Temporary or short-term car insurance is a type of policy that provides coverage for six months or less. Temporary car insurance in New York is generally available from most major insurers, with policies lasting six months. After that time, you can either renew your policy, switch to another carrier or let your coverage lapse, depending on your circumstances. Although policies less than six months in duration are not as common, there are a handful of circumstances where you may seek out coverage lasting only a few days or weeks.


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Short-term car insurance in New York

When purchasing car insurance in New York, drivers typically have the option to get a policy for 12 months or six months. A temporary car insurance policy is usually six months in length. While you can usually cancel a car insurance policy at any time, opting for a shorter policy term may appeal to you if you’re purchasing coverage from a new carrier for the first time or you simply do not need coverage for longer than six months.

Is New York temporary car insurance right for me?

Temporary car insurance policies in New York may be a good option for some drivers. Here are some of the reasons why someone might choose to buy short-term car insurance:

  • The cost of car insurance is expensive: Car insurance premiums can be pricey depending on your insurer, age, credit score and driving record. The average cost of car insurance in New York for a 12-month policy is $3,139 for full coverage, so if you only need coverage for a short period of time or you think you may be able to find more affordable rates in six months, a short term policy may make more sense.
  • You are dissatisfied with your current insurer: Choosing a short-term car insurance policy means you may have more opportunities to switch carriers. You can use the time afforded by your short-term policy to shop around for a carrier with the right coverage options for you at a more affordable rate.
  • You are renting a vehicle for personal use: If you do not own a car and are renting a vehicle for personal use — whether for a few days, several weeks or months — a short-term insurance policy might be beneficial. Additionally, you can typically purchase car insurance through the rental car company you get your vehicle from.
  • You occasionally borrow someone else’s car: If you often borrow someone else’s car, you will likely need to be added as a driver on their policy. However, if you borrow it occasionally, you may benefit from a non-owner policy. These car insurance policies are usually sold in six-month terms and provide just liability coverage.

Pros and cons of temporary car insurance

Short-term car insurance in New York may help tide you over for a brief period of time, but it also comes with potential downsides. Here are some of the key perks and drawbacks Bankrate’s insurance editorial team identified with short-term policies.

Pros Cons
Less commitment than a 12-month policy
Brief policy term may save you money if you only need coverage for a short period of time
May be easier to qualify for a paid-in-full discount, if offered
More frequent renewals means more opportunities for rate increases
May be more expensive on a per-month basis than a longer policy

If your circumstances are likely to change in the near future — for example, you’re moving to an urban area with good public transportation and selling your car — then a short-term policy may be an affordable way to bridge the gap without committing to a full year of coverage.

Temporary car insurance options in New York

If you are thinking about buying temporary car insurance, there may be several options available depending on your needs. Here are the main types of temporary car insurance available from New York car insurance companies:

  • Six-month car insurance policy: The most common type of temporary car insurance is a six-month policy. Monthly premiums should be similar to a standard 12-month auto policy, but this might be a good option for drivers who’d rather pay for their coverage six months at a time. If you prefer to pay your premium in full (many insurers offer a discount for this), a six-month policy would be a cheaper insurance option than paying for a 12-month policy outright.
  • Non-owner policy: A non-owner car insurance policy may be ideal for drivers who occasionally borrow vehicles, but do not have their own registered car. This policy is generally inexpensive, but it only provides liability insurance. You get your own proof of insurance when you take out a non-owner policy.
  • Car insurance for out-of-country travel: You might need temporary auto insurance if you plan to travel to another country and rent a vehicle. In this case, you can probably get travel car insurance from the rental car provider. Most U.S. car insurance policies are valid in Canada, but you might need a separate endorsement to drive in Mexico.

How much is temporary car insurance in New York?

Using data from Quadrant Information Services, Bankrate’s insurance editorial team determined the average rates for six-month policies offered by some of New York’s most popular insurance companies. The average cost of a six-month policy in New York is $1,570. Keep in mind, however, that your own rate is likely to vary based on factors including your age and gender, where you live and the make and model of your car. To find the lowest rate for your needs, you may want to ask for quotes from a range of insurers and make sure your quotes take any available discounts into account.

In the table below, we have included the average six-month car insurance premiums from some of the best car insurance companies in the state:

Insurance company Avg. 6-month full coverage premium Avg. monthly 6-month full coverage premium
Allstate $1,677 $280
Geico $1,231 $205
Progressive $971 $162
State Farm $1,444 $241
USAA $1,736 $289

Frequently asked questions

    • Temporary car insurance in New York is not a type of standard policy. Instead, it generally refers to any car insurance policy with a six-month term duration. With a temporary car insurance policy, you would still get to choose from the normal coverage options offered by the carrier you choose. You can purchase a minimum coverage or full coverage policy for six-months. You may also have the option to add endorsements, which would remain in effect for the duration of the policy.
    • You do not legally need to have car insurance to borrow someone else’s car. As long as the owner of the vehicle authorizes you to drive — either through permissive use or on a named driver policy — their insurance policy should apply while you are behind the wheel. However, if you are borrowing other people’s vehicles, you might consider purchasing a non-owner policy, which provides you with liability insurance when you drive a borrowed car.
    • Based on Bankrate’s premium analysis, American Family, Preferred Mutual and Geico offer some of the lowest average car insurance rates in New York. However, the cheapest carrier for you will depend on your personal circumstances. No matter what type of policy duration you are looking for, comparing personalized quotes is likely the best way to find the lowest rates based on your unique rating factors.