Most auto insurance policies renew every year or every six months. But, for those needing coverage for a shorter period of time, there is temporary car insurance. Temporary car insurance in New York is available from most major insurers for drivers in need of a policy for less than six months. While it may be less traditional than a year or six-month policy, temporary insurance might be worthwhile for some drivers. Below, Bankrate explains what New York drivers should know before purchasing a temporary car insurance policy.

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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, but that could vary based on the provider you choose. 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 $3,833 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 for your budget.
  • 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’re about to sell your vehicle: If your policy is about to renew but you know you won’t have your car for much longer, a temporary policy will keep you compliant until you offload the vehicle. While you can cancel an auto insurance policy at any time, not just during the renewal period, if you’re unhappy with the policy it could make sense to opt out of renewal and get a temporary policy instead.
  • You 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 may 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 if you want to be covered 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 $1,917. 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 $1,953 $326
Geico $1,861 $310
Progressive $1,138 $190
State Farm $1,770 $295
USAA $2,105 $351

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. The coverage you can get with a temporary car insurance policy is generally the same as what you’d get with a full-year policy — the only real difference is the policy length.
    • 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. This added liability coverage can provide valuable financial protection for damage you may cause during a car accident.
    • Based on Bankrate’s premium analysis, Main Street America, Progressive and NYCM 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.
    • Yes, most insurance companies allow drivers to add someone to their policy on a short-term basis. This may be a good idea if you frequently borrow someone else’s car to ensure you are covered if something happens while you are driving it. Speaking with the owner’s insurance company may be a good idea to get personalized advice on how to best financially protect yourself while driving their vehicle.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2024 rates for ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. 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 2022 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.