Temporary Car Insurance In New York 2024

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Updated: 21 May 2024
Written by Cara Carlone
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Your car insurance needs will change with time and in response to changing circumstances. As such, there will be situations where a traditional six-month or year-long policy may seem excessive. For example, when you borrow a friend’s car for a brief getaway or when your college student is home for the Summer break.

Temporary car insurance would come in handy here. But you won’t easily find reputable insurers in the U.S. offering short-term coverage. That’s not to say you have no choice but to drive without auto insurance or pay for more coverage than you need. There are alternative options available.

I have worked in the insurance industry for decades, during which time I have helped many licensed drivers find auto policies that fit their needs. I plan to do the same for New York drivers in this article. I’ll discuss various topics, from scenarios that may call for temporary car insurance to some of the cheapest car insurance companies for different driver profiles.

What Is Temporary Car Insurance?

Temporary car insurance is an auto policy in effect for less than the standard six-month term. In the U.S., auto insurance policies usually last six or 12 months—shorter terms don’t usually exist. Drivers looking for insurance to cover them temporarily can look into alternatives, such as buying non-owner car insurance.

Can You Get Temporary Car Insurance In New York?

You cannot get temporary car insurance in New York. You should seek to determine the reason that you need short-term car insurance and then find a better alternative.

Alternatives To Temporary Car Insurance

There are several ways drivers in The Empire State can get short-term car insurance, depending on the reasons they need coverage. Here are some of those options.

New York Pay-Per-Mile Insurance

Can you drive but rarely do and want to save on your auto insurance? Pay-per-mile insurance might be the solution to your temporary insurance needs. Insurance providers don’t consider how much you drive when setting rates for traditional policies. However, premiums for a pay-per-mile policy depend on the base rate and the rate for every mile you drive.

Non-Owner Car Insurance In New York

People who don’t own cars but regularly operate borrowed or rented vehicles still need insurance. A non-owner auto insurance policy provides drivers with liability coverage while driving an automobile they don’t own.

Note: Non-owner insurance does not cover damage to the vehicle or injuries you suffer in an accident.

NYC Rideshare Car Insurance

New York City, frequently shortened NYC, has about 173,000 licensed for-hire drivers, with an estimated 80,000 working for Uber. Given personal auto insurance doesn’t cover transporting paying passengers, rideshare drivers need commercial insurance to cover them during activity pertaining to a transport network company (TNC).

TNCs like Uber and Lyft maintain commercial auto insurance on behalf of their drivers, but coverage might be limited. Rideshare insurance can help close gaps between your personal auto insurance and the coverage provided by the rideshare company.

Rental Car Insurance In New York

You don’t have to take out a personal auto policy for temporary coverage to rent a car. You can just get car insurance from the car rental company instead. Going this route is recommended, as personal insurance usually doesn’t cover loss of use for a rental car, which can be expensive.

Buying A 6-month New York Auto Policy And Canceling It Early

Terminating a car insurance policy before its expiration date is not illegal. So you can purchase a policy with the shortest term available from your provider of choice and then cancel it when you no longer have use for it. The shortest term most insurers offer for auto insurance is generally six months.

Note: Some auto insurance companies may charge a short-rate cancellation penalty that impacts the refund amount you receive after canceling a policy early. To avoid any inconvenience on your part, ask about this before buying auto insurance.

Altering New York Car Insurance Temporarily Depending On Your Needs

Depending on why you need temporary car insurance, modifying your auto policy to suit your needs may be an option. If you don’t have existing auto insurance, you may be able to buy a standard six-month policy that caters to your specific needs. Let’s look at some situations where either of these approaches may apply.

Coverage For College Students

Over half (56%) of college students have a car while attending school. To have coverage, they can either stay on their parent’s car insurance policy or purchase their own auto insurance. If your child doesn’t have a vehicle at school, you’ll still want to keep them on your policy for various reasons.

For starters, they’ll need coverage for when they come home from college and drive your car. Second, your child will likely have access to “wheels” while away. If so, you want them to have liability coverage for damages or injuries they cause in an accident while driving someone else’ car. New York drivers must have 25/50/10 minimum liability coverage.

Last but not least, college years are some of the most popular times to experiment with alcohol. An estimated 1,519 college students die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including car accidents. You don’t want your child hesitating to take keys from a drunk friend due to concerns about not being insured.

If you decide not to remove your college student from your policy, there are ways you can save on your car insurance premiums, including a distant student discount.

Adding Your Child To Your Policy

Insurers typically require you to add your teenager to your auto insurance policy as soon as they get their driver’s license. However, given car insurance premiums for young drivers tend to be higher, it’s understandable why you may be reluctant to add them.

But it’s important your child has enough coverage before they get behind the wheel, even if they won’t be driving your car very often. Besides, not notifying your insurance provider of all licensed drivers in your home may result in them denying future claims or canceling your policy altogether. If you’re certain your child won’t be driving, you could look into excluding them from your policy.

If You Are An Infrequent Driver

If you are an infrequent driver, you may not require your own auto insurance. Insurance carriers generally require policyholders to list all licensed drivers in their household on their car insurance policy regardless of how regularly they drive. Additionally, the permissive use clause discussed above allows occasional vehicle use by an unlisted driver, as long as they have permission from the car owner.

If you regularly drive but don’t own a car, consider getting non-owner car insurance. As the name suggests,  the policy covers you when driving an automobile you don’t own.

When Your Car Is In Storage

If you plan on placing your car in storage for an extended period, car storage insurance may be a good option. However, this isn’t an existing insurance policy and typically refers to comprehensive-only coverage. So basically, you drop your liability and collision coverages and hold on to comprehensive coverage since a car in storage is still at risk of damage or loss from falling objects, fire, theft, and vandalism.

When it’s time to get your car back on the road, notify your insurer beforehand so they can reinstate all suspended coverages. However, not all insurance companies allow policyholders to suspend some of their car insurance coverage. Additionally, if your vehicle is leased or financed, your lender may require you to hold on to comprehensive and collision coverages.

Note: If car storage insurance isn’t an option, consider temporarily reducing your car insurance coverage, which will reduce your auto insurance costs for the time your car is in storage. But be warned, this option isn’t ideal if you have a single policy for multiple vehicles, as it risks you being underinsured.

When Someone Else Drives Your Car

You will sometimes let other people borrow your car for whatever reason. If a particular person regularly operates your vehicle, your insurance provider will typically require you to list them on your auto policy. As for anyone else who occasionally borrows your vehicle, most policies include a permissive use clause that covers unlisted drivers when they have explicit permission to use your car.

Note: Permissive use does not apply to people in the same household as you.

Driving In A Foreign Country

International drivers visiting the country and planning on driving themselves have several car insurance coverage options available. If it’s a short visit and they rent a car, they can purchase insurance through the car rental company. If staying longer than a month, it would be better to buy a standard six-month or non-owner auto policy, which they can cancel once they’re back home,

Note: International drivers may be required to have an international driving permit (IDP), a United States driver’s license, or a valid driver’s license from their home country to buy a car insurance policy. Your travel preparations should include finding out what documentation you need to drive in the state(s) you plan on visiting.

Top New York Short-Term Car Insurance Companies

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

If you only want to carry the minimum coverage required by the New York state government, Geico offers the cheapest liability car insurance rates. Liability-only car insurance pays for third-party bodily injuries or property damage following an at-fault accident. In New York, the minimum auto insurance requirements are as follows:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or $50,000 for death per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury or $100,000 for death per accident
  • $10,000 for property damage per accident

Geico is well known for its advertising, but it has also made a name for itself by offering affordable prices and 24/7 customer service. The provider also has streamlined processes, such as purchasing insurance, amending or canceling policies, and filing claims.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Various ways to reach them, including phone, chat, and app options
  • High rating for claims handling
  • Few local agencies
  • Some driver profiles pay higher premiums

Average Cost Of Minimum Coverage Temporary Car Insurance

Company Six-Month Premium With Liability Only
GEICO $198
Kemper $293
Mercury $272
CSAA $236
State Farm $402

Note: You want to carry more liability coverage than the state-mandated minimum because you pay any costs above the limits out-of-pocket. So consider purchasing higher limits to ensure you have adequate financial protection.

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 cheapest temporary car insurance average rates for young drivers with little to no driving experience. The insurer also offers discounts, such as an occasional operator discount, which can help make your premiums even cheaper. Additionally, customers can conveniently access their policy documents, make payments, and file claims through the Progressive app.

Progressive’s mobile app appeals to younger drivers due to the digital accessibility and convenience it brings. But their claims handling process isn’t fast, which can be inconvenient when you need your car repaired. That said, Progressive has been in business for several decades and has the financial strength to pay policyholders’ claims.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Auto policies can be bought online or through a broker/agent
  • Affordable prices
  • User-friendly mobile app
  • Higher-than-average rates for most driver profiles

Average Cost Of Short-Term Car Insurance For Young Drivers

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

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

Your car insurance premiums are likely to increase following an accident. However, the extent of the increase will mainly depend on the insurance company. USAA has the best rates for drivers with a single accident on their driving record.

The average cost of a six-month auto policy from USAA after an accident is $1,043, less than the statewide average of $1,455. Aside from affordable prices, USAA has an outstanding claims process and customer service.

USAA exclusively serves active-duty military members, veterans, and eligible family members. Regardless, it has among the most loyal customers in the industry, so if you qualify for an auto policy with them, you can expect quality customer service.

Benefits & Drawbacks

  • Specializes in coverage for military members and their families
  • Excellent customer service and claims resolution
  • Offers banking products
  • Coverage is limited to the military community
  • USAA doesn’t use local agents

Average Rates In New York 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

New York Short-Term Auto Insurance Rates By City

New York City saw 97,059 car accidents in 2021 and 100,509 car crashes in 2022. My research also showed NYC has the highest average rate for car insurance in New York compared to other major cities in the state.

City Average Monthly Premium Average Six-Month Policy Premium
New York City $223 $1,335
Mount Vernon $195 $1,172
Yonkers $180 $1,081
New Rochelle $164 $981
Buffalo $157 $943
Syracuse $156 $933
Utica $152 $911

Temporary Car Insurance Rates In New York By Policy Length

By analyzing quotes from different insurance providers, I found State Farm to have the most expensive rates for temporary car insurance in New York State and Farmers the most affordable rates.

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

Temporary Car Insurance Rates In New York By Insurance Company

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners 2022 market share report shows that Geico is the largest private passenger auto insurer in New York, with a 29.28% market share. NYCM—an insurance company local to New York—comes in at No.8 for the same category with a 2.83% market share.

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


What is a temporary car insurance policy?

A temporary car insurance policy is an auto policy with a term of less than six months.

Is temporary car insurance available in New York?

No. Most insurance companies in New York and the rest of the country don’t offer temporary car insurance. So drivers who want short-term coverage are left with no option but to find alternative ways to get it, such as purchasing a standard six-month policy and canceling it when they no longer need it.

Is temporary car insurance real?

Yes. In some countries, insurers offer temporary car insurance policies that provide hourly,  daily, weekly, or monthly coverage.

Is it possible to use temporary car insurance permanently?

Temporary car insurance covers you for a short time—​​less than six months. If you need more permanent coverage, you should purchase a traditional six- or 12-month auto policy or long-term car insurance.

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