Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jan 10, 2022

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The Lowdown

  • Few companies offer affordable temporary auto insurance, and those that do may add fees for early cancellation
  • You can save money with companies like Allstate if you only need temporary coverage since they pro-rate unused coverage
  • Consider alternatives to temporary auto insurance, including rental auto insurance and non-owner auto insurance

Are you looking for temporary insurance? And are you wondering if specific companies, such as Progressive or GEICO, offer it?

Unfortunately, short-term auto insurance may be hard to find. Thus, it is nearly impossible to get temporary auto insurance quotes. The good news is that you have options if you need short-term coverage, but you need to be creative.

In most cases, you may find solutions from standard auto insurance companies. But in some cases, you will still need to worry about upfront payments, cancellation fees, and any extra costs that come with short-term auto insurance.

Read on to know more about short-term auto insurance, including which companies offer affordable temporary auto insurance coverage. But if you want to see rates from top auto insurance companies in your area right now, enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool above.

What is temporary auto insurance?

Temporary auto insurance is a type of auto insurance policy that lasts for less than six months. In most cases, a temporary auto insurance policy will last for a month or less.

You might look for temporary auto insurance if you:

  • Do not drive that often.
  • Do not use a specific car that often. For instance, you may have a classic or collector car that you only drive seasonally.
  • Will use a specific car for a short amount of time.
  • Have a car transferred to your possession but want to sell it quickly.
  • Are borrowing a car from a friend.
  • Look for immediate coverage between auto insurance companies to avoid a lapse in coverage.

Additionally, you may want a temporary auto insurance policy if you rent a car, especially out of state or while on a trip outside of the United States. Alternatively, if you are visiting the United States for a short time, you may want temporary auto insurance coverage.

Most auto insurance companies do not offer temporary policies. Instead, they may offer coverage for a minimum of six months. Auto insurance companies want long-term customers, and customer churn or turnover leads to increased administrative costs.

That said, some companies will allow you to cancel early — sometimes without penalty, so they offer temporary auto insurance by default.

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Which auto insurance companies offer temporary insurance?

How much does a temporary auto insurance policy cost? Here are rates for major auto insurance companies, some startups, plus information on their cancellation fees.

Temporary Auto Insurance Rates and Fees for Early Cancellation

CompanyAverage Monthly RateShortest Policy TermCancellation FeesPro-Rated or Short-Rated
AAA$143.43Six monthsNonePro-Rated
Allstate$164.69Six monthsNonePro-Rated
American Family$121.79Six monthsNonePro-Rated
Bonzah$243.03VariesNone (before 10 days)Short-rated
Esurance$143.43Six months$50, or 10% of remaining balanceShort-rated
Farmers$164.69Six monthsNonePro-Rated
The Harford$103.99Six monthsNonePro-Rated
Mercury Insurance$99.75Six months10% of remaining balanceShort-rated
Nationwide$158.06Six monthsNonePro-Rated
Progressive$147.14Six monthsAt least 10% of the remaining balance in some statesPro-rated in most states
Root$670VariesN/AN/A
Safeco$212.50Six monthsNonePro-Rated
Travelers$104.25Six monthsNonePro-Rated
USAA$106.90Six monthsNonePro-Rated
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As you can see, most of these companies will pro-rate any advanced payments.

Should you buy temporary auto insurance?

It depends on how long you need coverage and the reasons. Of course, we listed some reasons above. However, there are some alternatives to buying temporary auto insurance, and they might be less expensive in the long run.

The Pitfalls of Temporary Auto Insurance

Be wary of purchasing temporary auto insurance from a company that offers it. For one thing, a temporary auto insurance company will require that you pay for several months in advance to receive any coverage.

Also, those policies may not make comprehensive or collision auto insurance coverage available immediately.

You might be better off purchasing auto insurance from a standard company or a company that offers supplemental insurance. Read on for a list of options.

Alternatives to Temporary Auto Insurance

Should you look to alternatives to purchasing temporary auto insurance, here are a few options to consider:

  • Purchase a non-owner auto insurance policy. This type of policy is probably the best solution if you occasionally borrow a car from a friend or frequently use cars you don’t own. Non-owner auto insurance policies follow the driver and not the vehicle.
  • Get an auto insurance policyholder to add you to their policy. That may be better if you need to borrow a friend’s car frequently. Alternatively, you can ensure that your friend’s policy allows permissive use.
  • Purchase safe storage coverage for a car you rarely use. Many motorcycle owners are familiar with laid-up insurance, but that coverage exists for some regular vehicles. For instance, you can save when you safely store a classic car.
  • Add car rental reimbursement coverage to an existing policy. Many top companies offer this coverage and often give you a $500 limit. Alternatively, you may be able to use supplemental auto rental insurance through your credit card company.
  • If renting, purchase auto insurance coverage through the rental car company. According to the Insurance Information Institute, a rental agency may offer loss waiver damage, liability insurance, coverage for personal injuries, and coverage for personal effects.

Additionally, you can change your policy to usage-based auto insurance. If you drive under a specific number of miles each year, you can save money. Also, consider using a telematics device or installing a smartphone app to track how you drive.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners points out that telematics devices have numerous benefits. One of those benefits is that your auto insurance companies can adjust your rates based on how you drive.

If you drive less and do so safely, you should see lower rates and discounts.

Companies That Offer Temporary Auto Insurance: The Bottom Line

You should only buy a temporary auto insurance policy if it saves you money and provides the level of coverage you think you need. However, you have many options with regular insurance companies to adjust your policy based on your situation.

Ultimately, you may not need to buy temporary insurance. As discussed above, you may also pay cancellation fees whenever you decide to cancel your policy, even with a small auto insurance company.

We hope that this glimpse at temporary auto insurance companies has helped you in your search. Now, if you want to see rates from top auto insurance companies in your area, get started by entering your ZIP code into your free quote tool below.