Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

Full Bio →

Written by

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about car insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything car insurance-related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by car insurance experts.

In a nutshell...

  • Temporary insurance is a temporary fix when you are between insurance carriers or cars
  • Temporary insurance is not meant to be permanent insurance
  • You should be shopping and comparing for more permanent insurance while your temporary insurance is in force

Are you looking for auto insurance for only a few months or weeks? If so, you probably want what is known as temporary insurance.

Temporary insurance is not meant to be permanent insurance. It doesn’t have all of the frills of full insurance coverage. It is limited in many ways and may not cover everything.

It is important first to have an understanding of what temporary insurance does and how it can help you.

You should also keep in mind that temporary insurance is not meant to be permanent insurance. During the time that you are on any temporary insurance plan, you should actively be looking for ways to find more permanent insurance that you can keep for the long haul.

Compare car insurance plans today by entering your zip code into our free rate comparison tool.

What is temporary insurance?

days of a calendar_60115764-1600x1600

Temporary insurance is insurance that is for a specified amount of time. This can be one day, 28 days, or two months. It depends on the company you use for this.

There are various types of temporary insurance, and you can choose the type you want depending on the needs you have at the time that you apply for them. Some of the reasons that you may want temporary insurance are listed below.

  • To have proof of insurance or to provide legal paperwork
  • To have temporary coverage while between policies
  • To have insurance while shopping around

FREE Car Insurance Comparison

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What is a cover note?

A cover note is one type of temporary insurance that it intended to be used for the period that the consumer needs to provide some proof of insurance for various reasons such as:

  • Paying your fees for your car tags
  • Getting your car license that is required annually
  • Getting your driver’s license
  • Getting a new car

Gap Insurance: Insurance for a Lease Vehicle

Another type of insurance that can be obtained to cover your vehicle is called “gap insurance.” Gap insurance is a completely different insurance option than short-term coverage.

Gap coverage protects you financially if your financed vehicle is a total loss and you owe more on it than what it is worth. This policy option will cover the difference in what is owed and what your vehicle is worth.

FREE Car Insurance Comparison

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Shopping for Permanent Insurance

When you are searching for more permanent insurance, keep in mind that you can use your temporary insurance for the terms that you have agreed to as long as you keep your premiums paid for the terms of the agreement.

During this time, you should evaluate your temporary insurance and see if there are aspects of that policy that you like while looking at more permanent insurance options.

It is important to avoid the mistake of signing up for permanent insurance with the same company that you have your gap or temporary insurance with unless it is the best type of coverage for you.

Shopping and comparing different companies and policies can allow you the time to really scrutinize the specifics and the fine print of various companies and policies.

As a minimum, you should use the following list of questions to make sure you are getting the type of policy you need.

  • Does it cover minimum requirements?
  • Does it offer comprehensive and optional coverages?
  • Does the representative answer your questions?
  • Are there any exclusions?
  • Are there discounts offered?
  • What will my premiums be?
  • How fast do they pay out claims?

All of these factors are important when shopping for a vehicle insurance policy. You need to make sure that you will have the minimum state requirements for coverage to avoid paying penalties and fees.

You need to be in compliance with liability and property damage requirements so that you will not get in trouble for not having the required minimums.

You also need to find a company that offers additional coverages such as:

  • Comprehensive
  • Uninsured and underinsured insurance
  • Optional coverages like roadside assistance or car rentals

You never know what might happen down the road, so you should look for a permanent insurance policy that will cover all of your basic needs as you travel each day while also allowing you to add coverages that will add to your level of protection as you need it.

FREE Car Insurance Comparison

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

The Benefits of Temporary Insurance


Remember that temporary insurance is not permanent insurance. Whether you are between policies, looking for a better policy, or shopping for a new car, you may have a need for temporary coverage while you are shopping for more permanent coverage.

The benefit of temporary insurance is that you will be covered and you will know that you are in compliance with the law while you are shopping around for permanent insurance coverage.

It will also allow you to provide a police officer with proof of insurance if you are pulled over for any reason. You can pay hefty fees for not being able to provide this proof. So, if you are between insurance policies for any reason, you should make sure that you have this coverage.

Ultimately, you need to find coverage that covers you for more than two months.

Most temporary insurance is good for one-28 days, so you may need to renew your temporary policy if you only need or want insurance for 60 days.

Beyond that, it is your responsibility to find the best coverage for your needs to cover your car and any liabilities or expenses that might occur if you are in an accident or experience a theft, vandalism, or any other incident while you are between policies.

Make Sure You Have Coverage


It is critically important that you are covered one way or the other. Driving without insurance is just not a choice that you should make, whether you are between permanent policies or not.

If you are not happy with the service you get from your current policy, feel free to come back to our site and bookmark us and shop around. You can get free quotes, look up information about the various companies and read the fine print of policies before you buy.

Just like anything else, temporary is just an immediate fix. Your ultimate goal should be to find a system and a company that you can trust for the long haul and keep your premiums up-to-date so that you will know you are always protected from the unexpected.

Compare car insurance options side-by-side by entering your zip code below.