How to Find Temporary Car Insurance in Maryland

Finding temporary auto insurance in Maryland can be a challenge. Here’s what you should know.
Written by Kathryn Mae Kurlychek
Reviewed by Bellina Gaskey
If you’re looking for
temporary car insurance
coverage in
, it’s best to get a six-month policy and cancel it early. 
In Maryland, drivers must demonstrate financial responsibility by carrying at least the
state’s minimum car insurance
requirement. But whether you’re new to the area or just dropping by, you’ll want to make sure you’re covered before hitting the Baltimore Beltway. 
The problem? Finding a temporary policy can seem unreasonably hard. Here’s what you need to know about finding short-term car insurance coverage. 
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What is temporary car insurance?

Here’s why it’s so hard to find temporary car insurance in Maryland: it doesn’t really exist. 
As an industry standard, car insurance policies are rarely shorter than six months in length—although many drivers opt for annual policies as a way to space out payments for their insurance premium. In most cases, it’s best to steer clear of any company advertising a policy shorter than six months. It’s probably a scam (just saying). 
If you have a genuine need for temporary or short-term car insurance, your best bet is to purchase a six-month policy with a reputable insurance company and just cancel it early. Be careful that you don’t leave any gaps in your coverage when you cancel or switch policies, as driving without insurance for any length of time leaves you open to severe legal and financial consequences. 

Best companies for temporary car insurance in Maryland

If temporary car insurance doesn’t exist, what do you do when you need short-term auto coverage? The good news is, many Maryland auto insurance companies will allow you to cancel a policy early with no fees—and some providers may even refund you for any unused coverage. 
Here are a few reputable companies worth looking into for a temporary fix: 
    : GEICO makes canceling a policy easy at any point in a six-month period, and you’ll typically get a refund for the unused amount. 
  • Allstate
    : Allstate allows drivers to cancel policies at any time, usually without a cancellation fee. 
  • USAA
    : For military members and their families, USAA offers refunds on unused coverage and won’t charge you extra for canceling your policy early. 
  • State Farm
    : It’s easy to cancel a State Farm policy, and in most cases, you can get a refund with no early cancellation fee. 
  • Progressive
    : Progressive’s policies and coverage options vary from state to state, but you typically won’t be charged for canceling before your policy has expired. 
It’s a good idea to compare
car insurance quotes
from multiple companies to find the lowest insurance rates. Since every provider calculates their rates a little differently based on factors like your driving record, demographics, and location, getting quotes from a few different providers can help you make sure you’re not paying more than you have to.

Consequences of driving without car insurance

If you plan on canceling your coverage early, make sure you have a backup policy ready. Even if your insurance company doesn’t charge a fee for canceling your policy, the state of Maryland may impose a $150 reinstatement fine for policies that have lapsed. 
Moreover, driving without insurance in Maryland is a serious offense that can earn you up to 5 points on your driver’s license, a $2,000 fine, and possibly time in jail. Additionally, you may be required to file an
in order to get insurance again.

How much car insurance do I need in Maryland? 

When purchasing temporary car insurance, you’ll need to choose a policy that at least meets your state’s minimum financial responsibility requirements. For Maryland drivers, that’s:
Maryland law also requires drivers to carry a certain amount of
uninsured motorist coverage
—but whether you choose to expand your policy with add-ons like collision or comprehensive coverage is up to you. If you’re planning on canceling your policy as soon as possible, it’s probably best to stick with just your state’s minimum insurance requirements. 
MORE: No deductible car insurance, explained

Alternatives to temporary car insurance

If you’re looking for short-term coverage, your insurance options are fairly limited—but for some, opening a rental car insurance policy or non-owner car insurance policy can better satisfy your driving needs. Below, we summarize the purposes of each and whether it’s right for you. 

Rental car insurance 

If you need a way to drive temporarily in Maryland but don’t want to risk the steep penalties that accompany driving without insurance, a
rental car
can be a good option. When you rent a car, you have the option to purchase insurance from the rental car company
Rental car companies will typically offer collision damage waivers (abbreviated as CDWs), which provide protection for any damages done to the car while in your possession. However, CDWs can be expensive, and they don’t offer any liability insurance. Some companies will give you the option to purchase additional liability coverages so you can meet Maryland’s insurance laws. 
Pro Tip Most major credit card companies offer some form of insurance if you use their card to rent a car, so make sure to check with your card issuer to see if you have this option.

Non-owner car insurance

For drivers who don’t actually own a car, buying a traditional car insurance policy gets a little complicated. Most car insurance policies are tied to a specific vehicle—meaning that most policyholders typically own the cars they insure. But if you frequently borrow or rent vehicles, then a traditional policy may not be the right fit.
That’s where
non-owner car insurance
comes in. Rather than being tied to your vehicle, a non-owner car insurance policy follows the driver—which is a nice way to make sure you’ve always got enough insurance, no matter what you’re driving. As an added bonus, this kind of insurance is often a little bit cheaper than the traditional kind.
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Theoretically, yes—but probably not in the way you think. Most reputable insurance companies only offer auto insurance rates in six-month or annual terms, but usually, you can cancel your car insurance policy early without any major consequences. On the other hand, insurance providers who claim to offer
one-day or one-month car insurance
policies are likely scammers and should be avoided at all costs!
Driving without an auto insurance policy in Maryland is a serious offense that could result in expensive fines, points on your license, a license suspension, or even jail time. Additionally, you may also be required to carry an SR-22 in order to reinstate your driver’s license, which will automatically increase what you pay for car insurance. 
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