How to Find Temporary Car Insurance in South Carolina

If you need short-term car insurance in South Carolina, your only option is to cancel a six-month policy early.
Written by Bonnie Stinson
Many advertisements for
temporary car insurance
South Carolina
are scams, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have options. You can take out a six-month policy and cancel it early if you need to. If you don’t own a car, consider buying non-owner insurance instead.
  • Legitimate and reliable
    car insurance
    providers only offer policies as short as six months
  • A monthly car insurance payment plan without cancellation fees offers flexibility
  • Depending on your coverage needs, rental car insurance and non-owner car insurance are two possible alternatives to a temporary car insurance policy

What is temporary car insurance?

Most legitimate car insurance companies don't offer true temporary auto insurance. Generally speaking, the shortest policy you can buy from a reputable insurance agent is six months. Anything advertised as shorter than that tends to be a

Do I need temporary car insurance?

If you’ll only be driving a car for a little while: Your best bet is probably to purchase a six-month policy and then cancel once you no longer need it. But note that if you regularly drive or own a car, you must have an auto insurance policy at all times to abide by
South Carolina’s car insurance laws
If you will be regularly driving a car owned by a family member who shares your address: You should ask to become one of the official policyholders. Otherwise, a claims adjuster could deny you coverage.
If you are purchasing a new car: You don’t need a temporary policy. Instead, you can set up your policy in advance so that you have coverage starting on the day you drive off the lot. 

Best companies for temporary car insurance in South Carolina

There are plenty of reputable auto insurance companies that should fit your needs if you need short-term car insurance in South Carolina. 
Although you’ll have to buy a policy with them that lasts for at least six months, all of the following companies make it easy to cancel anytime:
  • Nationwide
    : Nationwide is a popular car insurance provider that will allow you to cancel your policy whenever you need to.
    : One of the most well-known insurers in the country, GEICO customers can cancel their policy at any time and receive a refund for prepaid months.
  • Allstate
    : Allstate allows you to cancel your policy at any time—and you usually won’t end up with a cancellation fee.
  • USAA
    : Like other big car insurance companies, USAA makes it easy to cancel your policy. However, the company only offers coverage for military members and their families.
If you don’t have a car and you’re just planning to drive for a short period of time—like borrowing a friend’s car: There probably isn’t any harm in
canceling your car insurance plan
. You will have coverage under your friend’s policy so long as you’re borrowing it under permissive use and you have a valid driver’s license.
But if you own a vehicle: You should never cancel your car insurance policy without replacing it with another. A gap in coverage can trigger higher auto insurance premiums later on.
Remember: Leaving your car uninsured in South Carolina can lead to your license and plates being suspended. This will look bad on your driving record and you’ll have to pay up to $400 to get your registration reinstated. If you are
at fault in an accident without proof of insurance
, the consequences could be even more extreme.

Alternatives to temporary car insurance

If you only ever rent or borrow cars, you may not need to worry about buying standard car insurance at all. There are a few coverage options you can consider that are either shorter or less expensive than an average car insurance policy.

Rental car insurance 

Renting a car may be relatively straightforward, but understanding what insurance you need usually isn’t. 
If you’re in the US, your regular car insurance coverage plan may extend to rental cars if your car is damaged in a covered incident. But if you don’t have any standard insurance, you’ll need to look at other insurance options.
The company you rent a car from might be eager for you to sign a collision damage waiver (CDW), but those can be very expensive. You may want to consider
rental car insurance
or personal car accident insurance instead.
Check your credit card benefits, too: Many credit card companies offer CDW coverage if you put the car rental on the card.

Non-owner auto insurance

Car insurance for people without a car isn’t always short-term, but it is usually cheaper than a normal policy. Insurance rates for
non-owner car insurance
are 10% cheaper, on average, when compared to standard car insurance.
Non-owner policies allow drivers who regularly rent or borrow cars to comply with South Carolina's minimum insurance requirements. It usually includes basic
liability insurance
for bodily injury and property damage with no deductible. 
Although liability coverage doesn’t give you the protection of
uninsured/underinsured motorist
coverage, or medical payments coverage, this cheap car insurance may be a good option for drivers who only need the bare minimum.
To lower your insurance costs as much as possible: Request car insurance quotes from a variety of companies. Shopping around is the only way to find out whether State Farm, Progressive, or some other company offers better auto insurance rates for temporary coverage based on your driver profile. 
Remember that you can qualify for additional discounts at many companies by bundling your auto policy with renters, homeowners, or life insurance coverage.
found me car rental insurance, I’ve recommended them to all my colleagues, friends, and family. The service got me just what I needed.” —Luis C. 
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