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

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

A.M. Steinbach
Written byA.M. Steinbach
A.M. Steinbach
A.M. SteinbachInsurance Writer
  • Full-time writer for 5+ years

  • Two-time Emmy Award nominee

A Harvard graduate, Mark has worked as a freelance personal finance and tech writer. He’s also written for Saturday Night Live.

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Danny Smith
Edited byDanny Smith
Photo of an Insurify author
Danny Smith
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 4+ years in content creation and marketing

As Insurify’s home and pet insurance editor, Danny also specializes in auto insurance. His goal is to help consumers navigate the complex world of insurance buying.

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Updated May 28, 2024

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Cheapest recent rates in Washington

Recent Washington car insurance prices for Hyundai, GMC, Honda , and more.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users from Washington within the last 10 days. Last updated on May 28, 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 May 28, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users from Washington within the last 10 days. Last updated on May 28, 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 May 28, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

Most car insurance companies in Washington offer car insurance policies in six-month and 12-month terms. But what if you only need car insurance for a shorter period of time? Drivers in Washington who need temporary car insurance still have coverage options.

On average, Washington drivers pay $136 per month for car insurance. Always make sure to compare car insurance quotes from multiple companies before buying a new policy.

Quick Facts
  • The average monthly cost of a liability-only policy in Washington is $85 per month.

  • Drivers should be wary of Washington car insurance companies that advertise policies for durations of less than than six months in length.

  • Uninsured drivers in Washington can face fines of up to $550.

Is temporary car insurance available in Washington?

Reputable insurance companies in Washington, like State Farm and Allstate, don’t offer temporary car insurance. These companies typically offer car insurance in six- and 12-month terms.

If you see a company offering car insurance policies shorter than six months, proceed carefully. Companies advertising car insurance for only a month or a week are often a scam or provide inadequate insurance coverage.

Still, Washington drivers have options when looking for reputable coverage over a short period of time. Before buying such a policy, assess your needs. Are you borrowing a car from a friend? Renting a car for a short trip? Or only occasionally driving a car you own? Answering these questions can help you pick an effective temporary insurance option.

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Getting non-owner car insurance in Washington

Borrowing a friend’s car for a short road trip or just a day are common situations that might call for temporary car insurance. Driving someone else’s car comes with risks, even if it’s just for a day. If you cause an accident and need to file a claim, the owner’s liability coverage might not apply, leaving you on the hook for massive out-of-pocket costs.

That’s why Washington drivers looking for temporary car insurance policies should consider purchasing non-owner car insurance, which offers bodily injury liability insurance and property damage insurance to drivers who don’t own a car but occasionally drive another person’s car.

Your non-owner coverage is usually at state minimums, though you can add more coverage if you’d like. In most cases, these policies run for the standard six or 12 months, depending on the insurer.

Good to Know

Non-owner car insurance is less robust than standard full-coverage car insurance because it doesn’t include collision coverage or comprehensive coverage. This means damages you cause to the borrowed vehicle aren’t covered.

Non-owner coverage is often cheaper than standard insurance policies, though this varies based on common insurance rating factors such as your driving record, age, and location.

People who borrow friends’ cars on a regular basis should consider purchasing non-owner car insurance. The same goes for drivers who frequently rent vehicles. You may even want to consider a non-owner policy if you have your license but don’t drive or own a car. This will keep you from having a gap in coverage that might concern insurers when you do start driving.

If you frequently borrow a family member’s vehicle, you might not need non-owner car insurance. Instead, you can simply have your family member add you to their policy.

Canceling your policy early in Washington

You’re not locked into your car insurance policy for the entire term. Most car insurance companies allow you to cancel your policy before the end of the term. You’ll likely have to pay a cancellation fee, though you won’t have to pay your remaining monthly premiums.

Before canceling, be sure to line up your next policy. You’ll want to time the cancelation so that there’s no lapse in coverage between your previous policy and your new policy. People in Washington who drive without proof of insurance can face fines of up to $550. You must show your auto insurance ID card when a police officer pulls you over.[1]

Then, canceling your policy is pretty simple. Just call your insurance agent, who may ask you to submit a written cancellation request. Depending on the company, you may have to pay a cancellation fee. Most fees are under $100, or 10% to 15% of the sum of your remaining premium.[2] 

Keep in Mind

If you’re only borrowing a friend’s car for a month or so, purchasing a standard policy and canceling early might be the best option. Look for auto insurance companies that don’t have cancellation fees. And be sure that a month of standard car insurance is cheaper than just purchasing non-owner insurance.

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

Before you purchase short-term or temporary car insurance in Washington, you should compare prices from a wide range of car insurance companies in order to find the best deal. The table below lists the cheapest car insurance companies for short-term car insurance in Washington, as well as their average monthly quote and Insurify Quality (IQ) score.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Thursday, May 16 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 Farm554.6
USAA564.7
Direct Auto633.6
GEICO684.4
Allstate734.4
Safeco744.2
National General793.4
Midvale Home & Auto814.0
American Family834.5
Nationwide864.4
The General903.6
Chubb933.2
Farmers974.2
Travelers1134.5
Foremost1193.7
Dairyland1233.5
Bristol West1352.6
Liberty Mutual1483.9
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.

How much other Insurify users in Washington pay

Drivers in and around Washington have found policies from Bristol West, Direct Auto, Nationwide, and more, through Insurify in the last few days.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on May 28, 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 May 28, 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 May 28, 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 May 28, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

Car insurance for students in Washington

Students in Washington should first contact their current insurance company before heading off to college. Then, ask your insurance agent if the company offers policies in Washington. If the company operates in Washington, you can keep your current policy.

If the company isn’t a licensed insurance company in Washington, you’ll have to find a new car insurance company. You should look for companies that offer student discounts. Then, consider canceling this new policy once the semester ends. In that case, finding a company with no cancellation fee might be a good idea.

Of course, you can also decide not to bring your car with you to school. Many car insurance companies offer student away-at-school discounts for drivers who leave their car at home while enrolled at school. Using this discount is a good option for students who don’t want to bring their car but don’t want to cancel their auto policy.

You may also decide to cancel your policy while at school. If you were on your parents’ insurance, they could remove you from their existing policy. Then, you can purchase non-owner car insurance or rental car insurance for those occasional weekend road trips with classmates where you have to get behind the wheel.

Temporary car insurance in Washington FAQs

If you’re looking for temporary car insurance in Washington state, this additional information may help you decide which coverage is right for you.

  • Can you get temporary insurance in Washington?

    Most major insurers in Washington offer policies that last at least six months. Car insurance companies advertising shorter policies may not be reputable.

    Washington drivers who need car insurance for a short period of time should consider purchasing non-owner car insurance or rental car insurance, depending on the situation. Or, you can purchase a six-month policy and cancel once you no longer need insurance.

  • Is temporary car insurance legit?

    Companies advertising temporary car insurance — meaning car insurance for just a month, week, or even a day — may not be legitimate. Do your research and look into customer reviews to ensure the company isn’t a scam or offering inadequate coverage. Driving without adequate coverage in Washington can lead to fines and a license suspension.

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

    No. When you purchase a new vehicle, you get a short new-car grace period, in which you’re offered temporary coverage to hold you over while your car insurance company moves coverage from your old car to your new car. In Washington, this period lasts at most one month.[3]

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

    Drivers in Washington must have car insurance to drive legally. Drivers without proof of insurance will face a fine of up to $550. If a police officer pulls you over, you must be able to show the officer a valid auto insurance ID. Providing false auto insurance identification is a misdemeanor.[1]

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. Washington State Department of Licensing. "Mandatory insurance."
  2. Cnbc.com. "How To Cancel Car Insurance."
  3. Washington State Legislature. "Grace period."
A.M. Steinbach
A.M. SteinbachInsurance Writer

A.M. is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and content marketing strategist who's worked with major brands in insurance, tech, finance, and healthcare. He also contributes to The Average Joe, a personal finance newsletter that reaches over 250,000 daily readers. Since 2019, he's written for Insurify, breaking down a diverse range of insurance topics into crisp, readable prose.

Danny Smith
Edited byDanny Smith
Photo of an Insurify author
Danny Smith
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 4+ years in content creation and marketing

As Insurify’s home and pet insurance editor, Danny also specializes in auto insurance. His goal is to help consumers navigate the complex world of insurance buying.

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Compare Car Insurance Quotes Instantly

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