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How can I obtain temporary auto coverage?


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Question: My son wants just the motor out of a drivable car, which is three hours from our home.  How do I get coverage for this car just for the drive to our home?

Answer:  Temporary insurance is typically hard to obtain.  Most car insurance companies only offer six or 12 months’ worth of coverage, not coverage for a few days or weeks.

When you need short term car insurance, it’s normally advised that you obtain a six-month policy and then cancel it out after you no longer have a use for it. 

A few difficulties come with this option, such as cancellation fees and the fact that some states don’t allow you to cancel during the first few months of your car insurance policy unless your situation falls under certain approved conditions. 

For example, in Florida a car insurance policy cannot be canceled by the insured during the first 60 days after its inception, unless:

  • the vehicle is declared a total loss,
  • the insured no longer owns the vehicle,
  • or the insured obtained replacement coverage with another company and then provides the first company with proof of the new coverage.  

If your son currently has car insurance coverage, then I’d recommend that he contact his insurer to see if they will automatically extend coverage to the new vehicle for a few days under his current policy without adding it. 

If that’s not possible, then see if they will allow him to add the car when he takes possession of it (by calling and giving the VIN and other specific details) and then remove it after the motor is taken out and the car is no longer drivable.

If none of above options work, then your son may need have the car towed home without insurance being placed on it. 

State laws will require your son to title the car in his name, but if he doesn’t register it, he may not be required to keep auto insurance coverage on it since it won’t be driven.  Check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles about his titling and registration requirements.

Also, if the motor that is pulled from this car is being placed in another vehicle that he already has insured, then he should confirm with his auto insurance company that the original car with the replaced engine will continue to be covered without any limitations. 

If he is customizing a car, your son should discuss with his insurer any aftermarket parts he plans to use and make sure they are covered by his policy or if he will need custom parts and equipment coverage.

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