Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • If you are planning on selling your car or you are preparing for a move in the near future, you may be a great candidate for a short-term auto insurance policy
  • Short-term insurance, which is also called temporary insurance, is a specialized type of coverage that’s meant for drivers who only need coverage for a month or less
  • If you buy a substandard one-month policy, you can cover your vehicle with the same types and limits of coverage that are available under a traditional auto insurance policy
  • While buying a monthly auto insurance policy helps you avoid paying for insurance that you don’t need, the prices for this form of coverage are higher than the cost of standard insurance. Prices are determined by reviewing rating factors and assessing risk
  • Buying temporary insurance is the answer for some consumers. If you want to pay the low rates that you can get for buying standard insurance, consider starting a six-month or annual policy and canceling it when you don’t need coverage

If you’re buying a car to go on a month-long road trip or you’re planning on moving, you may be interested in finding a short-term insurance policy that provides coverage for no longer than a month.

Short-term insurance, which is also called temporary insurance, is a special type of coverage for drivers who only need coverage on specific dates.

One month car insurance is great for infrequent drivers, but it’s not for everyone.

If you are trying to decide if you should buy a traditional policy or a short-term one, here’s the information that you need to know so that you can keep your budget as low as possible.

Enter your zip code above for the best car insurance rates today!

Reasons to Get a One-Month Insurance Policy

Traditional auto insurance policies are sold for six-month or annual terms. In the insurance world, a policy term is a specific period of time where the rates will remain the same.

It’s not until the policy comes up for renewal that the company is legally allowed to run your driving record and other reports again.

With a short-term insurance policy, you only pay for coverage for as long as you need it. This sounds like a great way to manage your budget, but electing to carry monthly insurance as an alternative to traditional insurance can cost you.

Here are some of the common reasons that drivers purchase one month insurance:

  • You are selling your vehicle and need protection for test drives
  • You are going on a road trip and only need coverage until you return home
  • You have taken over ownership of a car for only a short period of time
  • You are in between policies and will be moving out-of-state in the next month
  • You are returning home from college and need coverage on your vehicle until you go back to school
  • You are buying a new car and need coverage to drive away
  • You will be surrendering your license but you want to comply with the law

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How do you know if you qualify for temporary car insurance?

Before you assume that temporary insurance is a good alternative for you, you should check out the underwriting requirements through some of the leading temporary auto insurance carriers.

Some of the typical requirements for coverage include:

  • You must be 21 or older
  • You must have a valid license with at least one year of driving experience
  • You must have an acceptable claims record with no more than one at-fault accident
  • You must have an acceptable driving record with less than six penalty points
  • You must not have a license suspension or revocation on your record

Know Your State Law


Getting temporary insurance can land you in hot water with your state motor vehicle agency if you aren’t familiar with the state law.

In most states, you have to have auto insurance for as long as your car is registered. Temporary insurance issued by a carrier in the state will satisfy minimum requirements, but this puts you at risk of having a lapse in coverage.

If you plan on keeping your registration active in your name for longer than a month, you need to buy traditional insurance.

Going without coverage while the registration is still active can cost you money in fines and other DMV fees. It can also create problems if you are trying to sell the car.

What You Should Know About Buying Traditional Insurance

You may buy traditional insurance for six months at a time, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t cancel your coverage early.

One of your rights as a consumer is that you can cancel your coverage before the term is up. Make sure to find a company that doesn’t charge cancellation fees if you get traditional insurance instead of temporary coverage.

It’s best to compare prices between traditional and temporary insurance providers. If you want to compare quotes, use an online quote comparison site. By using this type of tool, you can enter your personal information in the fields and compare multiple quotes for coverage at once.

Enter your zip code below to compare car insurance rates from top companies in your area today!