Can I Buy One-Month Car Insurance?

Fran Majidi
November 3, 2020

For car owners, getting the right car insurance can be tricky. We have to make sure that we get the best coverage and price. Another thing that drivers need to consider is the length of coverage they want to buy. Most often, car insurance companies only offer plans for six month or a full year. But does this mean that you can’t get car insurance for just one month?

The answer is that some insurance companies do offer month-to-month insurance but it is very rare to find. With this type of insurance you can renew every month, as you would with an annual policy, but since it is renewed every month there is more flexibility. You can pay for only the months you need the car.

Keep in mind that many insurance companies promote “short-term,” “temporary” car insurance but in reality most insurance companies offer two options for the length of a policy, which are six or 12 months. Also, most insurance companies only offer discounts to customers who have lengthier policies.

Most insurers are unwilling to offer short-term car insurance companies to provide this plan but there are some cases in which a short-term plan is available. For example, you may be able to temporarily add a car to an existence policy for a short period of time. These are some loopholes you can maneuver through to get insurance for one month but in most cases you’ll get a flat-out no from the insurer. Besides, any lapse in insurance raises your rate so you’re better off buying cheap insurance instead of a month-to-month plan where you let the car sit uninsured. You’ll save more money overall this way.

Find Affordable Car Insurance

Also, it is a bad idea to buy a policy and cancel it a month later. In most cases you will be required to provide additional information for cancellation and pay extra fees. This is obviously not convenient because you are going to end up paying extra money and would be required to present extra documentation just to cancel. You might not also be able to get your down payment back in full if you cancel but may receive a small portion of it.

Who Needs Temporary Car Insurance?

Getting car insurance for half or the whole year may be more beneficial for some drivers, and they are offered more discounts. But there are drivers who may just need temporary coverage. Here are some examples of drivers who may need short term coverage:

  • A college student who comes home from college during the break and only uses the car during that time.
  • People who use a rideshare program.
  • Drivers who rent a car and would rather not buy the rental car agency’s policy.
  • Drivers who plan to borrow a friend or family member's car for a short period of time.
  • Drivers who want to shop around for car insurance before committing to a longer car insurance contract.
  • Drivers who plan to sell a car soon but need insurance to drive in it around in the meantime.

Why Do Car Insurance Companies Prefer Longer Terms?

The reason why insurance companies prefer longer terms is because short-term customers are not likely to renew. Also the premium of a short-term car insurance policy is not worth the insurance company cost of underwriting. The underwriting period which is when the insurance company analyzes the risk of insuring a driver and their car. They will look at many factors such as age, driving history, vehicle, etc. If car insurance companies see that a driver only needs the insurance for a few months then they will conclude that it is not worth their time and because the driver may be a liability and may present risks such as insurance fraud or false claims.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost Per Month?

Car insurance prices vary from company to company. One factor that influences the price of car insurance is the location of the driver. In states that require higher coverage, there is a higher car insurance cost. Of course there are other factors that influence the price of car insurance such as how you store your car, the type of car you drive, etc.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the annual cost for car insurance in every state is most expensive in New Jersey, with an average cost of $109.11 per month. The cheapest place with monthly car insurance is in the state of Idaho with a price of 49.98. It is estimated that then there is an average cost of between the price of 50 to 110 dollars.

To find out which insurer offers the cheapest rates in your state, visit here.

Alternatives to Short-Term Car Insurance

Rental insurance is a good alternative when renting a car.

Consider a usage based car insurance plan. With this policy you can save lots of money if you do not drive often. Uber/Lyft drivers should definitely consider this policy because with this insurance coverage you are charged based on how much you travel and your predicted schedule.

Compare rates by entering your zip code below and just buy a cheap policy for a six-month term. It may cost you less in the long-run.

Get a Free Auto Insurance Quote Online Now.

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