How to Find Temporary Car Insurance in Colorado

Temporary car insurance doesn’t exist anywhere—Colorado included—but you may have options if you only need short-term coverage.
Written by Jessica Gibson
Edited by Amy Bobinger
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In the U.S., including in
Colorado
, you can generally only buy 6- or 12-month car insurance policies—there are no reputable insurance providers that sell temporary coverage. But if you need short-term car insurance, you may still have options.
  • Look into custom types of car insurance like
    temporary insurance
    from a car dealership, pay-per-mile insurance, or non-owner insurance.
  • Try adjusting the limits of a standard policy to get cheaper car insurance rates in Colorado.
  • Instead of paying more for temporary insurance, save on insurance costs by signing up for a six-month policy and canceling it early.

Temporary car insurance alternatives

Your best solution for temporary car insurance depends on why you need it
The coverage options...
Best if you...
Dealership-provided insurance
Haven't found a policy yet but are ready to buy a car
Pay-per-mile insurance
Own a car that you rarely drive
Rental car coverage
Drive rented vehicles a few times a year
Non-owner insurance
Frequently drive borrowed or rented vehicles
Permissive driver
Occasionally drive your friends' vehicles
Named driver
Regularly borrow the same car
Adjusted coverage
Drive seasonally
Early cancellation
Only plan to drive temporarily
Learn More

Temporary car insurance from a Colorado dealership

If you’re buying a car from a Colorado dealership, the dealership might offer you the option to buy temporary coverage, so you have time to compare car insurance quotes. 
Temporary auto insurance usually lasts up to 30 days to give you time to shop for an insurance plan that meets your state’s insurance requirements and meets your budget.
Although temporary insurance through a dealership is convenient, it’s typically more expensive than monthly car insurance you buy through an insurance agent. That said, if you just need fast coverage want very short-term insurance, a temporary car insurance policy from the dealership might be right for you.

Colorado pay-per-mile insurance

Colorado pay-per-mile insurance—sometimes called pay-as-you-go—can be a great option if you don’t drive often since you only pay for the miles you drive. 
  • With a pay-per-mile policy, you pay a fixed monthly insurance rate and a charge for the miles you actually drive
  • If you drive more than expected, the company caps your charges at a set number of miles, so you won’t be charged for going over that amount
It’s a good idea to pay attention to how many miles you drive for a period of time before you sign up. If you drive more than average, you probably won’t save on a pay-per-mile insurance plan.
Bonus: Pay-per-mile insurance is a great environmentally-friendly type of insurance if it motivates you to drive less. You’ll reduce your carbon footprint and save money on car insurance each month!

Non-owner insurance in Colorado

Non-owner insurance
in Colorado is a great option if you don’t own a car and:
  • You borrow or rent cars frequently
  • You need insurance to get your Colorado driver’s license
  • You want extra coverage when you rent a car
Non-owner car insurance in Colorado is typically less expensive than standard car insurance. It provides liability coverage for damage you might cause when you’re driving a car that you’ve borrowed or rented. Keep in mind that non-owner insurance doesn’t cover damage to the vehicle you’re driving. 
A Colorado non-owner policy still needs to meet the state’s minimum coverage requirements, which include:
  • $25,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $15,000 property damage liability

Rental car insurance in Colorado

Choosing
rental car insurance
might be a cheap car insurance option. You can purchase a plan for one week, one month, or another short, defined term. Rental car insurance helps you avoid the penalties and high fines that come from
driving without insurance
in Colorado. 
For the most protection, sign a
collision damage waiver (CDW)
. However, this does raise the cost of the car insurance coverage. 
If you’d like to customize your rental car insurance, take a look at these options:
  • Liability insurance covers damages to another driver or their vehicle caused by an accident.
  • Personal accident insurance covers medical expenses if you or your passengers are injured in an accident. 
  • Personal effects coverage covers the theft of personal items that were inside your rental car.
When you sign up for rental car insurance, ask the rental car company about their additional coverage options.
Need to know: Check with your credit card company to see if it offers rental car insurance as part of a rewards program. If it does, use the card to pay for your rental—but be sure to note any exclusions in the policy.

Borrowing a car in Colorado

If you're borrowing a vehicle from someone in Colorado, you're most likely covered under
permissive use
. This means that the car's owner has given you permission to drive it—and usually, the owner’s insurance will cover you if you get into an accident while driving their car.
Recognize that permissive use doesn’t extend to family members who live in the same household. If you borrow a car from someone that you live with, you need to be listed as a driver on their car insurance policy. 
Need to know: Before you borrow a friend’s car in Colorado, determine whether or not the owner has insurance coverage. If they don’t, you could be on the hook for driving without insurance or found liable for damages if you get in a car accident.

Adjusting the limits of a standard Colorado auto insurance policy

If your driving and auto insurance needs are temporarily changing, ask your insurance provider to adjust your coverage limits or change the named drivers on your policy. Here are a few times where this could be a good choice:

College student away at school

If your college student isn’t at home and they’re not driving when they’re off at school, ask your provider about taking your child off of your policy during the school year. Then, when they return, put them back on the policy. This way, you’re only paying for coverage when your college student actually needs it.
Note: Find out if your insurance company has an “away at school” option for your policy. As long as your child is 100 miles or more from home, you can switch your child to “away at school” when they start attending school, then switch them back after they graduate or are no longer enrolled.

Seasonal drivers

If you don’t drive your vehicle for a while because you’re storing it, temporarily reduce your coverage. For instance, if you don’t drive during the winter because you travel to sunnier climates, tell your provider to switch to liability only. Then, when you get back and take your car out of storage, return your policy limits to full coverage, lower deductibles, or whatever they were before.
If you do this, it’s important to talk with your insurance provider so that your insurance is adjusted correctly and you’re still meeting state insurance requirements.

Military deployment

Some insurance companies offer a special discount or reduced rate for military members and their families when they’re on active duty or military deployment. 
Not only can this save you money on your insurance premiums, but it also ensures that your car stays safe and secure while you are away.

Canceling standard car insurance early in Colorado

It’s possible to purchase a standard six-month auto policy and cancel it when you no longer need it. In this sense, a normal policy can become short-term coverage. However, there are a few risks with canceling a policy early.
  • If you plan to drive in the future, you'll have to buy a whole new policy—and if there is a gap in your insurance coverage, you might be charged more than if you had continued your current policy.
  • When providers look at your driving record and insurance history, they see early cancellation as a red flag. Insurers could refuse to write you a policy if you have a history of early cancellations, and your insurance rates could be higher if they do decide to write you a policy. 
  • Your insurance provider might charge a cancellation fee if you end your policy early. 
We only recommend doing this if you’re sure you’re not going to need to drive again in the near future—like if you’re visiting the U.S. for a short time or you’re selling your car and don’t plan to buy another one.
If you want to go ahead and cancel your policy early, find out if your provider offers pro rata or short-rate cancellation. Here’s what that means: 
  • Pro-rata cancellation means that you will be refunded a pro-rated amount for the unused portion of your policy. 
  • Short-rate cancellation means that you might be subject to a penalty in addition to the pro-rated refund. 
No matter why you’re looking for short-term car insurance coverage in Colorado, compare quotes from at least three to five auto insurance companies to get the best auto insurance rates. Jerry’s
insurance comparison app
makes that easy by instantly searching for the best car insurance rates from our network of more than 50 of the nation’s top providers!
MORE: How to cancel car insurance

FAQs

Probably not, unless you rent a car and purchase rental car insurance. Most reputable insurance companies offer policies that last either 6 or 12 months. However, you can sign up for a six-month policy and cancel early if you really need to.
If it’s your first offense, you’ll be fined $500, and your license will be suspended until you show proof of insurance to the Colorado DMV. If it’s a subsequent offense, you’ll face a $1,000 fine and have your license suspended for up to eight months.
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