Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for CarInsuranceCompanies.com with 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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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Sep 11, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • Luckily, there are insurers in the specialty marketplace that does have specialized short-term products that cater to unique needs instead of the common needs to comply with state laws or to protect their finances
  • It may not be necessary to bind a 12-month car insurance policy when you know that you will not be driving for more than a week, and this is where a 1-week insurance policy is a great alternative to buying a standard plan
  • A short-term policy that is effective for only a period of a week is not fully underwritten like a long-term policy, but underwriters will still verify that the information that you provide is accurate
  • Premiums for short-term car insurance that lasts days or weeks will vary from company to company

Are you borrowing a friend’s vehicle to go on a road trip? Are you planning to start up an older vehicle that you have not driven or insured just to take it to the repair shop? These are some scenarios where you need auto insurance but you do not necessarily need it for just 1 week at a time.

When people are buying a car, moving to a new state, or shopping for a replacement insurance policy, they often look for the best car insurance policy that will offer the lowest rates for the longest term possible.  Get started by comparing car insurance rates using our FREE quote tool above!

Clients who are in need of short-term insurance do not need the longest term, but instead a term that is affordable and only lasts temporarily.

Luckily, there are insurers in the specialty marketplace that does have specialized short-term products that cater to unique needs instead of the common needs to comply with state laws or to protect their finances.

If you are in search of temporary insurance that lasts for just 1 week at a time, here is your guide to 1-week car insurance so that you know where to look for coverage, how policies are priced, and when temporary insurance is ideal for you.

Table of Contents

How does short-term car insurance work?

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Not everyone needs or can afford to buy a traditional car insurance policy that lasts for periods of 6 months to a year.

It may not be necessary to bind a 12-month car insurance policy when you know that you will not be driving for more than a week, and this is where a 1-week car insurance policy is a great alternative to buying a standard plan.

If you are not familiar with buying insurance on a temporary basis, it can be perplexing to think that there are companies that are willing to write insurance just to extend coverage for only a few days or weeks.

To understand why these insurers are willing to do this, read on and find out how these specialty policies work.

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How much coverage does a 1-week car insurance policy provide?

The entire purpose of buying car insurance is to carry financial protection in the event that you are in an accident or you need to file a liability or damage claim.

If you are not the registered owner of a vehicle or you do hold a title to a car but that car is not frequently operated, carrying coverage for 12 months is not the best of options.

While carrying long-term insurance is not ideal, you still need liability, collision and uninsured motorist protection if you drive.

Temporary insurance will provide you with all of the protection that you need temporarily for a day to one month. Here are the coverage options that you can select when you are buying 1 week insurance.

– Personal Liability

It is very dangerous to drive a vehicle when you do not have personal liability coverage. Liability protects your assets and consists of two types of protection:

  • Bodily Injury – It will pay to cover the medical bills and other related expenses when you injure a third-party in an accident
  • Property Damage – It will pay when you damage real property that you do not own

Being liable means that you have been found at least 51 percent at fault. If you do not have the proper protection to pay for the damages as a result of your negligence, you could face serious penalties or be taken to civil court.

Instead of going through a long and drawn out legal case, it is best to simply buy temporary liability cover. You have the option to buy minimum liability limits in your state or higher limits for more financial protection.

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– Collision Coverage

Collision coverage is one of the two types of physical damage coverage that will pay to repair the listed vehicle on the policy. In most cases, it is your vehicle, but when you are buying 1-week car insurance it could be a borrowed car as well.

Collision will pay to repair your vehicle or the borrowed vehicle when it is damaged in a collision regardless of who is found to be at fault.

You will need to choose a deductible that you are comfortable paying if you file a claim, which can have an effect on your premiums. High deductibles will lower premiums but increase your financial obligations when you file a claim.

This is why you need to be sure that you can afford the deductible that you choose first. Temporary policies do not usually provide comprehensive coverage because its primary policy will provide this without any question.

– Uninsured Motorist

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There are hundreds of thousands of uninsured drivers throughout the United States as a whole. While you could come into contact with a driver with no insurance any day of the week, you should check to see what the rate of uninsured drivers is in your state just to see how serious of an issue it is.

You can find these rates by referencing the Insurance Information Institute reports, which are updated whenever new data is available.

Uninsured motorist protection coverage is designed to provide you with money to pay for your medical bills when the other party does not have liability coverage to pay your bills.

You can select your limits, up to the liability limits that you carry for Bodily Injury. If you are left without any type of coverage, paying for medical bills can become a very difficult financial burden.

–  Medical Payments

Do you have your own individual medical insurance policy? Do you ride with passengers in your car that are uncovered? Is your insurance deductible extremely high?

These are all considerations you should keep in mind when you are deciding if you need medical payments coverage.

Med Pay will cover your medical bills and the bills of passengers. The best thing about this coverage is that fault is not a determinant so you will receive your payment quickly.

If you do not want to be left to cover medical bills when you expected a claim to be the other party’s fault, this should be added to your short-term plan.

How are the prices for coverage determined?

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Just like when you buy standard insurance, a short-term insurance provider will use several different factors to decide how much you need to pay for a week of protection.

Not every individual who is applying for temporary coverage is going to pay the same amount of money because everyone is seen as a different kind of risk.

While the likelihood of having an accident within a 7-day span is much lower than the likelihood of having an accident over a 365-day span, it is still a possibility. This is why those who are riskier have higher premiums.

A short-term policy that is effective for only a period of a week is not fully underwritten like a long-term policy, but underwriters will still verify that the information that you provide is accurate. You will need to provide the following information when you are filling out your application for coverage:

  • Name, age, years of driving experience
  • Address
  • Vehicle type and VIN
  • Driving record and accident history

Because temporary policies are issued so quickly, the company will not look into the other factors a traditional insurer would while they were fully underwriting an application.

How much can you expect to pay for short-term insurance?

Premiums for short-term car insurance that lasts days or weeks will vary from company to company. Every company sets their own rates and these rates still must be filed with the state department of insurance and approved.

After they are approved, the insurer is free to charge the rates to the public.

The actual cost when you do the calculations may be higher, but not when you truly need temporary coverage.

You should not expect to be able to divide annual policy premiums by 52 and then find out how much it will cost you for coverage from a specialty company. That is because the short-term insurers have a more expensive pricing structure.

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What scenarios are 1-week policies for?

Here are some of the most common scenarios where 1-week insurance is a good option:

  • You are borrowing a friends car or a friend is borrowing your vehicle
  • You are taking your car to the repair shop
  • You are driving for emergencies
  • You are selling your car
  • You are buying a car to flip it
  • You are renting a vehicle

Now that you know what to look for and how coverage works, it is time to start shopping for short coverage. You can start comparing car insurance rates now with our FREE tool below!