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...

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Written by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

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...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jun 29, 2022

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Temporary car insurance is great for emergency driving needs
  • It is not meant to be permanent insurance
  • Generally, car insurance covers you for one to 28 days

There are times when you need car insurance but are between policies. Perhaps you are just starting out driving, and you are not sure what type of insurance you need most.

Temporary insurance is insurance that serves as an alternate to a 12-month policy. It offers comprehensive coverage from one to 28 days.

It covers short trips to the supermarket, school, or other emergencies which may require someone to borrow your car.

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What kind of situations does temporary insurance cover?


Temporary car insurance covers a more immediate need than permanent insurance does.

Temporary insurance is meant to be an immediate fix for car insurance needs while the driver is looking for a more permanent insurance policy.

Below is a list of situations that this type of insurance covers:

– Emergencies with Limited Travel Requirements

Sometimes there are situations where you need a temporary insurance for specific situations that require you to drive a car that is either not yours or not covered by other insurance.

– Young Driver Insurance

Young drivers need immediate insurance as they start their driving history.

It is illegal in all states but two to fail to carry insurance on any car that you drive. So you need some temporary insurance while shopping for a more permanent one.

– Temporary for Classic Car Insurance

Classic car owners need to cover their investment.

Classic cars are a large financial investment that should be protected. But sometimes the requirements from classic car insurance companies is hard to meet.

Temporary insurance offers a temporary solution for classic car owners until they can find a more permanent solution.

– When You Drive Someone Else’s Car

Driving someone else’s car puts you in a situation where you are under someone else’s car insurance unless you have temporary car insurance of your own.

When you drive someone else’s car, you are at the mercy of their policy.

If it is not enough to cover damages in an accident, you will be liable for the remainder. To avoid this, carry temporary car insurance that can be used in such situations.

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What do you need to know about temporary insurance?

Temporary car insurance companies require similar information to permanent insurance companies.

This information includes:

  • Your name and address
  • Your car make, model, year, and VIN number
  • Your license and driving history
  • Date and time you want the insurance to begin and end

– Cover Note Insurance

Cover note insurance is offered temporarily by a company which also offers permanent insurance.

For example, you may try out an insurance company by getting temporary insurance from them until such time that you decide if you want permanent insurance from them.

Rather than having temporary insurance from one company and transferring to another, you could stay with the same company, if you decide that it meets your needs.

– Not a Permanent Fix

Temporary car insurance is not a permanent fix for your insurance needs. It is meant to be a temporary solution for a specific period of time and will not include many of the important coverages that most people need.

To find the best permanent insurance, you should shop around and compare different policies and see if it offers the types of coverage you need.

– The Benefits of Temporary Insurance

Buying temporary insurance offers drivers a way to try on a policy to see if it meets their needs before committing to the policy and the insurance company on a more permanent basis.

The benefits of temporary insurance include:

  • It offers a quick fix for insurance when you are between policies
  • It offers insurance when you drive someone else’s car
  • It lets you try out a policy before you buy
  • It gives you state minimum coverage, so you are in compliance with state driving laws
  • It requires minimum paperwork and documentation

Tips for Shopping for Permanent Insurance

Once you have tried out temporary insurance and weighed the benefits of that company’s policies, you may want to search for a policy that you can use with permanent coverage.

Permanent car insurance is meant to span a one-year premium period or six-month premium period, and payments are divided up into installments of equal premium amounts per month.

Buying permanent insurance is a contract that you are entering into with an insurance company, so you will want to shop long enough to compare the different policies to decide what is best for you.

When shopping for a more permanent insurance, look for the following traits in your insurance policy:

  • Coverage for the required state liability and bodily injury requirements
  • Good claims record
  • Excellent customer service record
  • Friendly, courteous service
  • Reasonable premiums

All of these factors are important when looking for permanent car insurance. Enter your zip code below to get FREE car insurance today!