Temporary Car Insurance in California (2022)

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Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.
If you need temporary car insurance in
, you’re better off purchasing a six-month policy from a reputable insurance company and canceling it early. Companies offering shorter policies are often scams, so be careful!
Looking for short-term car insurance can feel hopeless. Some companies may advertise short-term insurance coverage, but they’re often untrustworthy. The shortest policies from reputable providers last six months.  
Looking for temporary car insurance for under six months? Don’t sweat it. Car insurance super app
has made a guide for drivers looking for short-term car insurance in California. 

What is temporary car insurance?

This is a difficult question to answer because temporary car insurance isn’t exactly real—at least, not in the way most people think. The majority of car insurance policies range from six months to one year, so it’s virtually impossible to find a policy for a shorter time. If you stumble upon companies offering short-term car insurance, beware that it’s likely a scam. 
If you’re searching for short-term coverage, your best bet will be to purchase a six-month policy with a solid company and cancel it early. Just know that driving without coverage is a major offense in most states, and switching policies quickly may lead to gaps in coverage—leaving you legally vulnerable. 
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Best companies for temporary car insurance in California

While it may not be possible to find true “temporary insurance” coverage for less than six months, some insurance providers in California will let you cancel your policy early without fees—and you might even get refunded for your unused premiums. Here are some companies to consider for temporary coverage:
  • Allstate
    : Allstate provides six-month policies that are cancellable at any time—and you won’t be charged a cancellation fee in most cases. 
  • Progressive
    : While Progressive’s policies differ from state to state, you don’t usually have to pay any fees for canceling. 
  • USAA
    : USAA won’t charge you a fee for canceling, and they’ll provide you with a refund. However, USAA is only available to military members and families. 
    : Canceling a policy at GEICO is easy at any point in a six-month period. Cancellation will be effective immediately, and you’ll usually get refunded. 
  • State Farm
    : State Farm policies are simple to cancel, and will often give you a refund. 
If you plan to keep your car, though, you’ll have to buy another policy to avoid breaking the law. In California, driving without insurance will earn you a fine of between $100 and $250, plus any penalty assessments. On top of that, you’ll have to pay a reinstatement fee of $14
If you’re caught driving without insurance, you’ll also likely have to file an
SR-22 certificate
. You may also be faced with
license suspension
or having your vehicle impounded for subsequent violations.  
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Alternatives to temporary car insurance

Depending on your specific case, you might have additional options for short-term car insurance.
Rental car insurance
non-owner car insurance
are both affordable types of coverage for certain situations California drivers may come across. 

Rental car insurance

If you only need a temporary way to get around in California without breaking the
state’s minimum insurance laws
, you might consider getting a rental car. Renting a car will give you the option of signing a collision damage waiver (CDW), which provides you with the strongest level of protection. 
The downside, however, is that CDWs are often overpriced. The rental company will typically have other options for affordable short-term coverage, like rental car liability insurance and personal car accident insurance. Many major credit card companies also offer free rental collision coverage.  

Non-owner car insurance

If you don’t have a car of your own but you often borrow or rent a car, you may want to look into non-owner car insurance to meet California’s mandated
liability coverage
. While traditional car insurance is tied to a specific vehicle, non-owner insurance is tied to you—so you’re covered for whatever car you drive. Plus, it’s usually 10% cheaper than traditional insurance. 

How to find affordable car insurance in California

California car insurance rates aren’t always the cheapest, no matter what kind of coverage you’re looking for—but finding an affordable policy doesn’t have to be hard. Not when you use the
app, anyways. Just download the app, enter your information, and be met with customized quotes in 45 seconds or less! 
As a licensed broker and the #1 rated insurance app, Jerry sources the lowest rates from our top-rated partner companies to find you whatever insurance you need, for as long as you need!
The best part? Jerry saves users an average of $887 per year on car insurance. If you need a short-term policy to save money, you may be able to afford more coverage with Jerry’s help! 
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If a company is offering to insure your car for just one month, it’s almost always a scam. Reliable companies don’t offer policies for less than six months, so your best route is to buy a six-month policy and cancel it early.
If you get caught driving without insurance in California, you could face serious penalties. Not only will you have to pay a $14 reinstatement fee, but you’ll also be fined up to $250 for a first offense and $500 for a second offense. If your insurance is lapsed for over 45 days, your license will be automatically suspended for one year.

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