Temporary Car Insurance in New York: What You Need to Know (2023)

A normal car insurance policy in New York lasts for six months. Travelers provides the cheapest six-month policies in New York.

Updated May 17, 2023

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Car insurance in New York is a short-term commitment, with most policies lasting a single year. After that year ends, you have the option to renew your policy for another year or cancel and switch to a different auto insurance company.

On average, annual car insurance policies in New York cost $466 per month for full coverage and $447 for minimum coverage. But if you don’t want to commit to a car insurance policy for an entire year, you might be able to buy a temporary policy instead. Here’s what you should know about getting temporary car insurance in New York.

Quick Facts
  • New York car insurance policies typically last six or 12 months.

  • If you don’t own a car, you can purchase nonowner car insurance coverage to cover you when you borrow vehicles.

  • You can cancel your policy at any time, but it’s important to have another policy to replace it to avoid coverage gaps.

Is temporary car insurance available in New York?

Car insurance companies in New York don’t typically advertise temporary car insurance. If you hear the term “temporary car insurance,” it usually refers to a policy that lasts for six months instead of a year.

Most insurers don’t sell policies shorter than six months. This ensures the company will receive payment for at least six months and also reduces the risk that customers will drive while uninsured.

But if you need coverage for a shorter period of time, some options are available for less than six months.

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Getting nonowner car insurance in New York

Nonowner car insurance is a policy for individuals who don’t own a vehicle but occasionally drive other peoples’ cars. It provides only the minimum amount of coverage required in the state, and it won’t cover physical damage if you cause an accident in the borrowed vehicle and file a claim.

“You might consider this policy if you borrow cars for short periods of time, rent cars often, or use a car-sharing service,” says Young Pham, co-founder of Bizreport, an online business and finance magazine.

You may also need a nonowner car insurance policy to reinstate your driver’s license.

However, if you own a personal vehicle that’s registered in your name, you won’t be eligible for nonowner coverage in New York. You must have at least a minimum-coverage policy to legally drive your vehicle in the Empire State.

Depending on your insurance company, you can get nonowner car insurance for six months or one year.

Canceling your policy early in New York

If you’re looking for short-term car insurance, another option is to purchase a regular car insurance policy and cancel it early.

You might decide to cancel your policy if you’re unhappy with your coverage level or you have issues with your insurer’s customer service. You might also consider canceling your policy to find cheaper coverage.

If you decide to cancel your car insurance policy, you should let your insurance company know as soon as possible. You may need to submit an official letter of cancellation. Depending on when you cancel, you might also have to pay a fee. But if you paid your premium in full, you should receive a refund for the unused coverage.

Keep in mind that if you cancel your car insurance policy, you’re still required to purchase a new policy if you’re going to continue driving your vehicle. Driving without car insurance is illegal, and you can face a number of consequences.

Important Information

In New York, your license and registration will be suspended for one year if you cause an accident while driving uninsured. You also have to pay a fee to get your license and registration reinstated.[1]

Learn More: How to Cancel Your Car Insurance

Learn More: How to Cancel Your Car Insurance

Getting car insurance for a rental car in New York

You might also be looking into temporary car insurance in New York if you need a rental car.

Most personal car insurance policies provide the same coverage when you rent a vehicle. So, if you have a full-coverage policy with comprehensive and collision insurance, those coverages will apply to any car you’re renting.

However, if you don’t have a personal car insurance policy, you’ll need to purchase coverage from the rental car company. Most rental contracts come with liability coverage, but you can usually pay extra to get physical damage protection or roadside assistance.

Additionally, some credit card companies provide rental car insurance. Before you rent a car, see if your credit card includes rental car benefits. If so, you might not need to pay for a separate rental car insurance policy.[2]

Best car insurance companies for short-term car insurance in New York

Before you purchase temporary car insurance in New York, it’s a good idea to compare rates from several different insurance companies. In the table below, you can see the average premiums for a six-month car insurance policy from some of the best car insurance companies in New York.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly QuoteInsurify Quality (IQ) Score 
Midvale Home & Auto$3463.2
Bristol West$7972.2
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.
  • Insurify uses an in-house, proprietary method to rate and review the best car insurance companies. The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 crucial criteria, including average premiums, customer satisfaction, discounts, third-party ratings, and more, to calculate a final score for a company.

    Criteria are weighted by importance to the consumer — factors such as customer reviews and affordability influence the score more than availability and third-party ratings. With the IQ Score, Insurify is able to provide quantitative ratings for drivers to better compare car insurance companies and make informed decisions to meet their coverage needs.


Data scientists at Insurify analyzed more than 40 million real-time auto insurance rates from our partner providers across the United States to compile the car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations displayed on this page. The car insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers' vehicles, driving records, and demographic information. Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Services’ database of auto insurance rates. With this data, Insurify is able to offer drivers insight into how companies price their car insurance premiums. The data included on this page represents averages across all driver ages, genders, credit scores, and driver profiles for New York drivers.

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Car insurance for students in New York 

Students who are moving to another state for college can also benefit from short-term car insurance.

If you’re starting college in New York and intend to bring your vehicle to campus, you’ll need to contact your car insurance company before you move. If your insurer issues policies in New York, you can stay with the same company and simply update your coverage to meet the state’s minimum insurance requirements.

However, if your car insurance company isn’t licensed in New York, you’ll need to switch insurance companies. Before you purchase a policy, shop around and get quotes to see which insurer can offer you the lowest rate. You can also look for companies that offer discounts for students and young drivers.

If you’re the parent of a child who is moving to New York for school and will no longer be driving your car, you might decide to remove them from your policy. If your child has their own car insurance policy, they’ll be covered if they drive your vehicle.

Another option is to keep your child insured on your policy and ask your insurer if it offers a student away-at-school discount. This discount is typically available for students who attend school at least 100 miles away from home and don’t bring a car with them to campus. Your child will remain insured, but you’ll save some money on your premium.

Temporary car insurance in New York FAQs

If you still have questions about buying a short-term car insurance policy, here’s some additional information that might be helpful.

  • Can you get temporary insurance in New York?

    Yes. Most car insurance companies in New York sell six-month or 12-month policies. You probably won’t find any insurers that offer weekly or monthly policies.

    If you own a vehicle and want coverage for less than six months, you might consider purchasing a standard policy and canceling it early. If you don’t have a car but occasionally borrow other peoples’ cars, look into a nonowner policy.

  • Is temporary car insurance legit?

    Yes. Temporary car insurance isn’t something that many insurance companies offer, though. If you see an insurer selling temporary car insurance, it usually means it offers six-month policies. Major insurance companies in New York don’t offer weekly or monthly car insurance, making six months the shortest policy period available.

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

    For a limited time, yes. Many car insurance policies have a grace period, which allows you to drive a new vehicle without adding it to your car insurance policy right away. This grace period is usually around 30 days.

    During the grace period, the new vehicle is covered under your existing policy. However, you must add your new car to your policy before the grace period ends to avoid driving while uninsured.

  • How long can you go without car insurance in New York?

    Car insurance is a legal requirement in New York. If you get caught driving without car insurance, you’ll face penalties. In addition to fines, your driver’s license and registration may be suspended until you provide proof of insurance.


  1. New York DMV. "Auto Liability Insurance." Accessed May 15, 2023
  2. Bank of America. "Do I need to add insurance when renting a car?." Accessed May 15, 2023
Elizabeth Rivelli
Elizabeth Rivelli

Elizabeth Rivelli is a freelance writer covering insurance and personal finance. She has extensive knowledge of various insurance lines, including property and casualty, health, and life insurance. Her byline has been featured in dozens of publications, including Investopedia, Forbes, Bankrate, NextAdvisor, and Insurance.com