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Who Needs Temporary Car Insurance?

Updated on September 11, 2011

Most people will never need to buy temporary car insurance. That's because the biggest reason for buying this type of policy is the need to drive for only a short period of time, or the need to drive someone else's car. Often, a car insurance policy will cover any driver who's over 18 years of age, making a temporary policy for most people unnecessary.

And since most people who have driver's licenses will either have a vehicle that's driven regularly enough to have a standard policy or be covered under a rental car agreement if they have to rent a car for some reason, temporary car insurance probably won't be necessary then, either.

It is important, however, to always make sure that you're covered in any of these situations. For instance, if you need to drive someone else's car, unless it's an emergency situation that doesn't give anyone time to check, the car owner should check with their insurance company to make sure that you're covered. There are some policies that do restrict who can drive the car and still be covered. Sometimes it's a relative over the legal age limit, while sometimes only a spouse or another person who is named on the policy will be covered.

Most policies cover anyone driving the car who is of age, has a valid license and has permission from the car owner. But because there are exceptions, it's always best to check. Some people might leave that part of their policy off to get it cheaper when they buy the policy, never imagining that anyone else will want to drive the car. And some very inexpensive policies might leave that off by default. If this is the case and you need to drive someone else's car, you'll need temporary car insurance.

In almost every state, liability car insurance is a legal requirement. You don't want to have an accident while driving someone else's car and not be covered by temporary car insurance or the owner's policy, because the cost of repairs and damages, and possible hospital bills, could be high, and you could also get fined for not carrying the required policy.

Someone who doesn't drive very often who may need to make a special trip or drive anywhere would also need temporary car insurance. You may find it's cheaper just to get a regular policy and cancel after the term period than to buy short-term insurance, in some cases.

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