Auto Insurance for a Temporary Resident

Do you need temporary auto insurance? Did you know that as a temporary resident, you can find short term auto insurance for between one and 28 days?

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Oct 28, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • Moving to a new state – even temporarily – could have a major effect on insurance coverage
  • A temporary insurance policy may or may not be appropriate depending on the circumstances
  • Acquiring the right coverage based on temporary residency is critical to avoid being uninsured

Car insurance policies normally allow for coverage when traveling through different states.

A person living in one state may consistently be traveling to one, two, or more neighboring states. Unless restrictions have been written into the policy, coverage generally does not become automatically void upon crossing the state line.

The only exception to this would be if the policy maintained a specific clause stating such.

Exclusions of this nature are not the norm. Vacationers do not need to worry about buying a new policy because they are taking part in a road trip sojourn. Auto policies, to an extent, present tremendous leeway to those who venture into a new state.

This leeway does not mean, however, there is never a need to modify a particular policy. In fact, under certain conditions, changing an insurance policy might be necessary for temporary state residents.

And then there are other complexities that may come into play. New Hampshire does not require anyone to carry auto insurance coverage.

What happens when someone from New Hampshire chooses to spend several months in a state with insurance coverage? Perhaps it would be most prudent to look into insurance coverage including:

  • laws
  • rules
  • requirements

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Being a Temporary State Resident

Millions of people are temporary residents of states outside of their primary residence.

The following facts demonstrate the nature of state-to-state travel:

  • Anyone can live anywhere they wish for as long as they wish.
  • People can travel from one state to the other barring any legal impediments.
  • People can own properties in different states and reside in those states at different times.

Being allowed to move from one place to another and back again may not be barred, but being allowed to do so does not mean there are no additional requirements one has to follow.

For example, someone who leaves the state of New York to live and work in Florida for three months is, in essence, taking up temporary residence in the Sunshine State.

This change in residence could have a dramatic effect on an insurance policy. To avoid any troubles, look towards clarifying any and all insurance concerns.


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The Dangers and Risks of Improper Insurance

Under certain circumstances, state law and insurance policy terms may mandate a change in someone’s status. Whether the insured chooses to accept this or, for that matter, even knows about specific laws and regulations in the first place is irrelevant.

Either the insured is adhering to the terms and conditions of a current policy or not. Either he or she has the right coverage or not.

And having the right policy is a must. This need for a policy is why it is necessary to examine different quotes from a number of different providers to select the right one.

A person with the wrong policy is not going to be covered if he or she gets into an accident. Insurance policies come with very detailed terms. Anything that violates the policy voids a claim.

If a driver is at-fault for a major accident and the $300,000 liability coverage provision is no longer in effect, the driver is going to in a position to be sued. Consider this another reason why it is wise to comparison shop.

In essence, the driver is de facto uninsured in such a situation. Probably one of the worst scenarios a driver can find him or herself would be out of status with an insurance policy in a horrible situation after having assumed the policy is fine.

Making an assumption without clarifying any facts could prove to be a disastrous matter.

Locating to a New State

What are those requirements? The answer depends on the state the vehicle is temporarily residing.

Since there are 50 states, there are 50 different legal statutes and requirements. In California, out-of-state residents are allowed to permanently register their vehicle in the Golden State. In other states, non-resident registration is not allowed.

Yes, there can be major differences in different states.

The differences could impact the type of policy sought. The state of Indiana spells out how someone out of the state for a full year is able to remain a legitimate resident. Falling outside of these exceptions would have an effect on car registration and insurance rules.

Another point to be aware of here is different states maintain different minimum coverage requirements. Not meeting the local state’s minimum requirements can also lead to further hassles and troubles.

Again, this trouble is the result of not taking the necessary steps to properly straighten things out before an incident occurs.

The Basic Temporary Insurance Policy

Some may wonder if acquiring a temporary insurance policy is worth acquiring. A temporary insurance policy might be an option, but acquiring one of these policies may require canceling the original policy on the vehicle and replacing it.

A temporary insurance policy is one that allows for coverage for one day to about 30 days.

Many people opt to purchase a temporary policy under very unique and specific circumstances. Generally, they do so when they are between major primary policies or when they are driving a car that is not their own.

Regardless, looking at a number of different temporary insurance policy quotes might be a wise strategy.

Purchasing, canceling, and repurchasing a temporary policy followed by purchasing another permanent policy might be an odd and costly approach to take. It also could be totally unnecessary considering the other options an insurance provider might present.

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Don’t Be Overwhelmed By the Research

Upon realizing there are different rules and requirements in the various states, a driver could be confused as to how to go about figuring out how to be in compliance.

Honestly, the driver really does not need to be an expert on all the various different rules, laws, and regulations. The insurance company’s customer service division is where all questions end up being answered.

In the driver’s home state is Maine and the temporary state is Alabama, someone at the insurance company can quickly ascertain the requirements for a policy in Alabama. Insurance companies underwrite the policies.

They know the laws and requirements and present them in a quote or an upgrade.

Call the Insurance Company

When traveling to another state, always call the insurance company to clarify the rules and requirements regarding the temporary movement situation.

All pertinent facts should be provided starting with telling the customer care representative what state the move is to and how much time will be spent in that particular state.

If the appropriate coverage requires new underwriting, then providing the exact address of the place the car will be located becomes necessary. The car probably will need to be registered in the new state.

Taking the car to the DMV and registering it should be immediately followed by performing comparison shopping to procure the necessary insurance policy.

Even when moving around in the same state, it is necessary to inform the insurance company of the new address.

Comparison shop today to find the best coverage for your unique insurance needs.

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