The only form of temporary car insurance technically offered by car insurance companies is any policy that is active for a period of six months in length. However, other types of financial protection may serve as a form of short-term car insurance in Texas, depending on the situation. In general, car insurance companies in Texas sell standard insurance policies in six-month and 12-month increments only.
While some providers market one-day, one-week and one-month car insurance, this is not an accurate representation of a traditional car insurance policy and such offers should be evaluated carefully if they actually serve your financial protection needs. If you need short-term car insurance in Texas for specific situations, supplemental coverage or protections may be helpful.
What is temporary auto insurance?
In Texas, the shortest car insurance policy you can get from most providers is six months in duration. After the six-month period ends, your policy will be up for renewal, at which point you can update your coverage or make other necessary changes. Based on any altered life circumstances, such as a change in your credit or driving history, you may see a rate change. The same is true of a 12-month policy, but with a longer span of time between renewals.
While the flexibility certainly lends 6-month policies more appealing to some drivers, others prefer to lock in a competitive rate for a longer period of time. Here are some of the primary advantages and disadvantages of choosing a longer vs shorter term insurance policy in Texas.
Pros and cons of short-term insurance in Texas
|6-month policies||12-month policies|
Premium may be cheaper or improve at renewal sooner, based on positive life changes
Competitive rates can be locked in for the entire 12-month period
Longer renewal periods provide time to mitigate against negative life impacts, such as improving a drop in credit standing.
Negative life circumstances, such as an accident or claim, can lead to a rate increase sooner at renewal
Premium may be more expensive
Average cost of short-term car insurance
In the table below, we included the average annual cost of car insurance in the United States and in Texas for 12-month policies, based on Bankrate’s 2021 study of quoted premiums from Quadrant Information Services. Based on these rates, Texas is slightly higher for a 12-month full coverage policy. Your short-term policy (spanning 6 months) may be more or less than half of that, depending on your situation and the car insurance company.
|National average annual cost for full coverage||State average annual cost for full coverage|
Temporary car insurance options
While most car insurance providers do not sell short-term car insurance, there are a few forms of what might be considered temporary auto insurance in Texas. These types of coverage may be beneficial for some drivers, but it depends on the unique circumstances. Also, keep in mind that not all car insurance providers offer these policies, and the terms of coverage and duration will vary.
Non-owner insurance policy
If you do not own a registered vehicle, but you occasionally borrow a car from a friend or family member, non-owner auto insurance might fit your needs. Non-owner insurance only includes liability insurance, so the coverage is fairly limited. However, it may be cheaper than a standard minimum coverage policy for those who do not own a registered vehicle. Non-owner insurance is generally sold in six-month increments.
Rental car insurance
In most cases, traditional car insurance policies extend coverage to rented vehicles. But if you need to rent a car and require more coverage than your personal auto insurance policy provides, you can purchase additional temporary insurance through the rental car agency. A rental car policy only lasts for as long as you have the car. It typically covers liability, but may also offer collision coverage for an additional charge.
Student driver insurance
Student drivers, and specifically their parents, may benefit from having a six-month car insurance policy. Because the policy will renew more frequently, changes to your student’s grades or location can impact rates or qualifying discounts. For example, if your child goes to college more than 100 miles away and does not expect to drive your vehicle, you could ask your insurer about a student away at school discount. If their grades improve over the course of 6 months, they could be eligible for a good student discount at the time of renewal as well.
Short-term insurance for stored vehicles
If you own a registered vehicle that is stored and not in use, you may qualify for short-term car insurance savings. Your insurance company may charge lower rates for reduced coverage limits or types on a vehicle in storage, though some restrictions typically apply. You might have to prove that you do not have access to the car, or it may need to be kept away from your home.
How to get short-term car insurance
Temporary car insurance (or 6-month premiums) make sense for some drivers, depending on the circumstances. You might choose a 6-month policy instead of a 12-month policy if you are in the military, are moving to another state, are shopping for a new vehicle or are planning to add a teen driver to your policy in the coming months. In these situations, having a policy that renews sooner may work to your advantage.
If you have determined that a six-month policy is right for you, you will need to find a Texas car insurance provider that sells six-month policies. Some providers only offer policies spanning 12 months. It’s typically best to get quotes from a few different carriers to see which one is the cheapest for the type and amount of coverage needed.
During your insurance search, it is important to evaluate companies based on the criteria you care most about. If you are looking for excellent customer service, the best car insurance companies may be worth considering. On the other hand, the cheapest car insurance companies may stand out more for competitive rates than for exceptional customer service, coverage customization options or financial strength.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.