Temporary Car Insurance In Illinois For 2024

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Written by
Cara Carlone
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Temporary car insurance is a great option when you need cover for a short period of time. Maybe you are visiting friends or family in another part of the country and need to borrow or rent a car or perhaps your child is home from college for summer break, during which time they’ll be using your vehicle. Such situations call for shorter terms of coverage than offered by standard car insurance policies.

Regrettably, insurers in the U.S. don’t offer short-term car insurance policies. But there are other ways drivers can get temporary coverage. I should know. I am a seasoned insurance industry professional who’s helped many drivers find the best auto insurance option for their specific needs.

I put together this article to offer the same service to readers enquiring about temporary car insurance in Illinois. We will explore various reasons why drivers might buy short-term auto insurance and look into alternatives. If you want to avoid paying for more coverage than you need, keep reading.

What Is Temporary Car Insurance?

Usually, insurance companies offer six- to 12-month policy terms. Temporary car insurance can, therefore, refer to any policy that remains in effect for fewer than six months. But given major car insurers don’t offer short-term policies, drivers who need car insurance temporarily should look into alternative solutions, such as paying for a standard six-month policy and canceling it early.

Can You Get Temporary Car Insurance In Illinois?

As in most other states, temporary car insurance doesn’t exist in Illinois, at least from reputable providers. Instead, it’s recommended that drivers who only need insurance for a brief period search for alternatives that match their unique situation.

Alternatives To Temporary Car Insurance

Here are some temporary car insurance options available to drivers in Illinois, depending on their reasons for wanting to buy short-term coverage.

Illinois Pay-Per-Mile Insurance

For people who seldom drive, pay-per-mile car insurance is worth considering. When setting premiums for standard auto insurance policies, insurers don’t factor in how often you drive. But charges for a pay-per-mile policy are based on how many miles you drive, which saves you money while keeping you adequately insured.

Non-Owner Car Insurance In Illinois

Do you often drive but don’t own a car? You may want to look into non-owner car insurance. It’s a type of liability insurance that covers people who regularly drive borrowed or rented cars but doesn’t cover loss or damage to the vehicle itself.

Note: A non-owner car insurance policy can help you avoid a lapse in your insurance coverage if you have sold your car and haven’t gotten to replacing it yet. Preventing a lapse in coverage can keep your future insurance premiums from spiking.

Illinois Rideshare Car Insurance

An estimated 1.5 million drivers are working for Uber in the U.S., with about 286,000 ride-hailing trips occurring daily in Chicago. With such numbers, rideshare drivers must have adequate insurance to cover themselves, their passengers, and their vehicles.

Personal auto insurance doesn’t cover drivers if they get into an accident when transporting paying passengers. It only applies when you’re offline. And while ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft provide some coverage to their drivers, there may still be gaps between the company-provided commercial insurance and your personal auto coverage. Rideshare car insurance helps fill any gaps.

Rental Car Insurance In Illinois

Most people believe they need personal car insurance to rent a car. However, this is not the case, as you can usually purchase insurance through the rental company. Besides, while your personal policy will almost certainly cover rental cars, it may not cover loss of use, which can be costly.

Buying A Standard Insurance Policy And Canceling It Early

You could buy a six-month insurance policy and then cancel it before the expiration date. You won’t easily find a policy with a shorter term than this in the U.S., as most insurance carriers provide only two options: six- or twelve-month terms.

Note: Your insurance provider may charge you a cancellation fee for getting out of a policy early. To avoid surprises, enquire about an insurer’s cancellation policy before signing any documents.

Best Car Insurance Companies For Short-Term Car Insurance In Illinois

Cheapest For Young Drivers

Overall Rating

Key Statistics

10/10 Affordability
9/10 Customer Satisfaction
6/10 Claims
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Progressive has the most reasonable rates for drivers with little to no experience. It also offers several discounts, such as the occasional operator discount, which helps keep insurance expenses low for young drivers looking for short-term car insurance. Progressive further appeals to a younger crowd by offering a user-friendly app where customers can instantly access their policy documents, make payments, file claims, and more.

Progressive has made it easy to purchase a policy and make payments, which is attractive for younger generations. However, they score lower on claim satisfaction than their competitors, meaning getting your vehicle repaired after an accident might be a hassle. However, Progressive has been in business for almost nine decades and can have the assets to make good on any claim you might file.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Available for purchase through an agent or directly online
  • Reasonable prices
  • Convenient and easy-to-use app
  • Doesn't provide the Telematics program in Illinois

Average Cost Of Short-Term Car Insurance For Young Drivers

Company Six-Month Premium for Full Coverage
Progressive $654
National General $741
Geico $900
Mercury $933
Wawanesa $955

Cheapest For Drivers With An Accident

Overall Rating

Key Statistics

9/10 Affordability
10/10 Customer Satisfaction
9/10 Claims
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

When you have had an accident, your car insurance rates will likely increase. How much will largely depend on the insurance company. According to my research, the rates USAA offers drivers with one accident on their record are the most affordable.

Illinois drivers with one accident on their driving record can expect to pay $1,455 on average for a six-month term. If they get the policy from USAA, it will cost them around $1,043, considerably less than the statewide average. Cost aside, USAA has garnered a reputation for stellar customer service and claims handling countrywide.

The biggest and only real drawback is that USAA is only available to active duty or veteran members of the military and their families. Those who don’t meet this criteria are not eligible for an auto policy from them. Those that do get to experience USAA’s reputable customer service that has earned it a loyal customer base.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Excellent customer service and claims handling
  • Specialized military coverage
  • Provides banking products
  • Exclusively serves U.S. military members and their eligible family
  • Doesn’t use local agents

Average Cost Of Short-Term Car Insurance After An Accident

Company Six-Month Premium for Full Coverage
USAA $1,043
Geico $1,103
State Farm $1,560
Travelers $1,658
Allstate $1,771

Cheapest Liability Only

Overall Rating

Key Statistics

7/10 Affordability
8/10 Customer Satisfaction
9/10 Claims
10/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Drivers seeking short-term car insurance are also most likely looking for the most affordable option. One sure way to cut your insurance cost is to purchase liability-only coverage, if possible. Geico offers the least expensive liability insurance, based on my research.

Geico may be famous for its commercials, but it’s making a name for itself as one of the cheapest auto insurers in the country, especially for liability coverage. Illinois minimum required auto insurance coverage is $25,000/$50,000/$20,000. If you only want to be legal on the road, especially for a short time, Geico liability insurance may be the solution you’re looking for.

Various reasons make Geico a great choice for drivers who want car insurance for a short period. For starters, customers can reach their customer service 24/7. Second, you can manage your policies \and make payments online easily.

Note: I do not recommend anyone carry coverage with the minimum limits required. Higher liability limits reduce the chances of exceeding your coverage limits, which would translate into out-of-pocket costs.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Phone, chat, and app contact options make it easy to get in touch
  • Customers speak highly of their claims process
  • A limited number of local agencies
  • Some customers may find their rates high

Average Cost Of Liability Only Car Insurance

Company Six-Month Premium With Liability Only
Geico $198
CSAA $234
Mercury $270
Kemper $294
State Farm $408

Temporary Car Insurance Rates In Illinois By Policy Length

Of the insurance companies I analyzed, I found Farmers to be the most economical for temporary car insurance and State Farm the most expensive.

Company One Month Premium Three Month Premium Six Month Premium
Farmers $101 $304 $609
Allstate $108 $323 $648
Geico $113 $340 $679
Travelers $129 $387 $774
State Farm $221 $663 $1,326

Short-Term Auto Insurance Rates In Illinois By City

There were 97,388 car crashes in Chicago in 2022 and only 2,410 in Elgin. So it comes as no surprise that the former has the highest auto insurance rates in Illinois and the latter the lowest.

City Average Monthly Premium Average Six-Month Policy Premium
Elgin $152 $911
Springfield $156 $933
Rockford $157 $943
Naperville $164 $981
Joliet $180 $1,081
Aurora $195 $1,172
Chicago $223 $1,335

Temporary Car Insurance Rates In Illinois By Insurance Company

According to the NAIC 2022 market share data for property/casualty insurers, State Farm has a 30.01% market share for private passenger auto insurance in Illinois, while Farmers holds 4.66%.

Company Average Monthly Premium Average Annual Premium
Farmers $86 $1,032
Sun Coast $90 $1,080
Clearcover $103 $1,236
Safeco $109 $1,308
Progressive $115 $1,380

Altering California Car Insurance Temporarily Depending On Your Needs

It may be possible to amend your existing policy to suit your temporary insurance needs, depending on your reason for wanting to make changes. Here are some of the situations where this can apply.

Allowing Someone Else To Drive Your Car

Circumstances can arise that require you to let someone else use your car. If this becomes a regular arrangement, it would be in your best interest to add the person to your policy as a driver. If a one-off or infrequent, your insurance will likely cover them under the permissive use clause.

Most auto insurance policies have a provision that allows unlisted drivers to occasionally drive the policyholder’s car provided they have the car owner’s permission. Permissive use is useful in emergencies or when you lend someone your car for a short period.

College Student Away At School

56% of undergraduate college students have a car with them while at school. If your child is among these students, they can simply remain on your car insurance policy, if allowed, or buy their own standard policy.

As for licensed students without a car while attending college, having auto coverage is also crucial. So before you remove them from your policy, consider what would happen if they borrowed a friend’s car and caused damage and injuries exceeding the friend’s policy liability limits. They could be held liable for the difference.

In Illinois, the state-mandated minimum amounts for auto insurance coverage are $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $20,000 for property damage. Low liability limits can easily be exhausted by a minor incident.

Did you know that 1,519 college-aged students die from alcohol-related injuries every year, including car crashes? If your child knows they’re insured, it can encourage them to step up and be the designated driver when they go out with friends. You may have the option of dropping your child to an occasional driver on your policy, or you could look into getting them a non-owner policy.

Adding Your Child To Your Policy

If your child has recently gotten their driver’s license and doesn’t plan on driving regularly, you may have second thoughts about adding them to your car insurance policy because of the extra expense. However, you may not even have a choice in the matter.

Your insurance company will likely require that you notify them of any licensed drivers in your household. Failing to comply may result in issues when you file a claim in the future or even the cancellation of your policy. If you’re confident your child won’t drive your car, you can have them explicitly excluded from your policy.

Are An International Driver

There are several insurance options for international drivers, depending on the length of their stay. Those visiting for a few days or weeks can purchase car insurance through the rental car company if they rent a car. Those planning on staying longer may be better off buying a standard or non-owner auto insurance, and then canceling the policy once they return to their home country.

Note: Insurers may require that international drivers produce an international driving permit (IDP) or a United States driver’s license. So I’d advise anyone planning a trip to Illinois—or any other U.S. state—to find out beforehand which documents they will require to drive legally while there.

Keeping Your Car In Storage

For car owners who go for lengthened periods without using their cars or own several cars for different seasons, you can purchase storage insurance for when your car is in storage. However, you won’t find a policy dedicated to storage insurance, as there’s no such thing.

Instead, you request your insurer to suspend your liability and collision coverages, and you only maintain comprehensive coverage. This way, any loss or damage resulting from a non-collision incident like theft or fire while you’re car is in storage will be covered. When it nears time to take your car out on the road again, just let your insurance company know so they can reinstate the coverages.

Note: If your insurer doesn’t offer car storage insurance, you can still save on your car insurance by reducing your coverage amounts to the state-mandated minimum. If your policy covers multiple cars, not just the one in storage, refrain from this approach to avoid putting your other vehicles at risk of underinsurance.

Don’t Drive Regularly

If you seldom drive and don’t own a car, you might not need your own insurance policy, depending on how much you drive. You could have someone in your household with a personal auto policy add you as an occasional driver to their policy, or you could take advantage of the permissive use clause found in most car insurance policies.

For people who frequently borrow or rent cars, a non-owner policy will offer you liability protection regardless of whose car you’re driving.

Note: Most insurance companies require you to add anyone who drives your vehicle regularly or any licensed drivers living with you to your policy.


What is a temporary insurance policy?

A temporary insurance policy is a policy that lasts less than six months.

Is temporary car insurance a real thing?

Short-term car insurance is real in some countries but not the United States. Illinois drivers who want daily, weekly, or monthly car insurance should investigate alternative options, such as buying a standard policy and canceling before it expires.

Can temporary car insurance be used for the long term?

Temporary car insurance is, by definition, short-term insurance, so its validity is only a couple of months. Less than six months, to be specific. If you want car insurance that lasts longer than that, buy a standard policy with at least a term of six months.

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