How to Find Temporary Car Insurance in New York

Car insurance policies in New York last a minimum of six months, meaning temporary auto insurance per se doesn’t really exist.
Written by Macy Fouse
Edited by Pat Roache
If you’re looking for temporary
car insurance in New York
, know that the minimum length of legitimate insurance policies is six months. If you’re only going to be driving for a few months, you may want to consider alternative solutions like borrowing or renting cars.
  • Reputable auto insurance policies last six months to a year. Temporary car insurance marketed for one day, week, or month is likely a scam. 
  • GEICO, State Farm, Progressive, and Allstate allow customers to cancel car insurance early without any fees—but this should be a last resort.
  • Dropping all car insurance coverage without securing a replacement policy could lead to major consequences.
  • New York drivers looking for a temporary option may benefit from rental car insurance or pay-per-mile insurance instead.

Six months is the shortest car insurance length in New York

Temporary car insurance
policies don’t exist per se—but you have options if you only need short-term insurance coverage.
A standard car insurance policy lasts either six months or one year. Any company offering policies for a shorter time than this is probably a scam.
While there are legitimate reasons to
cancel car insurance early
(before the renewal date), you don’t want to make a habit of this. It could lead to difficulty getting coverage in the future.

Temporary coverage from the dealership

Some car dealerships will offer you a “temporary” auto policy lasting a month or less so you can drive your new car off the lot insured. 
However, this car coverage may be overpriced and under-protective. It’s better to secure minimum coverage or full coverage from a regular car insurance company before buying a car.

Best companies for six-month insurance in New York

Here are some major insurers to consider for a six-month policy in  New York: 
You can cancel a policy at State Farm at any point, and you’ll get a refund for any unused premiums
Allstate has six-month policies that you can cancel at any time. In most cases, you won’t be charged a cancellation fee
USAA won’t charge you for canceling a policy, and you’ll likely get a refund. USAA is strictly available to military members, veterans, and their families
Depending on the state, Progressive usually doesn’t charge you for canceling your policy
Policies at GEICO are easy to cancel, and you’ll often be refunded for unused premiums

Other short-term car insurance options

New York drivers can also consider rental car insurance, a six-month non-owner car insurance policy, or being added to someone else’s policy for a period of time. 
  • Best for New York drivers who are renting a car for a set period.
  • Get independent rental car liability insurance from a provider or your credit card company, if eligible.
  • You’ll also need a collision damage waiver (CDW) from the rental car company to cover damages to the rental car itself—unless you have the equivalent from another insurance company.
  • A good option for drivers who regularly rent or use car-sharing services.
  • Non-owner policy provides
    liability coverage
    that follows the driver (not the car) to supplement the policy of whatever vehicle they’re driving.
  • Non-owner coverage tends to be about 10% cheaper than traditional insurance.
Get added to someone else’s policy:
  • If you’re borrowing a car one time, you should be covered by what’s called permissive use (unless certain drivers are excluded from the policy).
  • If you’re borrowing a family member’s or friend’s car more than a couple of times, you’ll need to be added to their policy as a driver.
  • Being on someone else’s policy while you’re in between cars can help you maintain continuous coverage.
Pay-per-mile insurance:
  • If you don’t drive much, a
    pay as you go
    or pay-per-mile policy will only charge you based on the actual number of miles you drive. 
  • This is a great alternative if you’re not a frequent driver but feel stuck with high car insurance costs. 
  • Pay-per-mile will provide cheap car insurance as long as you drive fewer than ~12,000 miles a year, or around the national average.
Rideshare insurance:
  • A great option for Uber or Lyft drivers to supplement the basic coverage offered by the rideshare company itself.

Compare quotes to find the best auto insurance rates in New York

New York car insurance prices are some of the highest in the country, so it’s crucial to
compare car insurance quotes
to find the most affordable policy for whatever coverage you need.
What to do: 
  • Get quotes from at least 3-5 insurance providers in your area to narrow down your best offers. You could call insurance agents individually or have a comparison tool like
    do all the work for you.
  • Pay close attention to coverage options and discounts you might qualify for.
  • Research customer reviews and satisfaction surveys to determine the company’s reputation.
"I was nervous to buy insurance for my first car because I had heard horror stories about the insurance prices in New York. After not even two minutes, I found four quotes from
under $125/month. By the end of the night, I was on the road safe and insured!” —Reuben R. 
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It’s not possible to write a one-month policy from a major insurance company. You’ll need to figure out a different plan, like renting or borrowing a car.
Any company offering to insure your car for just one month—or one day—is almost definitely a scam. 

New York has some hefty consequences for driving without insurance. The minimum fine you’ll face is $150 for a first-time offense, but if you’re convicted, your license will be revoked for one year. 
Then, you’ll have to pay a $750 reinstatement fee to get your license back. Your car may also be impounded, and you could be imprisoned for up to 15 days.
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