Temporary Car Insurance in Colorado: What You Need to Know (2024)

A standard car insurance policy in Colorado lasts for six months. State Farm provides the cheapest six-month policies in Colorado.

Erin Gobler
Written byErin Gobler
Erin Gobler
Erin Gobler
  • 5+ years of finance writing experience 

  • Certificate of financial planning from Boston University

Erin is a personal finance writer and journalist with work featured in major publications. Her writing explores investing, credit cards, mortgages, insurance, and more.

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Chris Schafer
Edited byChris Schafer
Chris Schafer
Chris SchaferSenior Editor
  • 15+ years in content creation

  • 7+ years in business and financial services content

Chris is a seasoned writer/editor with past experience across myriad industries, including insurance, SAS, finance, Medicare, logistics, marketing/advertising, and many more.

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Updated April 17, 2024

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Standard car insurance policies come in terms of six months, which may not be suitable for all drivers. If you need a temporary car insurance policy, several alternative coverage options are available, including purchasing non-owner insurance, obtaining rental car insurance, or simply canceling your policy early.

These policies vary in cost and term length, but you can get the best rate for your situation by shopping around for coverage.

Quick Facts
  • Options for drivers who need temporary coverage include non-owner insurance, which provides coverage when you drive other people’s vehicles, and rental car coverage.

  • If you need car insurance but not for the full six-month term, you can usually cancel your policy early without having to pay for the time you didn’t use.

  • If you’re a student or the parent of a student in Colorado, you have several insurance options, including a stand-alone policy for a student who drives regularly or reducing your premiums if your student is away without a vehicle.

Is temporary car insurance available in Colorado?

When you’re shopping for car insurance, you’ll find that major insurers offer terms of either six months or one year, with six months being the most common. These policies make sense for most drivers who own vehicles and need constant coverage. However, they may not make sense for someone who only needs coverage for a short time.

Temporary insurance policies can provide coverage for as little as one day or as much as a couple of months. Unfortunately, these policies can be difficult to find and aren’t available everywhere.

However, some reliable options are available when you need temporary insurance coverage, whether you’re borrowing someone else’s vehicle or renting one.

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Getting non-owner car insurance in Colorado

Non-owner car insurance is a type of policy available for anyone who drives regularly but who doesn’t own their own vehicle.

Suppose you don’t own a vehicle but regularly borrow one from a friend. Or perhaps you use a car-sharing service and want coverage above and beyond what the service provides. Non-owner insurance could make sense for you in these cases.

It may also come in handy if you’re between vehicles and don’t want to pay for a regular policy but still want coverage in case you drive someone else’s car.

Non-owner insurance specifically provides liability coverage, meaning it’s intended to pay for others’ property damage and injuries if you’re at fault for an accident. It may also include uninsured motorist coverage, medical payments, and personal injury protection.

However, unlike a standard auto insurance policy, non-owner insurance doesn’t include collision or comprehensive coverage. In other words, it won’t pay for any damages to the vehicle you’re driving. Before driving, check to make sure the vehicle is covered under a different full-coverage policy.

It’s also worth noting that if you’re a member of the same household as the person whose vehicle you drive, you must be a secondary driver on their policy.

Canceling your policy early in Colorado

If you choose to cancel your policy, you’ll only have to pay for your premiums during the time you actually have the policy. If you cancel before the end of your policy term, you won’t be charged for the unused months.

Additionally, if you paid for your policy premium up front, whether to take advantage of a discount or for another reason, you’ll usually get a refund for the unused amount. However, depending on your state and insurer, you may be charged an early cancellation fee.

Canceling a policy is usually quite simple. Depending on your insurer, you may need to call your insurance agent, call the company’s customer service department, or send an official cancellation request via mail. However, some companies may allow you to cancel your policy through your online account.

Keep in Mind

Purchasing and then canceling an insurance policy may be appropriate if you only need coverage temporarily. However, it may not be the right choice if you own a vehicle that you drive only infrequently. In that case, a pay-per-mile policy may be more appropriate.

After all, you’ll need coverage each time you drive, and it isn’t practical to sign up for and cancel a car insurance policy each time you do. Additionally, if you have a loan or a lease on your vehicle, you’re likely contractually obligated to have full coverage.

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Getting car insurance for a rental car in Colorado

If you’re renting a vehicle and want to make sure you’re protected, consider purchasing rental car insurance. You can get rental coverage from a few places:

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/64a2fc54c7/good-driver.svg

    Your car insurance policy

    If you have car insurance, your normal policy probably still applies when you’re driving a rental car. Your policy’s liability insurance will pay for damages and injuries to others when you’re driving the rental car, while your comprehensive and collision insurance may cover the vehicle itself.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/100x100/0f53b7e117/credit-card-2-1.svg

    A credit card

    Many credit cards, especially travel cards, offer rental car insurance as a perk. To be eligible, you usually must use that card to pay for the rental. Additionally, these benefits may be limited to paying only for certain expenses or only being used as secondary coverage.[1]

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/38dc81ba93/drive-1.svg

    The rental company

    Rental car companies are required to carry liability coverage on each of their vehicles, so you always have at least some coverage. Additionally, you can purchase a loss damage waiver from the rental company, which frees you of any financial responsibility for damages to the car.[2]

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/100x100/ef0f3d5529/palm-tree.svg

    A travel insurance provider

    Some travel insurance companies provide rental car coverage, either as a part of a travel insurance policy or as a stand-alone policy.[3] Make sure to compare the cost of these policies and the coverage amount to the loss damage waiver offered by the rental company.

Best car insurance companies for short-term car insurance in Colorado

The table below breaks down the average insurance rates for the best companies for short-term coverage, with the rates applying to six-month policies.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Wednesday, April 17 at 12:00 PM PDT
Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly QuoteIQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
State Farm474.5
USAA614.5
American Family654.3
Sun Coast690.0
GEICO724.2
Allstate734.2
State Auto744.0
Safeco773.8
Nationwide784.3
Progressive833.9
Auto-Owners844.0
The General883.3
Midvale Home & Auto923.7
Bristol West1002.2
Dairyland1033.3
Foremost1153.5
Direct Auto1183.3
Travelers1194.3
Farmers1243.8
Liberty Mutual1383.8
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Car insurance for students in Colorado

If you’re a college student in Colorado and need insurance for a car you’ll be driving regularly, make sure to shop around for the best policy. Depending on where you’re moving from and your current insurer, you may be able to maintain the same policy and just update the address. However, you may also need to find a new policy altogether.

Some insurance companies offer better rates for young drivers, and some may offer discounts that specifically benefit young drivers or college students, so be sure to compare several insurers to find the best option.

On the other hand, if you’re a parent and have a child going away to college without a car, you may be able to save money on your insurance. You may also be able to remove your child from your policy altogether if they’ll never drive your car. However, if they plan to drive your car when they’re home during school breaks, they should be listed on your policy.

Good to Know

Many insurance companies offer a discount when you have a student away at college who won’t be close enough to drive the vehicle regularly. This type of discount allows you to keep your child on your insurance policy without paying full price.

Finally, pay attention to other discounts that may specifically benefit students and young drivers. Some insurers offer discounts for good grades, taking a defensive driver course, and more.

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Temporary car insurance in Colorado FAQs

Are you considering purchasing temporary auto insurance in Colorado? Here are the answers to a few more questions on the topic.

  • Can you get temporary insurance in Colorado?

    Most car insurance policies in Colorado last for six months. However, if you need coverage for a shorter time or don’t own your own vehicle, consider options such as non-owner insurance, rental car insurance, or simply canceling your policy when you no longer need it.

  • Is temporary car insurance legit?

    A temporary insurance policy is one that provides car insurance coverage for as little as one day and as long as several months. Hugo is one example of such a company. However, these policies are rare, aren’t offered by major insurers, and aren’t available in every state.

  • Can you drive a car without insurance if you just bought it in Colorado?

    Colorado, like most states, requires drivers to have liability insurance when driving. If you don’t have insurance, you’ll need to sign up for a policy before driving your new car. Otherwise, you risk paying financial penalties, as well as footing the bill for any damages you cause before you sign up for coverage.

    However, if you already have car insurance, you have a bit more time. Many insurance companies offer grace periods of up to 30 days. In other words, when you buy a new vehicle, you have up to 30 days to add it to your policy. During that time, your insurer will cover the vehicle just like any others on your policy.

  • How long can you be without car insurance in Colorado?

    Colorado law requires all drivers to have car insurance. Even the short drive home from the dealership could be illegal if you don’t have insurance coverage. If caught driving without insurance, you’ll have four points added to your license. You could also pay fines ranging from $500 to $1,000, depending on whether it’s a first offense. Finally, on a second or subsequent offense, you may have your license suspended.

    Additionally, if you’re in an accident while driving without insurance, you’ll be on the hook for any damages, including damage to your vehicle, damage to other people’s vehicles, and injuries sustained by others.

Methodology

Insurify data scientists analyzed more than 90 million quotes served to car insurance applicants in Insurify’s proprietary database to calculate the premium averages displayed on this page. These premiums are real quotes that come directly from Insurify’s 50+ partner insurance companies in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quote averages represent the median price for a quote across the given coverage level, driver subset, and geographic area.

Unless otherwise specified, quoted rates reflect the average cost for drivers between 20 and 70 years old with a clean driving record and average or better credit (a credit score of 600 or higher).

Liability-only premium averages correspond to policies with the following coverage limits:

  • Bodily injury limits between state-minimum rates and $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident
  • Property damage limits between $10,000 and $50,000
  • No additional coverage
Full-coverage premium averages correspond to the same bodily injury and property damage limits in addition to:
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible

Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Services’ database of auto insurance rates.

Sources

  1. Insurance Information Institute. "Rental car insurance."
  2. Budget.com. "Rental Car Insurance Coverage and Protection Plans."
  3. Travel Guard. "Rental car insurance plans."
Erin Gobler
Erin Gobler

Erin Gobler is a personal finance writer and journalist based in Madison, Wisconsin. With more than five years of experience, Erin has covered topics such as investing, credit cards, mortgages, insurance, and more. Her work has been featured in major publications like Business Insider, Fox Business, and Time. Erin received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2013, studying journalism and political science. She also received a certificate of financial planning from Boston University in 2022.

Chris Schafer
Edited byChris SchaferSenior Editor
Chris Schafer
Chris SchaferSenior Editor
  • 15+ years in content creation

  • 7+ years in business and financial services content

Chris is a seasoned writer/editor with past experience across myriad industries, including insurance, SAS, finance, Medicare, logistics, marketing/advertising, and many more.

Featured in

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