Buying Car Insurance for Only One Week

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Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Aug 2, 2019

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Here's what you need to know...

  • One-week car insurance is not available everywhere
  • Some short-term car insurance may be available up to six months
  • There is no long-term commitment or premiums for the policyholder
  • Your basic coverage will include personal injury protection, as well as bodily and damage liability

One-week car insurance is available, but it is not available everywhere.

Where it is available, short-term coverage may be purchased from one to twenty-eight days.

Although in some states, this range may be longer even up to six months. It depends on the state where you are inquiring or driving.

Each state has different driving laws and regulates them through the State DMV, State Corporation Commission, and State Insurance Commission. Some states may even use the term “temporary insurance” instead of “short-term insurance.” These descriptions are interchangeable in the states where they exist.

Online car insurance rates are available at your request. Simply enter your ZIP code to get started!

The Premiums


Short-term or temporary car insurance serves a temporary need and usually costs more as a result. There is no long-term commitment or premiums for the policyholder. Premiums are paid in frequent increments of bi-monthly or advance payments.

Some require short-term car insurance premium payments in advance, especially in cases of coverage for one week.

If there is a need for a rental car for a business trip or vacation, insurance is usually made available through the rental company. You may purchase your own insurance, however, at a cheaper rate.

Insurance premiums through your rental company can be as much as $12 to $15 per day, which is almost as much as the daily rate of the rental car itself. Some companies include the offer of credit life coverage, if that’s something you need or would want through a rental car company.

Who needs one-week car insurance?

There are many reasons people use one-week car insurance. Two have been mentioned: business trips and vacation. Another use may be for your college student who is going to be home for spring break, or perhaps you are borrowing the car of a friend or a family member.

Can you extend a one-week car insurance policy?

If you have recently purchased a short-term car insurance policy and need to extend your coverage, you will probably be able to do so without an issue. You can call your auto insurance provider and ask to have your policy extended.

You may need to pay additional money to have your short-term car insurance policy extended. As long as you make the request before coverage has lapsed, you should not experience any difficulties.

What is included?

Whether your need is for one week or 52 weeks, the coverage is the same. You may be dealing with a different type of car insurance company, but the coverage you purchase still has to meet state minimums. You still have the option of including collision and comprehensive coverage.

Your basic coverage will include personal injury protection, as well as bodily and damage liability. You are also able to add provisions if necessary, like an additional driver. Consideration is given to all potential drivers of the vehicle.

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Are there restrictions?

The same restrictions or exclusions that are included in a regular car insurance policy are included in a short-term or temporary policy. Insurance will not pay for claims filed for damage resulting from:

  • Using the car for commercial purposes
  • Riots or acts of terrorism
  • Racing
  • A driver not listed on the policy

It is unlikely that someone will make modifications to a car in one week, but in case you do, and there is an accident, damage may not be covered.

Who carries one-week car insurance?

Many of the major carriers will carry short-term or temporary car insurance. They may not advertise this coverage availability since it is more profitable to them if you purchase 12-month policies.

Otherwise, there are specialty short-term/temporary carriers. These carriers may advertise their short-term specials and incentives.

How do I apply for it?

This type of car insurance is available online and by phone. Since most of the major companies carry one-week coverage, they should have a website you can access to apply. Once you decide on a company, they will gather more in-depth information to match you with the right kind of policy.

If your policy is needed for more than one week, you may call to extend your coverage. At increased rates, the insurance company will not mind.

If you purchase this type of insurance until you find a permanent policy, you may start saving as soon as you find something.

Compare quotes for short-term and permanent car insurance NOW!

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