It is common to wonder if you can get car insurance for just three months, but doing so is not possible with a traditional policy. The reason for this is because you will not find any insurance companies, especially reputable ones, offering three-month policies.
However, you can choose a longer policy and then cancel it after three months. That being said, this option comes with its own challenges, particularly that the DMV will assume you are driving without insurance if the vehicle is still registered in your name.
There are also a few other methods you can use to get insurance for just three months, such as having someone else add you to their policy. As you read this guide, keep in mind that in some other countries, temporary insurance is available. However, this is not the case in the United States. The information in this guide applies specifically to the United States.
Our team wants you to be able to easily find the auto insurance coverage you need and want. That is why we carefully reviewed all of the major automotive insurance providers to find out which ones offer the best car insurance.
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Can You Get Temporary Car Insurance for 3 Months?
You cannot get car insurance in the United States for just three months from any reputable provider. If you see any website mentioning that this type of short-term car insurance is possible, the information is most likely for another country.
It is worth noting that while you cannot get just a three-month policy that is specifically written to only last for three months, there are other ways to get coverage for three months.
How to Get Short-Term Car Insurance
As mentioned, while you cannot get a three-month auto insurance policy, there are a few workarounds you can consider trying. For most people, the most tempting option would be to get a six-month policy from car insurance companies. Then, you could cancel it after three months.
However, there are some caveats with taking this route. You should always check the cancellation policy before doing this. There may be a cancellation fee or you may not receive a full refund of what hasn’t been used.
You also need to be aware that the insurance company will notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that you canceled your insurance policy. This means that the DMV will know your auto is uninsured unless you get other car insurance coverage. Remember that most states require liability coverage, if not even more coverage. If you sell the car, you’ll transfer the title and you won’t need to worry about this.
Another option is for you to surrender the license plate to the DMV and put the vehicle in storage. This latter situation is the only time when you will not need to have insurance on your vehicle.
You should also keep in mind that any vehicle with an auto loan needs full-coverage insurance, including collision and comprehensive coverage. Lenders require a full coverage policy even if you are not driving the car, as this protects their investment.
Other Ways to Maintain Car Insurance Short-Term
As mentioned, getting a six-month car insurance policy and canceling it after three months is just one option if you want a policy for three months. There are also some other workarounds that may make sense for you. The one you should use will depend on your unique situation.
Join Another Driver’s Policy
If you still need insurance coverage on your car because you are driving it or it has an auto loan, see if you can add the vehicle to someone else’s existing policy. You will need to have the same address as them in order for this to work. This method can be a viable option for adult children or teens who want to add their car to their parents’ insurance policy, as long as they share an address.
You can also have your spouse add your car to their policy. It can even work for roommates with the same address on their driver’s licenses. Just remember that you are unlikely to be able to add your car to someone else’s policy unless you share an address. Additionally, as soon as you no longer share an address, they will have to remove you from the policy.
There are some exceptions to the same address rule, but these are rare. One exception applies to people who frequently drive another person’s car but don’t live with that person at the same address. This is typically an instance that applies to nannies, personal assistants and caregivers.
Get Non-Owners Insurance
If you don’t own a car but regularly drive someone else’s vehicle, like your friend’s car, you can get non-owners insurance. This type of insurance will provide coverage while you are driving other people’s cars. As a bonus, it tends to be more affordable than the car insurance rates with standard insurance policies. This type of car insurance covers rental cars as well.
Try Pay-Per-Mile Insurance
Another option if you only plan on driving for three months is to look for a pay-per-mile insurance program. These programs have a fee structure that is exactly as the name says. You will pay a low monthly fee and then an additional fee per mile that you drive. This is ideal for people who don’t drive much, but also works well if you won’t be driving for a full six months.
In this case, you will have to pay a normal price for the first three months. Then, you will have a much lower premium for the remaining three months. Most importantly, you will still have the insurance coverage when you are no longer driving. That lets you stick to legal minimums. It also gives you the freedom to get behind the wheel, even if you don’t think you will.
Switch Your Car’s Policy After 3 Months
This option works well if you will be driving your car for three months and then leaving it with someone else who may drive it, or who will at least have it registered under their name. An example would be if you plan on traveling or are a student.
This is as simple as having the other person add your car to their policy. This is somewhat similar to the option of adding your car and yourself to the policy of a roommate or family member.
The bonus of this method is that most auto insurance companies offer multi-car discounts. That means that insuring a second or third car on a policy is usually less expensive than keeping a separate policy.
Surrender Your License Plate
If you know that you will not drive your car after the three-month period, you may want to surrender the license plate. As mentioned earlier, you need to surrender your license plate if you cancel your insurance after three months and don’t have other coverage.
In order to do this, you will have to follow the process outlined by your local DMV. The car must be put in storage, as it cannot be driven without a license plate or insurance.
There are two important things to remember in this situation. First, no one can drive the car without it being registered and insured. As such, don’t use this option if you plan on leaving the car with someone who may need to drive it occasionally. They should add it to their insurance in this case.
The other important thing to remember is that when you want to start using the car again, you will have to register the car again and get a new license plate. This option tends to make the most sense if you will be gone for a while and are absolutely sure no one will drive the car.
You can also consider getting a rental car with rental car insurance. This is the only type of auto insurance available for a shorter period of time, as it is being made available directly through the rental car agency. Of course, the cost of a rental car for three months will typically make this a poor option financially. For a short period of time, however, rentals can make sense. For example, dealing with a rental car company is a smart alternative if you only want insurance for one day.
Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance
No matter the length of the policy you plan to get, we recommend you consider insurance options from GEICO or USAA. These are our top picks after reviewing our team’s extensive research.
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GEICO: Best Overall
After careful evaluation, GEICO earned a 9.5 out of 10.0 for industry reputation and a 9.0 for coverage, cost and customer experience. This gives the company an overall 9.1 rating. You can get discounts from GEICO for being a good student, having multiple vehicles or policies or having a new vehicle.
USAA: Best Military Provider
USAA earned a 9.0 for industry reputation, customer experience and cost, along with an 8.5 for coverage. This led to an overall rating of 8.9. USAA also offers discounts for good students, low annual mileage, families, bundling policies and military installation.
FAQ: Can I Get Car Insurance for Just Three Months?
Can I get one-month car insurance?
No reputable insurance providers will not offer policies that only last for one month, but you can use the same workarounds we mentioned for a three-month policy. These workarounds are options for any short-term car insurance policy.
Can I insure my car for two months?
Just like with three- and one-month policies, the answer is no. You can’t insure your car for just two months. You can, however, try one of the alternatives we mentioned above.
What is temporary car insurance?
Temporary auto insurance refers to car insurance that lasts for less than six months. While a temporary car insurance policy is available to drivers in some countries, it is not available to those living in the United States.
Can you get insurance for six months on a car?
Yes, many reputable insurance companies offer six-month policies for car insurance as an alternative to an annual policy.
The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car insurance provider to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Our in-depth rating system takes into account market share, coverage, auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services, customer satisfaction and ratings from industry experts. Each insurer is given a weighted score in four categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.
We recommend auto insurance companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best coverage.