Can You Get Six-Month Car Insurance Coverage?

Six months is the standard length for a car insurance policy term. Here’s what you need to know.

Alani Asis
Written byAlani Asis
Alani Asis
Alani Asis
  • 3 years of content writing

  • Bylines with leading financial publications

Alani is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. She aims to make complex topics more approachable through fun, digestible content.

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Courtney Mikulski
Courtney MikulskiSenior Editor, Auto
  • 3+ years producing insurance and personal finance content

  • Main architect of the Insurify Quality Score

Courtney’s deep personal finance knowledge extends beyond insurance to credit cards, consumer lending, and banking. She thrives on creating actionable content.

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Updated April 22, 2024

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When purchasing a car insurance policy, you can choose between a six-month or a 12-month term. Opting for six months of car insurance coverage benefits both you and the insurance company.

A six-month policy gives car insurance companies two chances each year to re-evaluate drivers’ rates based on market or individual factors. As a result, you may also see lower rates sooner if you have a clean driving record.

A six-month policy also allows you to switch insurers when your policy term ends, which may be beneficial if you’re unsatisfied with your current car insurance policy or want lower rates.

What is six-month car insurance coverage?

A six-month auto insurance policy refers to the length of a driver’s auto insurance policy. With a six-month auto policy, you pay an insurer a premium — either monthly or up front — and the insurer provides car insurance coverage for six months.

After your six-month policy term ends, your insurance company will re-evaluate and adjust your premiums based on your claim history, driving record, and other factors.[1]

In contrast, a 12-month policy is active for a year. A shorter policy term allows insurers to assess your risk as a driver and adjust your rates more often.

For example, if you’re at fault in an accident during your six-month coverage, your insurer can calculate that incident in your premium at the end of a six-month policy instead of the end of a 12-month policy. This means that a driver with a bad driving history may prefer to opt for annual coverage.

Learn More: The 10 Best Car Insurance Companies

Cheapest recent rates

Drivers using Insurify have found quotes as cheap as $36/mo for liability only and $39/mo for full coverage.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on April 22, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from April 22, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on April 22, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from April 22, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

How much does a six-month car insurance policy cost?

The average six-month car insurance premium is approximately $1,468, or $244 a month, for a full-coverage insurance policy and $1,008, or $168 a month, for a liability-only insurance policy. Here’s how much car insurance companies quote for a six-month policy.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote: Full CoverageAverage Monthly Quote: Liability Only
Erie$132$107
USAA$152$106
Travelers$172$131
State Farm$175$125
GEICO$178$125
Nationwide$182$167
Allstate$212$146
American Family$227$158
Progressive$238$161
The Hartford$248$206
Liberty Mutual$284$198
Kemper$294$152
Farmers$316$218
Dairyland$354$185
Bristol West$375$239
CSAA$379$266
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.

Six-month car insurance vs. annual car insurance: Which is better?

While the differences between a six-month and an annual policy are marginal, you may prefer one over the other.

With a six-month policy, your insurer can change your premiums every six months. So, if you’re unhappy with your rate or aren’t receiving satisfactory service, you can switch car insurance companies after your policy term is over without paying possible cancellation fees.

With a six-month policy, you can also see lower rates sooner if a traffic violation fell off your record. However, you may also see an increase in rates if you get another driving violation or file a claim.[2]

With a 12-month policy, you get fixed rates for the entire year. If your auto insurance rates are already affordable and you’re happy with your current company, you may not mind renewing your current policy.

A 12-month term may benefit drivers who prefer managing their auto insurance policies as little as possible. With this term length, you only need to keep track of renewing your policy and premium changes once a year.

When six-month car insurance makes sense

If you’d like the flexibility to switch providers and get better rates, you can save up to hundreds of dollars by shopping for car insurance every six months.

If you expect your risk profile to change in the next six months, you may benefit from a shorter policy length.

For example, your age influences your policy’s premium. When you turn 25, your premiums may decrease significantly, given you have a clean driving history. If you turn 25 in the next six months, consider a six-month policy to get a potential rate reduction at renewal.

Six-month car insurance is also suitable if you expect an increase in your credit score, improvements to your driving history, or old traffic infractions to fall off your record in the next six months, which could lower your rates.

Keep in Mind

If you finance your car, your lender may require collision and comprehensive coverage, making your insurance rates costlier.[3] If you expect to pay off your car loan in the following six months, you may want to remove those coverages at renewal. However, removing these coverages generally isn’t advisable unless you have an older car.

Car insurance for six months lets you search for new coverage options and compare rates sooner than a 12-month policy would.

When 12-month car insurance makes sense

A 12-month car insurance policy may be optimal if you expect your situation to stay the same and prefer to lock in your premiums for the year. If you’re busy, you may prefer a 12-month policy so you don’t have to keep up with premium changes, shop for new rates, and renew your coverage as often.

Six-month car insurance pros and cons

A six-month car insurance policy may be ideal for many drivers, but it has drawbacks. Here are some pros and cons of a six-month car insurance policy term.

Pros
  • A six-month policy allows you to change insurers if you’re unsatisfied with the service or want to shop for better rates without paying a cancellation fee.

  • With bi-annual rate calculations, you might see reduced rates sooner if your risk profile improves in the next six months.

Cons
  • Your rates may increase sooner if you get into an accident or receive moving violations within six months of your policy renewal.[2]

  • You must keep track of premium increases and pay for your policy at renewal, or you risk losing coverage.

Factors that can affect your rates for six-month car insurance

Choosing a six-month or 12-month car insurance policy won’t affect your rates. But insurance companies consider various factors when determining your premiums, including:[1]

  • Age: Generally, the older you are and the more experience you have on the road, the lower your premium. Teenagers tend to pay the most expensive rates.

  • Gender: Men are statistically more likely to engage in risky driving activity and be involved in a fatal collision than women, so their insurance premiums are usually higher.[4]

  • Location: If your area has a history of claims related to theft, accidents, and weather-related damages, you may pay higher premiums.

  • Driving record: A driver with traffic violations and accidents on their profile may see higher rates due to increased risk.

  • Credit history: Insurers in most states can use your credit score to predict your likelihood of filing a claim. The higher your credit score is, the lower your rates may be.[5]

  • Make, model, and age of your vehicle: The type of vehicle you own, including its age, affects the cost of your policy. Specialty vehicles may have higher replacement costs and increased susceptibility to accidents or break-ins, which may mean expensive premiums.

  • Policy coverage: The more coverage you have, the more you’ll pay for your policy. Additionally, the higher your deductible is, the less you’ll pay in premiums and vice versa.

See More: Car Insurance Calculator: Estimate Your Coverage Rates

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Six-month car insurance FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about six-month car insurance policies.

  • Why do insurers offer six-month car insurance policies?

    Insurance companies prefer six-month car insurance policies because they can assess and adjust your car insurance rates more frequently.

  • Do all insurance companies offer six-month car insurance?

    Most insurers offer six-month car insurance policies, but some also offer 12-month policies.

  • Should you pay your six-month car insurance premiums monthly or in full?

    It depends. You should pay your entire car insurance bill if you can afford it, as many insurance companies will offer a discount for paying in full. But if you can’t pay your entire policy up front, you can still pay in monthly installments.

  • Is a six-month car insurance policy right for you?

    A six-month car insurance policy may be right for you if you want the flexibility to change providers sooner or you expect a rate decrease and want it to reflect in your policy in six months instead of a year.

Sources

  1. III. "What determines the price of an auto insurance policy?."
  2. III. "Do auto insurance premiums go up after a claim?."
  3. III. "Auto insurance basics—understanding your coverage."
  4. IIHS. "Males and females."
  5. Experian. "Which States Prohibit or Restrict the Use of Credit-Based Insurance Scores?."
Alani Asis
Alani Asis

Alani Asis is a personal finance freelance writer with nearly three years of experience in content creation. She has landed bylines with leading publications and brands like Insider, Fortune, LendingTree, and more. Alani aims to make personal finance approachable through fun, relatable, and digestible content.

Courtney Mikulski
Edited byCourtney MikulskiSenior Editor, Auto
Courtney Mikulski
Courtney MikulskiSenior Editor, Auto
  • 3+ years producing insurance and personal finance content

  • Main architect of the Insurify Quality Score

Courtney’s deep personal finance knowledge extends beyond insurance to credit cards, consumer lending, and banking. She thrives on creating actionable content.

Featured in

media logomedia logo

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