA

USAA delivers the highest scores in customer service and claims satisfaction with multi-faceted coverage.

Pros
  • Excellent ratings for customer service

  • Superior claims satisfaction

  • Comprehensive coverage

  • Most affordable temporary policies

Cons
  • For military families only

  • Online quotes for members only

  • Limited in-person agent access

Since 1922, the San Antonio, Texas, company has stood for its American military members, providing car, home, life, renters, condo, and motorcycle insurance, among its many other product offerings. It’s made a name for itself with comprehensive coverage and excellent customer service for its more than 13 million members, but there’s one major caveat—membership is limited. To benefit from all that USAA has to offer, you must be on active-duty, Reserves, or a military student. Veterans, spouses, and children are also permitted membership.

With USAA, you’ll enjoy low prices with tons of opportunities for extra discounts. Its major drawback is that you have to be military to benefit from this exceptional level of customer service and support, but if you can qualify, there’s comprehensive coverage for all of your regular and unique insurance needs with a long list of extra discounts to choose from that can lower its already-low insurance premiums making it our top overall pick.

Best for Collector Cars : Nationwide


Nationwide

 Nationwide

Get temporary custom coverage with Nationwide’s specialty insurance coverage for classic and collector cars.

Pros
  • Simple online tool

  • Custom and classic car coverage

  • Guaranteed Value® coverage

  • Easy accessibility

Cons
  • About average ratings for claims satisfaction

  • Mediocre customer service

  • Can be pricey for high-risk drivers

Nationwide incorporates thoughtful, unique coverage for your collector car, offering Guaranteed Value® coverage that will pay the full insurable amount after your deductible and fixed pricing for limited car use that is without specific mileage limits giving it the top spot in the collectible cars category. Nationwide also claims that its classic car insurance is up to 43% cheaper than the standard auto policy, and you also get to take advantage of its Vanishing Deductible, which decreases your deductible through its safe driving SmartRide program.

With Nationwide, it is easy to bundle your insurance policies because there are so many options for coverage. Once you cover your classic car, check out insurance options for other vehicles, like your boat, RV, motorhome, travel trailer, or camper. There’s also insurance for pets and even your wedding. Nationwide also insures a wide variety of properties, including your condo and rental home. The helpful online rate calculator is a convenient tool that can have your car covered in just minutes, with the option to use the mobile app or online portal to price your quote.

Best for Driving in Emergencies : Allstate


Allstate

 Allstate

Choose from your choice of Allstate roadside assistance so you’re never left without help in an emergency.

Pros
  • Specializes in six-month policies

  • Online interactive guide for car insurance basics

  • Multiple roadside assistance plans

  • Rideshare coverage

Cons
  • Consistently average satisfaction ratings

  • Can be more expensive than other providers

  • Limited to six-month policies

Allstate keeps you in good hands during emergencies, with a safety-oriented approach to car insurance that ensures you have help when you need it, making it our choice for best for driving in emergencies. Allstate is available in all 50 states today, but it had humble beginnings in 1931 as a mail-order auto insurance provider. It’s ballooned into a leading insurance provider with a nationwide presence and nearly 11,000 agents to provide in-person support. J.D. Power gives Allstate an above-average score for claims satisfaction, and the company holds an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best for financial stability.

Allstate covers several different kinds of insurance, including the standard home, life, and auto, as well as more unique types of coverage like condo, small business, identity, ATV, and event insurance. Allstate even has sound system coverage, a unique feature among insurance providers. You can further customize your policy with the addition of roadside assistance and Guaranteed Asset Protection, or GAP coverage

Allstate also delivers excellent customer service. Its mobile app will track your driving, save you money, and serve as a mobile insurance ID card on the go. If you run into trouble on the road, the app will handle everything you need, from calling roadside assistance to capturing photos and filing a claim. You can also be connected to an agent 24/7 if you need more support. To get started, Allstate offers convenient online quotes with six-month auto policies.

Best for Multiple Car Coverage : GEICO


GEICO

 GEICO

GEICO works hard to earn your business, encouraging you to bundle multiple policies and vehicles with extra savings for the whole family.

Pros
  • Top financial ratings

  • Detailed online comparison tool

  • 24/7 customer support

  • Affordable pricing

Cons
  • Just average claims satisfaction

  • Few in-person agents

  • DriveEasy app limited to Pennsylvania only

GEICO holds an average score for claims satisfaction, but it shines with strong financial ratings with an A++ (Superior) rating from AM Best. It’s an overall affordable and multi-faceted insurance provider with an easy-to-navigate website and a mobile app for extra accessibility.

While there is no GAP coverage, GEICO does specialize in other forms of insurance coverage for things like your motorcycle, ATV, or RV. There is also commercial auto and umbrella insurance available, as well as the standard homeowners, renters, condo, and mobile home policies.

The more policies you have, the more you save, with GEICO giving extra discounts when you insure multiple vehicles and hold multiple policies, earning it the top spot for multiple cars coverage. Pennsylvania drivers can also benefit from the DriveEasy app, which requires all drivers on the policy to participate and rewards safe drivers with extra savings. The senior members of your household can also get a break on policy premiums with a minimum of three years of safe driving. These incentives encourage parents to add the household’s other drivers to the policy with such attractive additional incentives. 

Best for Seniors : Liberty Mutual


Liberty Mutual

 Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual offers the extra considerations that seniors need when shopping for auto insurance, such as its RightTrack program and extra safety discounts.

Pros
  • Safe driving discounts after just 90 days

  • Accident forgiveness in some states

  • Works with high-risk drivers

  • Advanced digital tools

Cons
  • Low claims satisfaction

  • No in-person customer support

  • Can be expensive without the addition of discounts

Originally founded in 1912, Liberty Mutual was first the Massachusetts Employees Insurance Association (MEIA), a company created to provide workers compensation insurance. Now, Liberty Mutual is a well-respected leader in the insurance space, available in all 50 states with special coverage for drivers in Mexico through MexPro. 

There is a full suite of insurance protections, including flood, renters, business, and critical illness coverage. Liberty Mutual rewards new retirees with an extra discount, and accident forgiveness is available in some states after five years of safe driving, thus making it best for seniors. You can also benefit from extra discounts like new car or better car replacement with available GAP coverage. 

Liberty Mutual holds low claims satisfaction with an A (Excellent) AM Best rating, but the website and mobile app are easy to use with everything you need for easy access, from policy payments to insurance cards and claims filing. Seniors in an accident can receive help immediately and file their claim from the scene, making it easy to get the repair process underway. 

Best for Filing Claims : State Farm


State Farm

 State Farm

State Farm values its consumer relationships with top-rated customer service and convenient digital tools used in the claims process.

Pros
  • Excellent accessibility

  • Almost 20,000 agents for superior in-person support

  • High claims satisfaction

  • Robust discount programs

Cons
  • Limited availability for some products

  • Must provide personal details for a quote

  • Coverage can get pricey

In business since 1922, State Farm is an insurance provider focused on customer service. It keeps its headquarters in Illinois but is available in all 50 states, though you may find that some product availability varies. Coverage options include insurance for your motorcycle or motor home, in addition to the regular homeowners, renters, and life insurance most commonly found.  

You can save on your policy with extra discounts like bundling multiple policies, safe driving, good grades, and vehicle safety. If you have teen drivers on your policy, you can earn an extra discount on your premium if they pass an approved driver’s education class. If you want to save a few extra bucks, you can take an online refresher course through State Farm’s Steer Clear driver program. State Farm will also give you up to 50% off with its Drive Safe and Save app, among the highest savings that any insurance provider extends for safe driving.

Given State Farm’s commitment to customer service, it’s not a surprise there is 24/7 customer support to help out whenever you have a question or need to make a claim. You can also benefit from a mobile app built to support, giving you instant access to claims filing and status, payments, and ID information giving it the edge as best for filing claims.

FAQs

What Is Temporary Car Insurance?

Sometimes, you don’t need long-term car insurance because your driving needs are only temporary. Temporary car insurance can be issued for any limited period of time, but it is commonly written for periods between two and 28 days. 

Temporary car insurance is billed similarly to regular car insurance with a daily or weekly premium required to establish and maintain coverage. Should you get into an accident, there is also a deductible that will apply and varies from provider to provider.  

Temporary car insurance is not so easy to find, however. Many insurance companies instead use traditional auto insurance policies and only charge a pro-rated amount based on the need.

Who Should Get Temporary Car Insurance?

This kind of insurance can be the right pick when you are borrowing a car you do not own and have not insured. Temporary car insurance can be a great option if you fit any of these scenarios:

  • You plan to drive a rental car. 
  • You will drive a friend’s car on an upcoming trip.
  • You are between vehicles and drive a family member or friend’s car occasionally.
  • You plan to resell your new car immediately.
  • You drive for a ride-sharing service in a car you don't own.
  • You have a temporary guest who will drive during their stay.

Most rental car companies require that you protect your rental with car insurance, and some companies will even provide the coverage themselves.

What Does Temporary Car Insurance Typically Cost?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average car insurance policy costs about $1,005 per year, but car insurance is highly customized to each person, taking into account specific factors like where you live, the kind of car you drive, and how much you drive. The shorter your policy, the more you are likely to pay for the daily or weekly rate of your temporary insurance policy.

How We Chose the Best Temporary Car Insurance

With so many insurance providers available today, it can be overwhelming to find the right one for your specific needs. Before selecting an auto insurance provider, we weigh several factors, including coverage options, and affordability. We then considered other things including mobile tools, discounts, and add-on coverage to provide a comprehensive portrait of the best temporary car insurance providers.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Insurance Information Institute. "Facts + Statistics: Auto insurance - III." Accessed November 6, 2020.