Temporary Car Insurance Solutions in Arizona

Your best option for short-term car insurance might be pay-per-mile insurance, rental insurance, or changing your policy terms—it comes down to why you need it.
Written by Amy Bobinger
Edited by R.E. Fulton
Reviewed by Brice Regling
car insurance
companies in
will only sell policies with terms of 6 or 12 months. But depending on why you need short-term insurance, you may still have options for finding
temporary car insurance
in Arizona.

Your best solution for temporary car insurance depends on why you need it

You won’t find standard car insurance coverage for less than six months—so in that sense, temporary car insurance doesn’t exist. But there are several solutions that may help you make the right insurance decision if you’re just going to be driving in Arizona for a short time.
Drivers in Arizona must meet the
state’s minimum coverage requirements
in order to legally hit the road. These requirements can be summarized as 25/50/15—or:
  • $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person
  • $50,000 in bodily injury liability per accident
  • $15,000 in property damage liability per accident

If you’re buying a car

Avoid short-term dealership policies.
Since you have to have insurance to drive a new car off the lot, some dealerships will allow you to buy an auto insurance policy directly from them when you purchase a vehicle—but this will almost always cost more than buying a standard insurance policy.
  • Dealer-provided insurance usually lasts for around 28 days, giving you time to buy a permanent policy—but you’ll usually pay more for less coverage.
  • You’ll save more and get better coverage if you shop for
    same-day insurance
    before you buy a car. 
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Instead of relying on the temporary coverage your dealer provides, set up your car insurance policy before you head to the dealership.
The Jerry app compares dozens of Arizona car insurance quotes for free, making it a great tool if you’re trying to track down the best car insurance options. 

If you don’t drive often

Pay-per-mile insurance.
If you have a car but don’t drive much, pay-per-mile insurance could save you money. 
With a mileage-based policy, your premium will start with a base rate, and you’ll pay an extra monthly surcharge based on how many miles you drove that month. 
You could save a lot over the cost of a standard insurance policy
Your billable mileage will be capped, so you won’t pay more than a set amount if you drive a lot one month
Your insurance premium will vary from month to month
You’ll have to keep track of your mileage
Not all insurers offer pay-per-mile policies

If you’re renting

Rental car insurance.
If you don’t have a personal auto policy but you’re planning to rent a car in Arizona, you can purchase
rental car insurance
directly from the rental car company. You’ll typically be able to choose from the following types of short-term coverage:
  • Rental car liability coverage: Like regular liability insurance, this will pay for the other party’s vehicle repairs and medical bills (up to the policy limits) if you cause an accident. It’s usually covered in the rental fee, and it will not cover any damage to the rental car.
  • Loss damage waiver (LDW) or
    collision damage waiver (CDW)
    : A collision damage waiver is similar to standard collision and comprehensive coverage: It covers damage to your rental car that’s caused by an accident. A loss damage waiver (LDW) generally covers the same thing, but with added theft protection.
  • Personal accident protection: This pays for doctor and hospital bills for yourself and your passengers if you’re in an accident that leads to injuries.
  • Personal effects coverage: This will cover any personal belongings that are stolen out of your rental car. (Some homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies include this protection—check to see if you already have it before you pay extra).
Need to know: Some credit card companies offer rental car insurance as a cardholder perk—if you carry any major credit cards, check the details so you don’t pay for coverage you already have.

If you borrow or share cars regularly

Non-owner insurance.
If you don’t have a car but you have a driver’s license and rent or borrow vehicles frequently,
non-owner insurance
could be a great option. Non-owner insurance follows you—not a specific vehicle like a standard policy would.
  • In most cases, non-owner car insurance costs between $300 and $500 for a year of coverage—although your specific rate would depend on factors like your driving record, your age, and where you live.
  • Non-owner car insurance includes bodily injury liability and property damage liability, so you’ll meet the state’s insurance requirements. But note that these coverages won’t pay for any damage to the car you’re driving.
  • You may be able to add optional coverages to your non-owner insurance policy to better protect you in case of an accident.

If you borrow a car occasionally

You’re already covered!
If you borrow a friend’s car once in a while for errands or a quick weekend trip, you don’t need a temporary car insurance policy—you’re probably already covered for short periods by the vehicle owner’s policy.
  • Standard car insurance includes permissive use, which means that if you have permission to drive the car, you’ll likely be covered.
  • You won’t be covered if you’re listed as an excluded driver on the policy.
  • Permissive use won’t apply if you regularly borrow a car from someone you live with or work for.

If you regularly borrow a specific car

Named driver.
If you borrow a car from a family member you live with, or you work for someone and drive their car, you need to be added to their car insurance policy, even if you only drive occasionally.
Do note that this could cause the vehicle owner’s insurance rates to go up, especially if you have a history of violations or you get into an accident while you’re on their policy.
app screenshot
If you already have a policy with Jerry, adding a new driver to your policy is easy.
You can also reach out to your insurance company directly to provide the name, birth date, and driver’s license number of the driver to be added.

If you stop driving temporarily

Standard policy with adjusted coverage levels.
If you’re planning to park your car for a while, you can adjust your current insurance policy so you’re not paying for more coverage than you need. Here’s what that might look like:
  • If you’re in the military and you’re being deployed: Save on your auto insurance rates during deployment by choosing an insurance company that offers a reduced rate for military storage, then switching back to normal coverage once you’re home.
  • If your child is away at college and doesn’t drive at school: Contact your insurance company to see if you can adjust your policy while your child is away or choose an insurance company that offers a student-away-at-school discount. 
  • If you’ll be traveling without your car for several months: If you’re a snowbird planning to spend your winters in Arizona and you don’t need a car while you’re down, talk to your insurance agent about dropping most of your coverage from your full coverage insurance and only keeping comprehensive until you need to drive again.
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In many cases, you can request a change in coverage directly in your insurance company’s app.
If you want to change your coverage and save on it, though, consider adjusting your policy with Jerry.
Not only can you select a new coverage level that meets your temporary needs, you’ll automatically get multiple auto insurance quotes for your new coverage level from different providers. 

The worst way to get temporary auto insurance

Standard policy with early cancellation.
You might see it recommended to buy a six-month car insurance policy and cancel it early, but that’s not usually a good idea. Here’s why:
  • It could be hard to get coverage in the future: Auto insurance companies see a history of cancellations as a red flag (or even insurance fraud). They might refuse to write you a new policy when you try to get insurance again. 
  • Your rates will be higher: If you don’t maintain continuous insurance coverage, it’s known as
    a coverage lapse
    , and you’ll pay higher car insurance rates the next time you buy a policy.
  • You could have less coverage: Even if you buy new insurance right away, your coverage will sometimes be limited once your new policy starts. That could leave you vulnerable if you get into an accident.
  • You might not get your whole premium back: If you pre-pay your insurance and cancel early, you should get most of the unused portion of your premium back. However, some companies will charge a cancellation fee, and you could forfeit your down payment.
    The refund could also be calculated in different ways
    —all of which could prevent you from getting your whole premium back.
There are times when buying a six-month policy and canceling it early is the best solution, though—especially if you’re not concerned about an insurance lapse. For instance, you might only need insurance for a few months if you’re buying a car with plans to sell it again soon or if you’re visiting the US from another country and you plan to drive while you’re here.


How can I get temporary insurance in the US?

The best way to get temporary car insurance will depend on why you need it—coverage options include rental car insurance, pay-per-mile insurance, non-owners insurance, and permissive use.

What is the shortest term for car insurance?

You can generally only buy insurance in 6- or 12-month increments. Temporary coverage is not sold by most reputable car insurance providers. If you see companies advertising true short-term policies like one-day or one-month insurance, they’re likely scams. 

Can I rent a car without insurance in Arizona?

You don’t need your own car insurance policy to rent a car in Arizona, since minimum coverage is included with the rental. 

Is short-term car insurance more expensive?

Some types of short-term car insurance, like rental car insurance, usually cost more per day than a standard insurance policy, although you may still save money if you don’t use it often. Other insurance options, like pay-per-mile insurance, generally cost less per day than standard insurance.

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