Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for 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 22, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • No matter what, car insurance is necessary
  • If you drive in more than one state often, take note if any of those states have no-fault car insurance laws
  • Temporary car insurance can protect you on road trips, and your car insurance company may already have that as an option
  • Despite not being required, having temporary car insurance all depends on the type of coverage you have and the policy details

It’s very common to ask whether or not you need extra car insurance when spending time away from home. Let’s say you live in Arizona but need to spend 30 days in California – do you need more car insurance? Planning a road trip – are you insured?

How much car insurance you need while operating your vehicle in another state will depend on that particular state’s minimum car insurance requirements and state law.

Wherever you are driving, the one thing for sure is you will need car insurance.

A lot of U.S. consumers often commute from one state to another for work or merely drive across state borders for other reasons.

A widespread mistake is drivers being involved in a car accident in a neighboring state and not having enough car insurance to meet the minimum requirements of the visiting state.

Any time you cross state lines, you should check with your car insurance company before making the trip to know if your car insurance provides coverage to meet the state laws.

You should also take note whether or not the new state has no-fault car insurance laws as it may be a good time to explore additional coverage if you live in a no-fault car insurance state but often visit one with no such form of protection.

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Should I get temporary car insurance?

Temporary car insurance can provide coverage for multiple drivers and worth contacting your car insurance company about should you spend any time outside of your home state.

Many times it’s just a phone call before the trip to add and then another when you get home to cancel.

Think of temporary car insurance as a form of travel insurance for your road trips.

Since your car insurance company is already familiar with your profile, they will almost never require any kind of commitment (such as a three or six-month policy) for just adding temporary car insurance coverage to an existing policy.

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Is temporary car insurance required?

Temporary car insurance is not required, but you are required to comply with state laws whenever operating a vehicle within the borders of a state.

Ultimately, having temporary car insurance all depends on the type of coverage you have and your policy coverage details.

In most cases, your current car insurance policy may be enough, but you have to check your coverage! If your policy limits are not within state requirements than yes, temporary car insurance is required.

If you’re looking to get better and more affordable car insurance, enter your ZIP code below and start comparison shopping today!