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.
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.
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:
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.
Alternatives to temporary car insurance
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.
How to find affordable car insurance in California
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