In Europe and the US the need for car insurance is driven by Insurance Laws and the obligation to drive an insured vehicle. In South Africa it is not required by law to drive an insured vehicle and the need for car insurance is driven rather by the high accident rate and the threats presented by crimes such as vehicle theft, hijacking etc.
Most vehicle owners will purchase car insurance for a 12 month period and then consider reviewing their existing car insurance. There are however also options available to acquire temporary car insurance should the need arise for temporary cover.
Why would anyone consider temporary car insurance?
There might be a need sometimes to consider car insurance for a shorter time than the usual one-year car insurance policy. Examples could include:
- Temporary cover for an additional vehicle or while you are on holiday.
- Temporary car insurance to protect the car driver or the car rental company in case of any emergency that may arise as a result of using the car.
- You might need to borrow the car of a friend for a day or 2 – You might be part of a big family and when driving away for a weekend and need to borrow a bigger car from a friend or hire it from a hire company.
- Students and visitors wishing to borrow a car over their holiday could consider this as a safety net.
- When lending a car to a friend, colleague or relative.
- You might wish to cover additional drivers than those on your existing car insurance policy.
- Unaccompanied vehicle demonstrations or use of courtesy cars.
- Immediate drive-away insurance if you’ve just bought a car – advantageous when you buy a new vehicle and have to arrange full insurance for it, or when your old policy has expired and your waiting for your new policy.
- Temporary insurance could provide temporary cover while you shop around for a new policy when your current policy expires.
- Salespeople could move to another city for a short period of time and take up temporary residence in a higher risk area not disclosed on your existing insurance.
What are the benefits of purchasing temporary car insurance?
- The days covered may be effortlessly expanded in the desired cases for as long as you need.
- Insurance can be purchased swiftly and with ease by going online, doing away with paper work.
- An easy process provides you a straightaway insurance cover. It may effortlessly be upgraded to more permanent insurance cover.
- Money can be saved by avoiding costly insurance for a long period whilst the needs are only temporary.
Advice for the vehicle owner
The best advice to the consumer is to communicate these ‘temporary” needs to the insurer or broker. It is important to recognize the importance of the car insurance laws in the country where you drive and also the terms of your existing car insurance. It might not always be beneficial to acquire additional insurance and your existing car insurance or that of the vehicle owner might provide sufficient cover. The best way to gain confirmation is to always ask for it in writing!
It should be kept in mind that temporary car insurance might be on the expensive side and should only be considered when there is a clear “insurable interest”. Always question what the effect of temporary cover could be on your insurance history when applying for car insurance in the future.
Temporary car insurance should not be seen as a substitute for the full standard policy. It should be considered when the special situations detailed above arise. It should be a regarded as a nice mechanism to ensure peace of mind against financial loss whilst also avoiding much hassles and time spent in making longer term financial commitments.