Temporary car insurance, also called short-term car insurance, refers to an auto policy that is in force for six months or less. Once the six-month period ends, drivers have the option to renew their policy, make changes to their coverage or switch to a different provider. In New York, some insurance companies advertise temporary coverage, but you probably will not find a policy shorter than six months.


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Temporary car insurance in New York

When you purchase car insurance in New York, drivers have the option to get a policy for 12 months or six months. A temporary car insurance policy is usually six-months in length. Traditional car insurance providers do not sell policies for days or weeks.

While there are benefits of having a temporary car insurance policy, it is important to consider certain factors before choosing this type of insurance term. For example, a six-month policy generally cuts the price of a 12-month policy in half, making it a potentially more affordable option for someone not needing coverage for an entire year or who plans on switching carriers soon. While monthly rates would typically remain the same regardless of the policy’s length, your rate will likely change more frequently due to more frequent renewal periods.

You should make sure to renew your premium ahead of the policy’s expiration date. Otherwise your coverage could lapse when the policy expires, which can increase your rates for the future.

Reasons someone may want temporary car insurance in New York

Temporary car insurance policies in New York can 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 $2,321 for full coverage, so a six-month policy would cost around $1,161. Keep in mind that you should either renew your coverage or purchase a new policy ahead of your current policy’s expiration to avoid a lapse in coverage.
  • You are dissatisfied with your current insurer: Choosing a short-term car insurance policy means you have more opportunities to switch carriers. Shopping around can help you get the best rate and it allows you to find a provider better suited for your needs if you are not satisfied with your current insurer’s customer service or claims handling.
  • You are renting a vehicle for personal use: If you are renting a vehicle for personal use — whether for a few days, several weeks or months — a short-term insurance  policy could be beneficial. Typically, you can purchase car insurance through the rental car company you get your vehicle from

Temporary car insurance options in New York

If you are thinking about buying temporary car insurance, there are several options 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 the same as 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, as it would be a cheaper car insurance option than paying for a 12-month policy outright.
  • Non-owner policy: A non-owner car insurance policy is 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.

Cost of six-month car insurance in New York

In New York, the average annual six-month car insurance policy costs $1,161. For a 12-month policy, the average rate is $2,321. However, the cost of your temporary car insurance will depend on personal factors, like your age, gender, credit score, driving record, ZIP code, policy limits and deductible. To find the lowest rate, you should speak to a licensed insurance agent who can help you search for discounts and other opportunities to save money.

In the table below, we have included the average six-month car insurance premiums from the best car insurance companies by market share:

Insurance company Average six-month full coverage premium Average monthly full coverage premium
Allstate $1,217 $203
Geico $985 $164
Progressive $570 $95
State Farm $1,167 $194
USAA $1,069 $178
State average $1,161 $193

What kind of car insurance do you need in New York?

Drivers in New York are required to carry at least a minimum amount of car insurance if they own a registered vehicle. Driving without insurance in New York is illegal. New York’s car insurance laws state that drivers must carry 25/50/10 liability insurance, which includes:

  • $25,000 in bodily injury/uninsured motorist liability coverage per person
  • $50,000 in bodily injury/uninsured motorist liability coverage per accident
  • $10,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident
  • $25,000 in statutory uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 in statutory uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident

In addition to liability coverage, drivers must also have $50,000 for personal injury protection (PIP) to satisfy New York’s no-fault laws. This pays for your medical expenses and lost wages after an accident, regardless of which driver caused the crash.

A minimum coverage car insurance policy in New York is typically the cheapest option. However, insurance professionals recommend that drivers purchase more coverage than what is required up to what they can afford. A minimum coverage policy in New York likely won’t cover a serious accident in full, which means you would be responsible for paying the difference out of pocket.

Most drivers can benefit from a full coverage policy, incorporating both collision and comprehensive coverage to cover damage to your vehicle, as well as medical payments coverage. Roadside assistance, gap insurance (for new leased or financed vehicles), new car replacement coverage and accident forgiveness can also be valuable if your provider offers them.

Frequently asked questions

What does temporary car insurance in New York cover?

Temporary car insurance in New York is not a type of standard policy. Instead, it generally refers to any six-month car insurance policy. With a temporary car insurance policy, you would still get to choose from the normal coverage options. You can purchase a minimum coverage or full coverage policy for six-months. You also have the option to add endorsements, which would remain in effect for the duration of the policy..

Do you need car insurance to borrow someone else’s car?

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 often, you might consider purchasing a non-owner policy, which provides you liability insurance when you drive borrowed cars.

What is the cheapest temporary car insurance in New York?

Based on our sample rate data, Main Street America Group has the cheapest car insurance in New York. This is true for a temporary six-month policy as well. However, the cheapest car insurance in New York will be different for every driver. Before you purchase short-term car insurance, you should shop around and get multiple quotes to see which company can offer the best price.