Express Car Insurance

Express Car Insurance if often misinterpreted as a type of insurance coverage. However, Express Car Insurance is a UK-based car insurance company that offers standard coverage options.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jun 2, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Literally, Express Car Insurance refers to an agency in the UK
  • This article examines other applications for the term “express” car insurance
  • Comparing apples-to-apples when searching for car insurance will yield the most accurate results for how you can save money

Express car insurance is one of those vague terms that can lead one on an endless Internet search to try to figure out what it means. Many people believe that express car insurance is a specific type of policy similar to temporary insurance or travel insurance.

Some people expect it to be the name of a car insurance company; others simply apply the term to American Express due the fact that some of their credit cards provide car insurance coverage on rental vehicles.

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The truth of the matter is that none of these things really apply. The only concrete application of the term relates to a company in the U.K. doing business under the name Express Car Insurance.

This company insures British drivers much the same way domestic insurance companies cover U.S. drivers.

Other than that, the term can have dozens of implications depending on who you ask. For the purposes of this article, we will briefly touch on two of those implications.

Used as a Temporary Policy

When the term is applied to a temporary policy, it’s almost always in reference to a short-term insurance arrangement lasting between three and six months. These policies are ideal for a couple situations:

  • If you have out-of-town guests planning to stay with you for a while and use your cars while they’re here, a short-term policy would be appropriate.
  • A circumstance where you might be borrowing a friend’s car for an extended period of time while yours is out of commission may require a short-term policy.

Short-term policies are required in these cases because your standard liability policy does not normally cover out-of-town guests. Many drivers don’t know that and take unnecessary risks as a result.

While your own liability policy might cover accidents, it won’t cover anything more than liability, which means you’ll need a temporary policy for things like collision coverage, fire and theft, and so on.

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Applied to American Express

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Like many credit card companies, American Express offers a certain amount of coverage on rental vehicles used by their customers. This benefit will vary from one card to the next, so be sure to check with American Express or your other credit card company for complete details.

That said, it is important to note that most of this coverage only provides for a certain amount of collision damage; they will almost never cover liability issues.

While this may seem like a concern, it really isn’t. The standard liability policy on your own vehicle covers the state minimums for bodily injury, property damage, and liability in any car that you rent.

The additional policy is purchased in order to protect you from financial loss should the rental vehicle be totaled in an accident deemed to be your fault.

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Many drivers will purchase a similar policy, called a collision damage waiver (CDW), from the company they are renting the vehicle from.

What You Need to Know About Car Insurance in General

Regardless of how you use the term “express car insurance” the fact of the matter is that car insurance is required by law in most states.

Individual states have their own minimum covers designed to protect you financially against loss incurred by injuries of your passengers or others involved, property damage sustained as a result of an accident, and liability for uninsured or underinsured drivers.

Additionally, most states require that this insurance is provided by a company licensed to do business in their state.

Fortunately, the states generally practice mutual recognition so that a car originally covered in New York would still be covered as a family drives to Florida for vacation.

No Car Insurance

In states where a specific liability policy is not required, drivers are still required to prove they have the financial resources to pay for any costs they incur as a result of an accident.

These states are very few in number, but they do exist (New Hampshire, for example).

From a practical standpoint, unless you’re an extremely wealthy individual, going this route probably isn’t practical. Both repair costs and medical payments can each run into the tens of thousands of dollars; judgments rendered in a lawsuit can be in the millions of dollars.

Even for the wealthiest individuals, the risk involved is probably not worth it.

Finding the best insurance policy for your car isn’t difficult. You can search online using any number of tools, like the one below, or you can spend time making phone calls and visiting individual insurance agencies.

Either way, just be sure to compare insurance policies with similar types of coverage. In other words, use an apples-to-apples comparison so that you always know what you’re getting for your money.

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