Weekend Car Insurance: Can You Get Coverage for Saturdays and Sundays?
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Major insurance carriers don’t usually offer weekend car insurance, but there are alternative ways to get short-term coverage. One option is to purchase an auto policy and cancel it when you’re finished driving. You will most likely have to pay a cancellation fee though and you may risk incurring a lapse in coverage for going uncovered thereafter. If you rent a car for the weekend, it would make sense to get a rental-car or car-share policy. The auto coverage of a friend or family member can also apply to you if you have permission to borrow their car. The amount you pay for coverage will vary depending on if you’re getting coverage through an insurance carrier, rental car company or car share company, as well as where you live, your age, your driving history, your credit information and any available discounts. Keep reading to see what your weekend car insurance options are.
Can You Get Car Insurance for Weekends Only?
You most likely won't find a weekend-only car insurance policy from a reputable insurance company. Auto policies are typically sold in six and 12-month increments.
One reason an auto insurance carrier won't offer weekend auto insurance policies is because of the potential risk that is involved. According to the National Safety Council, Saturday has the highest number of vehicle-related deaths out of any day of the week, making nsurance companies hesitant about the idea of limiting insurance policies strictly to weekend use.
There is also no guarantee that the insured individual will only drive on the weekend. If someone were to take out a weekend-only insurance policy and drive their vehicle throughout the week.
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Do Insurance Companies Offer Short-Term Coverage Alternatives?
Reputable insurance companies don’t typically offer short-term coverage alternatives. Six months is usually the shortest amount of time a carrier will have for an auto policy. However, you can buy car insurance for a brief time and then cancel your policy early when you’re finished driving. For those who paid their premium upfront, the insurance provider will offer you a pro-rated refund minus an early cancellation fee of $25 - $100 or a percentage of the premium.
Have an alternative form of coverage ready if you cancel your policy. Otherwise, you will have a lapse in coverage which could raise your rates by over 30% when you later try to get an auto policy. It's a good idea to buy a non-owner policy to start the day you cancel your standard policy to avoid a coverage lapse.
How Much Is Short-Term Car Insurance?
The amount you pay for coverage is going to vary by insurance company, your age, location, driving history, credit information and the available discounts. Shop around to see who will offer you the best price.
How To Buy Short-Term or Temporary Car Insurance for Weekends
There are several ways you can get short-term or temporary car insurance for the weekend:
Canceling a Standard Auto Policy
You can get short-term auto coverage by purchasing a standard auto policy from any of the major carriers and then canceling it when you’re done. Doing so will usually cost you a cancellation fee and could cause a lapse in coverage. You should buy a non-owners policy to avoid the lapse, which will raise your rates significantly when you buy coverage later.
Rental Car Insurance
Rental car companies will offer personal accident insurance to cover medical-related expenses for you and your passengers as well as liability coverage. You may also sign a collision/loss damage waiver (CDW or LDW) which means you won’t be held financially responsible if the vehicle is damaged as long as the damage wasn’t caused by your actions.
Pay-Per-Mile Car Insurance
Pay-per-mile car insurance is coverage based on how much you drive. A device placed in your car records the distance you travel and then sends this data back to the carrier. The fewer miles you drive, the lower your rates will be. So, if you only drive weekends, your rates should be low.
Telematics is a way to potentially cut down on the cost of your coverage without ever having to cancel your plan. Insurance companies will have customers either download an app or they will give customers a device that is attached to their car. The app or device will send information about your driving habits to the insurance company, which will then calculate your rates according to the information they receive. If you drive safely and less often, you'll pay less for car insurance coverage.
Pleasure Use Car Insurance
Your vehicle will usually be used for one of two reasons, commuting and pleasure. "Pleasure use" means you're only using your vehicle on occasion and for personal outings such as weekend driving, whereas "commute use" refers to using your vehicle frequently, usually to get to and from work or school.
Listing your vehicle for pleasure use will usually save you money on your auto insurance when compared to commute use. If your vehicle is listed for pleasure use, don’t drive it too often as doing so could cause you to be guilty of car insurance fraud.
Car Share Insurance
Car sharing companies allow you to rent vehicles from local private owners. They will usually offer auto coverage that meets your state's minimum requirements, including liability coverage and personal injury protection (PIP), if required in your state.
Turo & Zipcar
Companies such as Turo and Zipcar offer auto coverage for renters. Below is a breakdown of the coverage they offer:
Turo offers three plans through Travelers insurance.
- Premiere Plan Includes:
- 65% to 100% of the trip cost; a minimum charge of $14 per day
- Secondary liability coverage. Limit of $750,000 ($1,250,000 in New York)
- Secondary physical damage contract. Limits your responsibility to $0 to Turo for physical damage to the host’s vehicle.
- Does not include contractual limitation of responsibility for mechanical or interior damage to the host's vehicle
- Isn’t available for trips booked in certain vehicles with a total market value of more than $25,000 or any vehicles with a total market value of more than $60,000.00
- Isn't available to drivers below the age of 21
- Standard Plan Includes:
- Costs 40% of the trip price; a minimum charge of $12 per day
- Secondary liability coverage
- Physical damage contract that limits driver's responsibility to $500 for physical damage to the host’s vehicle
- Doesn’t include contractual limitation of responsibility for mechanical or interior damage to the host’s vehicle
- Minimum Plan Includes:
- Costs 5% of the trip price when the trip price is more than $250; a minimum charge of $10 per day
- Costs 25% of the trip price when the trip price is less than $250; a minimum charge of $10 per day
- Secondary liability coverage
- Secondary physical damage contract that limits responsibility to $3,000 for physical damage to the host’s vehicle
- Doesn't offer a contractual limitation of responsibility for mechanical or interior damage to the host’s vehicle
- Decline Protection
- No cost
- Minimum liability coverage required by the state where the car is registered
- Driver is responsible for all costs related to physical, mechanical, and interior damage as well as administrative claims fees and appraisal costs
Note: Above information pulled from Turo.
Zipcars coverage includes
- Physical damage insurance - Covers damage to the vehicle after the driver pays a $1,000 damage fee. Damage fees can be reduced or removed by purchasing damage protection coverage
- Liability coverage
- Personal injury protection where required
Note: Above information pulled from Zipcar.
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