What is 24-hour car insurance?

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Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®https://res.cloudinary.com/quotellc/image/upload/insurance-site-images/ciccom-live/41b5e36b-joel-ohman.jpg

UPDATED: Mar 11, 2016

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Multiple scenarios make 24-hour car insurance a necessity
  • Most insurance companies have strict requirements when it comes to 24-hour coverage
  • There are distinct differences between 24-hour insurance and typical car insurance

The benefits of 24-hour car insurance

24-hour car insurance is short term car insurance that typically lasts for, as the name implies, a single day. While it doesn’t necessarily have to be only 24-hours, this type of insurance is designed specifically for the short-term driving situation.

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Your car insurance company may not offer 24-hour car insurance, and it isn’t something that is commonly advertised. If you need this type of insurance, you may need to look around for an insurance company that offers it.

Why would I need 24-hour car insurance?

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There are many reasons that you might consider this type of short-term coverage:

  • Rentals – 24-hour car insurance is ideal for individuals who are renting a car and don’t have another way to cover the cost of the rental. 24-hour car insurance is very inexpensive, which means that you may find that it is much more affordable to purchase a 24-hour car insurance policy than to purchase insurance directly.
  • Borrowing – Another reason that you may need to purchase 24-hour car insurance is because you are borrowing someone else’s vehicle for a day and their insurance doesn’t include you as a driver. These situations tend to come up suddenly; fortunately, most insurance companies that offer 24-hour car insurance can provide you with an instant policy.
  • New Car – Another instance where you might choose 24-hour car insurance is if you purchase a vehicle but you aren’t sure what insurance company you want to use to cover your vehicle. A 24-hour car insurance policy will provide you with the necessary coverage while you take time to do a proper search using a quote tool.

Other alternatives in these situations are pay as you go car insurance and non-owner’s car insurance.

No matter what happens, you must ensure that you have the proper insurance coverage.

Without it, you can face some serious fines and, if you cause an accident while driving someone else’s vehicle, you will have to figure out how to pay for damages of all the vehicles involved.

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Who can get 24-hour car insurance?

24-hour car insurance is different than other types of insurance policies, as it doesn’t matter how good of a driver you are; if you are under 21, you will not be able to purchase this coverage. In addition, many insurance companies won’t sell a 24-hour car insurance policy to drivers under the age of 25.

As an older driver, you will still have to have an excellent driving record in order to purchase one of these policies. If you are a high-risk driver, there is no negotiating on this point.

An insurance company doesn’t charge you more if you are a higher risk, they simply refuse to write you a policy.

It is possible that one insurance company will refuse to write you a policy while another one will be fine with providing you with coverage. That is another reason why it is important for you to shop around; you may be able to get the coverage that you need this way.

What is the difference between 24-hour car insurance and regular car insurance?

In terms of the type of car insurance coverage that you receive, there is no real difference between the two. You can purchase liability only or you can purchase comprehensive and collision coverage.

Of course, one of the primary differences between these two types of coverage is the duration of coverage. 24-hour car insurance is meant to provide coverage for a day while regular car insurance is meant to be a long-term insurance.

A major difference between the two is cost. 24-hour car insurance is very cheap, as you are only paying for the cost for one day. If you have to extend this coverage for several days–which is possible with many insurance companies–then you will find that it will eventually become too expensive to maintain.

A regular auto insurance policy requires higher premium payments in terms of monthly expense compared to a one-day expense, but if you pay $10 a day for your 24-hour car insurance or $90 a month for your regular car insurance, then you can see that a regular insurance policy is much cheaper in the long run.

The standard insurance policy equates to about $3.00 a day compared to the $10 a day for 24-hour car insurance.

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