Pas Trustednews – Six-Month Car Insurance: Cost Guide (2023)

What Is Six-Month Car Insurance?

Six-month car insurance refers to the policy period, or the length of time your policy is in effect. Most companies offer policies that last for six months before renewal, though some insurers offer 12-month policies. If you have a six-month policy, your insurance company will re-evaluate your risk and calculate your car insurance premium accordingly every six months.

What Is Temporary Insurance?

You may see six-month insurance referred to as “temporary” or “short-term” insurance, but that’s a little misleading. No major car insurance companies offer temporary insurance, but you can keep a car insured for a short period of time by buying a six-month policy and canceling it when you’re done driving. Be aware that you may be subject to cancellation fees or other penalties for terminating your contract.

If you don’t drive very often, consider pay-per-mile insurance. If you don’t own a vehicle, non-owner car insurance could be an option.

How Does a Six-Month Insurance Policy Work?

Six-month and 12-month auto insurance policies work essentially the same way. If a company offers both types of policies, you’ll select the one you prefer when getting a quote. Once you purchase your insurance policy, coverage will last for the amount of time you selected.

You may have the option to pay your entire insurance premium up front or in monthly installments. Some insurance companies offer a discount for paying your premium in full up front. Depending on the kinds of car insurance discounts you qualify for, you may be able to reduce your car insurance rates even more.

Beyond that, six- and 12-month policies operate in the same ways. During the policy term, whether it’s six months or a full year, your car is protected under the coverage you purchased.

Six-Month Car Insurance Policy: Pros and Cons

Six-month insurance policies tend to be the most common option, but there are some instances in which it might make more sense to purchase annual insurance instead. In the sections below, we’ll look at the positives and negatives of a six-month policy.

Pros of a Six-Month Insurance Policy

Here are some of the pros of having a six-month car insurance policy:

  • Because providers reassess your risk every six months, the price of your insurance coverage could go down sooner. For example, if you have traffic violations that fall off your driving record before your current policy expires, you may see a cheaper premium when you renew.
  • Having your renewal date come up twice a year can be a great reminder to shop around with other providers. If you’re unhappy with your current provider, you can get car insurance quotes from other companies. If you like your provider, you can pare down or purchase additional coverage when you renew your policy.

Cons of a Six-Month Insurance Policy

Here are some of the cons of having a six-month car insurance policy:

  • You could see your premium increase. For instance, if you get into an at-fault accident during your six-month policy period, your coverage may cost a lot more when it comes time to renew. Additionally, you may lose out on savings from discounts. Some large insurers offer savings to new policyholders. If you have a 12-month car insurance policy, you’ll save more overall.
  • With a six-month policy, you have a higher risk of having a lapse in your insurance coverage. Having your renewal date every six months comes with the very human risk that you’ll simply forget to pay for a new term. This could lead to your insurer canceling your policy. A lapse in coverage could also lead to higher premiums when you renew or purchase a new policy.

Six-Month Policy Costs

The table below shows the average costs for a six-month auto insurance policy from some of the country’s largest providers. We used data provided by Quadrant Information Services to determine the cost of both minimum-liability and full-coverage policies. These averages are for the profile of a 35-year-old driver with good credit and a clean driving record.

Based on our rate averages, USAA tends to have the cheapest six-month insurance policies. But it’s important to note that USAA is only available for military members, veterans and their families. Six-month car insurance from Farmers is typically the most expensive.

*To find these average rates, we divided the annual policy averages in half.

Factors That Affect Car Insurance Costs

When insurance agents calculate your quote, they weigh several factors, including the ones below:

  • Location: Drivers in areas with statistically high rates of accidents and theft tend to pay more for auto insurance.
  • Age: Providers consider younger drivers to be higher risk, so they typically have higher insurance costs.
  • Driving record: Motorists with accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs or other violations in their driving history usually pay more for car insurance.
  • Credit history: Drivers with higher credit scores often pay lower rates than those with poor credit in most states.
  • Gender: Male drivers tend to get in more car accidents than female drivers, so they pay more for coverage in most states.
  • Marital status: Married drivers typically pay less for auto insurance.
  • Vehicle: New cars tend to be more expensive to insure.

The deductible you choose will also affect the cost of your auto coverage.

Should I Purchase a Six-Month Policy?

Car insurance costs are unique to each person, so only you can have an accurate idea of whether a six-month or a 12-month policy makes the most sense for you. If you have relatively basic insurance needs, you may prefer having a longer policy. If you know a traffic violation will be falling off of your record soon, purchasing a six-month policy will help you avoid locking in higher insurance rates.

The Bottom Line: Six-Month Car Insurance

Six-month car insurance policies are commonly offered by most major auto insurance companies. They’re helpful for people who may be eligible for lower rates when they renew their policies.

Top Auto Insurance Recommendations

Our team reviewed the top insurance companies on the market. We compared car insurance quotes, and we recommend starting with Progressive and Geico.

Progressive: Low Rates for High-Risk Drivers

Progressive is known for offering low rates for drivers with violations on their driving records. The company also has a well-reviewed telematics insurance program, Snapshot, that can help improve driving habits. After a period of time, Snapshot uses the data it collects to calculate a discount.

Keep reading: Progressive insurance review

Geico: Affordable for Most Drivers

Geico is the second-largest car insurance company in the nation. It has a reputation for offering lower-than-average rates and an easy claims process. Its financial strength rating from AM Best shows Geico shouldn’t have any problems covering claim payouts.

Keep reading: Geico insurance review

Six-Month Car Insurance: FAQ

Below are frequently asked questions about six-month car insurance.

Our Methodology

Because consumers rely on us to provide objective and accurate information, we created a comprehensive rating system to formulate our rankings of the best car insurance companies. We collected data on dozens of auto insurance providers to grade the companies on a wide range of ranking factors. The end result was an overall rating for each provider, with the insurers that scored the most points topping the list.

Here are the factors our ratings take into account:

  • Cost: Auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services and discount opportunities were both taken into consideration.
  • Coverage: Companies that offer a variety of choices for insurance coverage are more likely to meet consumer needs.
  • Reputation and experience: Our research team considered market share, ratings from industry experts and years in business when giving this score.
  • Availability: Auto insurance companies with greater state availability and few eligibility requirements scored highest in this category.
  • Customer experience: This score is based on volume of complaints reported by the NAIC and customer satisfaction ratings reported by J.D. Power. We also considered the responsiveness, friendliness and helpfulness of each insurance company’s customer service team based on our own shopper analysis.

Our credentials:

  • 800 hours researched
  • 45 companies reviewed
  • 8,500+ consumers surveyed

*Data accurate at time of publication.

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