Summer Car Insurance

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Car Insurance for the Summer

Almost like a temporary car insurance policy, the idea of summer-only car insurance is nice but takes some creative maneuvering. Let’s explore what having an insurance policy for the summer only might look like and the best way to go about getting quotes for it.

Summer car insurance — table of contents
  1. Why would anyone need summer car insurance?
  2. What options do I have for temporary car insurance?
  3. Temporary car insurance for students
  4. Additional resources

What is car insurance for the summer?

There are some legitimate reasons a driver might only want an insurance policy for the warmer months.

  • You’re a student and only need a car during the summer when you’re away from campus
  • You’re interning or working temporarily without your vehicle and are unsure of how to handle car insurance
  • You live in a location where driving during the winter is hazardous

With these possibilities in mind, let’s explore your summer car insurance options.

Finding temporary car insurance

While it seems like a straightforward idea, most insurance companies will not advertise based on a temporary policy. There are several reasons for this. First, insurance companies see individuals seeking temporary insurance as high-risk clients.

These clients, in their eyes, are just looking to avoid registration and legal penalties. The second reason is because of the way insurance and vehicle registration work. In order to legally drive your vehicle, you’ll need to do two things: you need to register and insure it. So, by “pausing” your insurance, you run the risk of having your registration be suspended — which can result in a fine.

Despite this, we have some options for you.

Consider storage coverage

Some insurance companies offer instead what’s called storage coverage. Simply put, this type of insurance policy allows you to drop all your coverage except your comprehensive coverage. Now, with great insurance power come great responsibility. By agreeing to storage coverage, you are no longer legally able to drive your vehicle.

Because you technically don’t have the correct insurance coverage for your registration, you run the risk of having your registration flagged and suspended. Don’t freak out, we have some tips for this. If your state allows, you can submit what’s called an Affidavit of Non-Use through your state’s DMV.

Fundamentally, this affidavit certifies that your car is not being operated or parked on a public roadway and your liability coverage has been dropped. This will help limit any issues your storage coverage might cause.

But be smart with your registration

As insurance laws are governed at the state level, this option might not be available to you. If this is the case, you would need to check to see if registration is actively monitored where you live. Texas, for instance, actively monitors for vehicle registration. If they don’t, you would just want to make sure your registration isn’t going to be up for renewal when you have your vehicle “in storage.”

Because your vehicle only has comprehensive coverage, it only protects it from damage due to weather/animal-related events, theft, and vandalism. Meaning, it’s probably a good idea to keep the vehicle in a garage or driveway. Also, if you have a loan or lease on the vehicle, this might not a violation of your agreement.

Reduce Coverage

If you’re unable to use storage coverage, you could consider dropping your physical coverage (comprehensive and collision) and only having liability insurance. On average, your physical coverage costs about half of your liability insurance. Meaning, you could potentially half your monthly bill. With this option, however, you want to make sure your vehicle is in a secured area. Again, you won’t be able to do this if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle.

Average Annual Premium by Coverage Level

Coverage LevelAverage Annual PremiumMonthly Premium
Liability Only$672$56
$500 Deductible$1,427$119
$1,000 Deductible$1,268$106

As you can see, the monthly difference between full coverage and dropping your coverage to liablity insurance only is about 50% or $56 dollars. If you decide to drop to liability-only, it's a good idea to compare quotes from different companies to see if one can offer a better price.

Temporary car insurance for students

The nature of college can create some unique circumstances for your car insurance. Although the same concept of temporary car insurance not really being a thing remains the same, we have some suggestions that are specific to young drivers and college-aged students.

Students away from home

If you’re going to be returning home for the summer only and want to use your parent’s vehicles while you’re there, your parents might not want to pay the remaining months of premium for you. What they can do, however, is ask their insurance company if they have what’s called a “student away from home” discount.

While you must be more than 100 miles away from the listed address on the insurance policy, your parents can receive a discount for the months you’re away. The benefit of this is that you, the student or young driver, won’t have a lapse in your insurance coverage. Having a lapse in coverage is a red-flag to insurance companies and it might make getting an insurance policy in the future more expensive.

Removing and adding you as a driver

While a student away from home discount will lower your parent’s premium, it won’t completely eliminate you from their premiums. So, if they’re not interested in insuring you, they might be able to remove you from their policy when you’re no longer in the residence. While your parents would save the most from this option, they would have to re-add you if you were to come return home or exclude you from the policy altogether. Also, because you would have a gap in your insurance, it might be more expensive if they were to re-add you again.

Comparing your car insurance options is quick, simple and hassle-free.

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glyph-shield-checkmarkNo junk mail. No spam calls. Free quotes.
Ava Lynch
Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava worked in the insurance industry as an agent for four-plus years.

Ava currently provides insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts. Her work has been featured in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, Car and Driver, and Yahoo! Finance.

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

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