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 suspended — which can result in a fine.
Despite this, we have some options for you.
By “pausing” your insurance, you run the risk of having your registration suspended.
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 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 be a violation of your agreement.
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.
As you can see in the table below, the monthly difference between full coverage and dropping your coverage to liability insurance only is about 35%, depending on your deductible. This can mean savings of several hundred dollars each year. 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.
|Coverage||Avg. Annual Premium||Avg. Monthly Premium|
|Full Coverage with $1,000 Deductible||$1,554||$129|
|Full Coverage with $500 Deductible||$1,760||$147|
Dynamic auto insurance data methodology
Methodology: The auto insurance rates displayed above and throughout this page are dynamic, meaning the data will refresh when the most recent information is made available. Rates are based on a sample driver profile — a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord and full coverage. This profile was adjusted based on common pricing factors used by major car insurance companies, like age, coverage level, driving record and others.
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.
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.
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 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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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.
- The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
- The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
- The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
- The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.