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: Oct 18, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • The typical car insurance policy lasts for either 6 months or 12 months at a time, depending on what terms are offered by the insurer
  • If you are a frequent driver and you are driving the vehicle that you own for an extended period of time, it is best to stick with a 6-month or 12-month personal car insurance policy
  • If you do not own your own vehicle and you are planning on borrowing someone’s car for 2 weeks, buying temporary 2-week insurance is an option
  • You can search the Internet, ask your friends, or even speak with travel agencies who can recommend providers to learn which companies dabble in this line of coverage

The typical car insurance policy lasts for either 6 months or 12 months at a time, depending on what terms are offered by the insurer. A majority of drivers who either own or operate personal vehicles will buy standard policies, but there is a market for other substandard policies that do not last quite as long as a typical policy.

Temporary auto insurance, which can also be called short-term or weekly insurance, lasts for just days or for several weeks depending on your needs.

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If you are in need of coverage for just a 2 week period of time, read on and learn more about what these specialties policies cover and when short-term insurance is appropriate.

Table of Contents

What is a temporary insurance policy?

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  • Temporary car insurance offers coverage to clients who do not need a traditional plan.
  • A short-term policy is quick and easy to purchase.
  • A short-term policy will protect you temporarily for the specific dates that you request.

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How long do short-term policies last?

The span of time can range between 1 and 30 days, but some companies sell coverage by the week for up to 4 weeks at a given time.

When you buy the standard car insurance policy, you are binding coverage for a minimum of 6 months at a time.

Traditional policies are also renewable, but temporary 2-week policies cannot be renewed.

If you end up needing coverage longer, you must apply for a new policy all together so it can be rewritten. If you need multiple rewrites, it may be time to assess whether or not you will need a long-term plan.

How much is a 2-week auto insurance policy?

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The substandard or specialty auto insurance market works much different than the standard market. While both types of insurers will calculate premiums based on risk, you cannot expect to pay standards rates for specialty coverage.

All companies are in business to profit, and because the market for short-term policyholders is much smaller, companies must charge higher premiums for the same amount of coverage.

Substandard premiums are always going to be higher.

When you are trying to budget for a policy that lasts just 2 weeks, it is easy to just assume that you can take a 12-month premium and do the math to calculate how much the same coverage would cost for a period of 14 days.

While this is what you can do if you want to find out how much 2 weeks of standard coverage is costing you, it will not work if you are trying to determine what you will pay for a substandard 2 week car insurance plan.

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When is a 2-week policy the right option?

Not everyone will buy 2 week car insurance in their lifetime. If you believe that this short-term policy is right for you because you do not want to pay for a months premium or a down payment, think again.

Over time, carrying temporary insurance to replace your need for permanent insurance or to avoid the drawn-out process of applying for a standard policy will get expensive.

If you are a frequent driver and you are driving the vehicle that you own for an extended period of time, it is best to stick with a 6-month or 12-month personal car insurance policy. Take a look at the cases in which a 2-week policy could be a smart option:

You Are Borrowing a Friend or Relative’s Car

If you do not own your own vehicle and you are planning on borrowing someone’s car for 2 weeks, buying temporary 2-week insurance is an option.

Some people wonder why they should buy their own plan when they could be covered as a permissive user under the car’s primary policy.

This is a legitimate question, but there is also a legitimate reason why borrowed cars still need temporary plans when they are covered by their owners.

Same goes if you are letting your friend or relative borrow your car that is registered in your name. Here are a few reasons why:

  • The vehicle owner does not want to lose their claims-free discount if you need to file a damage claim
  • The owner of the vehicle does not have high limits of liability or damage coverage but would like you to carry this type of coverage while you are driving the car
  • The primary policy has you listed as an excluded driver to lower premiums so you would not be covered if you were to file a claim on the standard plan
  • The car is infrequently operated so the insurance only covers the vehicle while it is in storage

Your Car Needs Repair Work

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If you own a vehicle that is in need of major repairs and does not have insurance, you can buy insurance for 1 to 2 weeks so that you can drive the car to the shop and drive it home.

Having the insurance for weeks helps give you peace of mind that someone will not come after you if the car causes major damages in a test drive.

You Are in the Process of Selling an Extra Vehicle

If you are selling your spare car as a private party sale, you do not want to have an appointment with a potential buyer when there is no coverage on the car.

The prospective buyer’s coverage could extend to your car while they test drive it, but there are no guarantees that the person coming to your home has their own personal policy.

Having a 2 week policy is important because each time that someone comes and inspects the car and then takes it for a spin, there will be coverage.

When you list your car for sale and it is not insured, you should buy a 2-week policy as soon as the listing is live.

Buying short-term is ideal because there are not hefty down payments and you don’t have to worry about having a problem canceling the policy and getting a refund.

As soon as the car sells, you can cancel the policy easily and get a prorated refund without having fees subtracted.

Your Son or Daughter is Coming Home From College

When your kids are home from college for a summer break, it does not feel like they are home for long enough. It is long enough to significantly impact your standard car insurance rates when you are adding an inexperienced driver to your plan.

Taking a driver who is high-risk off of your insurance is much more difficult than adding a driver to the plan.

If you want to avoid having issues with your long-term insurance company’s underwriting department, buying a 2-week plan is a good alternative.

You will have coverage while your teen drives the car and then can leave their car in storage waiting for them to return for their next trip back home.

You Are an Infrequent Driver and Need to Take Your Car Out of Storage

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When a car is in storage for a long period of time, you can register it as a non-operable and drop all of your coverage options but comprehensive.

Comprehensive will protect cars from fire, theft and vandalism, but does not provide liability coverage.

If you are taking your car out of storage for just a couple weeks so that you can drive, a 2-week plan could give you the liability and physical damage coverage that you need to provide you with the peace of mind and the coverage that is required by state law.

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How can you find short-term car insurance?

Buying a 2-week policy is not as easy as picking up the phone and asking your agent to switch your term from a 6-month term to a 2-week term. You actually need to locate the insurers in the specialty marketplace that will provide these short-term weekly or daily policies.

You can search the Internet, ask your friends, or even speak with travel agencies who can recommend providers to learn which companies dabble in this line of coverage.

If you would like to price the cost of insurance with the most respected short-term carriers, you can use our FREE online rate comparison tool below!

References:

  1. https://www.thebalance.com/temporary-car-insurance-what-are-the-options-2645566
  2. http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2009/11/16/105163.htm
  3. http://www.moneysupermarket.com/car-insurance/short-term/
  4. http://carinsurance.about.com/od/High-Risk-Insurance/tp/What-Is-An-Excluded-Driver.htm
  5. http://budgeting.thenest.com/prorate-mean-auto-insurance-23242.html
  6. http://www.360financialliteracy.org/Topics/Insurance/Cars-and-Auto-Insurance/State-by-State-Minimum-Coverage-Requirements