Temporary Car Insurance in Florida Explained

While you can’t buy short-term car insurance in Florida, dealership, rental, or pay-per-mile insurance may help you get the necessary coverage.
Written by Jennifer Justice
Edited by Amy Bobinger
, you can only purchase standard policies for 6 or 12-month car insurance. While you won’t be able to purchase
temporary car insurance
, you still have options, depending on why you need short-term coverage.

Temporary car insurance alternatives

Your best solution for temporary car insurance depends on why you need it
The coverage options...
Best if you...
Dealership-provided insurance
Haven't found a policy yet but are ready to buy a car
Pay-per-mile insurance
Own a car that you rarely drive
Rental car coverage
Drive rented vehicles a few times a year
Non-owner insurance
Frequently drive borrowed or rented vehicles
Permissive driver
Occasionally drive your friends' vehicles
Named driver
Regularly borrow the same car
Adjusted coverage
Drive seasonally
Early cancellation
Only plan to drive temporarily
Learn More

Temporary car insurance from a Florida dealership

If you are buying a used or new car, many dealerships in Florida give customers a chance to get short-term
car insurance
so they can shop around for a permanent policy.
Be aware that this temporary coverage usually lasts up to 30 days, so it still gives you the flexibility to look around, but you don’t have unlimited time.
While you can get temporary car insurance coverage from a Florida dealership as an easy solution, it often costs more. You’ll also have more limited options and coverage than a standard insurance policy, so you won’t be able to customize it based on your needs. However, the convenience can make it a good choice and worth the extra expense.

Florida pay-per-mile insurance

pay-per-mile insurance
can be a good option if you drive less than the average driver since you only pay for the miles you drive. 
  • With a pay-per-mile policy, you pay a set monthly premium for auto insurance along with an extra fee based on the actual miles you drive.
  • Your expenses will normally be capped at a certain number of miles, so if you end up driving more than you planned, you won't be charged more than a set amount.
It’s a good idea to track your mileage for several months before you go with a pay-per-mile insurance policy so you know whether it will save you money.
Bonus: Pay-per-mile insurance could make it easier to lower your carbon footprint and be more environmentally friendly since you'll have more motivation to drive fewer miles each month.

Non-owner insurance in Florida

Though less common, another short-term policy is
non-owner insurance
, which is for motorists who don’t have their own car. The idea is that the policy is tied to a specific driver instead of a vehicle, which helps if you use a car-sharing service or borrow or rent a car regularly. 
Non-owner car insurance is a good option if you need to get a valid driver’s license, if you have to file an
SR-22 in Florida
, or if you want coverage for renting a vehicle. 
In Florida, like most states, this type of policy is usually cheaper than traditional auto insurance, though not all car insurance companies offer it. Since it focuses on covering liability for damages you cause if you get into an accident, it doesn’t need to help you recoup the cost of repairs since you don’t own the vehicle. 
Like any insurance, a non-owner policy still has to meet the
state minimum insurance requirements
, which include:
  • $10,000 for property damage liability (PDL) coverage
  • $10,00 Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Since Florida is a
no-fault state
, you are expected to have insurance coverage that helps pay for your own medical bills if you get into an accident.

Rental car insurance in Florida

There are several kinds of
rental car coverage in Florida
. Let’s look at your options and what a rental car company can offer so you make a good insurance decision that suits your needs.
  • Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
    : this means you pay a fee to get the rental company to waive the right to seek collision damages if you get into an accident with a rented vehicle. The damages include repair costs, towing charges, lost revenue, and more.
  • Loss Damage Waiver (LDW): this is another pay-to-waiver option that keeps the company from going after you for compensation if the vehicle is stolen or wrecked during the rental period, and protects you from miscellaneous charges.
  • Rental car liability coverage: liability coverage helps pay for costs related to bodily injuries or property damage if you get into an at-fault accident, up to a specified limit. Since this is liability insurance, it would pay for the costs of the other party involved in the accident, not your own.
  • Personal accident insurance: this option helps cover medical bills if you are injured in an accident, regardless of whether you are at fault or not.
  • Personal effects coverage: if your belongings are stolen while in the rental vehicle, you can get compensated for their value, up to the coverage limit.
You can ask the rental company if they have additional coverage options before deciding. Based on Florida’s state minimum for insurance, the liability coverage and personal accident options are the most relevant.
Need to know: Your credit card company might offer rental car insurance coverage as a reward program, so check to see if that’s an option with any of the credit cards you carry. If the perk is available, use that credit card to pay for the rental, but check for any exclusions or limits.

Borrowing a car in Florida

If you borrow a friend’s car, you are probably covered under
permissive use
. As long as the car owner gives you permission to use their vehicle, their insurance generally covers you if you get in an accident.
However, this does not apply to relatives living in the same house. If you share a vehicle with other family members and they live at the same address, each driver should be listed on the same insurance policy.
Need to know: Make sure the car owner has insurance before you borrow their vehicle. If they don't, you risk getting a ticket for driving without insurance, and if you get into an accident, you could be held responsible for damages. 

Adjusting the limits of a standard Florida auto insurance policy

If you have a temporary change in your insurance needs, check with your agent about adjusting your coverage or which drivers are listed on your policy. Here are some common examples where this might apply:

College student away at school

If your child is going off to college and will not drive while at school, you can look at getting them taken off your policy during the school year, then add them when they return for breaks. You can save some money and still give them insurance coverage based on when they will be driving.
Note: Check if your insurance company has an “away at school” option. Usually, your child must attend college at least 100 miles away, but you can switch them to the “away at school” status when they start college, then update their status when they are no longer enrolled or they graduate.

Seasonal drivers

If you plan on storing your vehicle, you can look at temporarily reducing insurance coverage for a period of time. For example, you wouldn’t need full coverage or an uninsured driver's option if your vehicle won’t be on the road.
However, be sure you don’t cancel coverage altogether. Check with your insurance agent about the right coverage level that still protects your vehicle while in storage.

Military deployment

If you or a family member is deployed, check on your eligibility for a storage plan available from most insurance companies in Florida. You can reduce costs since you won’t need a standard auto insurance policy.
Most insurance companies have discounts or reduced auto insurance rates for those on active duty. This gives you a nice balance between saving money and offering vehicle coverage.

Canceling standard car insurance early in Florida

You can consider canceling a standard six-month policy early, but it should only be considered if you are in the US for a limited amount of time or won’t be driving in the future for quite a while.
Keep in mind that this option comes with risks:
  • Once you start driving again, you need insurance coverage to legally drive. You'll probably be charged more if you have a gap in your insurance coverage.
  • Canceling insurance early is a red flag to insurance companies, especially if you do this more than once. You could either end up being denied coverage or paying higher premiums.
  • You will probably be charged a cancellation fee or could lose a significant amount of money based on how much they refund coverage you already paid for.
If you buy a six-month policy with the plan to cancel it later on, check with your agent about whether they offer pro rata or short-rate cancellation. Here’s what it means: 
  • Pro-rata cancellation: your refund is based on a pro-rated amount for the unused portion of your policy. 
  • Short-rate cancellation: you will probably be charged a penalty, on top of a pro-rated refund. 
 Regardless of why you need short-term coverage in Florida, be sure to compare car insurance rates from at least 3 to 5 companies so you can find cheap car insurance. Jerry’s
insurance comparison app
can help by looking at over 50 top providers to find the best car insurance for your needs.
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms · No fees, ever
Compare car insurance quotes
Get free quotes from top companies.
Find Savings
4.7/5 App Rating · Trusted by 2M users

You might also be interested

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free