Getting Temporary Car Insurance for Permanent Drivers

Published: February 1, 2018

Updated: May 15, 2018



Auto insurance by itself is confusing enough for most people. Adding another term such as temporary car insurance makes it more confusing. Relax, temporary car insurance is a bit specialized and simplified and is not confusing at all.

Temporary auto insurance as the name implies is a policy designed to last for only a short period of time and for certain occasion. The policy terms usually last for days or weeks. Temporary car insurance should not be confused with policies like non-owned auto insurance which is a full-term auto insurance policy that covers only the driver while excluding the vehicle.

Temporary Car Insurance for Rentals.

Although it is useful for other purposes, the most common use of temporary car insurance is for rental situations. Rental temporary auto insurance is not a true auto insurance as it is an agreement between you and the rental company to repay you for damages. It is an added charge to your rental and is usually offered as an up sell.

Many insurance firms will give you an automatic coverage sometimes partially in a rental car so long as you reside in Canada or the United States.

If you intend to rent a car in the future and you are not sure of your coverage, find out from your insurance agent before renting. This may save you a good amount of money that would have been spent for unnecessary rental car charges.

If you are driving in any other country, you might want to consider taking the temporary car insurance of the rental company. With the exclusion of Canada, many American auto insurance policies exclude general international coverage and coverage in Mexico. There are chances that your auto insurance back home will not apply when are in another country. Rental auto insurance might be the only cover you will have when an unfortunate international incident occur.

Another popular application of temporary car insurance includes driving south of the border even if the car belongs to you. Unlike in Canada where your local car insurance policy remains valid and recognized by local authorities, driving legally in Mexico involves a completely different set of requirements. Insurance companies in America do not do business in Mexico or offer Mexican auto insurance. You will have to do your search to get the coverage that you require.

Temporary Mexican auto insurance may be offered to you through your agent by means of an insurance online brokerage or through an agency near the border. When buying temporary auto insurance to be used in Mexico – especially when dealing with firms or agents you are unfamiliar with – ensure you are really getting Mexican auto insurance. Also make sure you are not being overcharged.

There are lots of reputable Mexican insurance companies to choose from. Do not hesitate to do a research on these firms as many do have high ratings for financial security just like their American counterparts.

After getting a Mexican insurance, you also need to get a Mexican tourist visa and a Temporary Vehicle Importation Permit for your vehicle. Although this permit is not required in some parts of the country, do not drive without it in places where it is needed. Your car will most likely be confiscated if you are caught without one and you may find yourself behind Mexican jail bars.