How long does auto insurance last?

How long auto insurance lasts depends on the term length of your policy Most auto insurance coverage lasts for either six or 12 months. The national average is $1,030/year or $515 for a car insurance policy that lasts six months. Auto insurance does not last after cancellation, but ends on that date.

UPDATED: Sep 6, 2022Fact Checked

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Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. She also specializes in sustai...

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Written by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert Melanie Musson

Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
Licensed Agent Cynthia Lanctot

UPDATED: Sep 6, 2022

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How long does auto insurance last? Your auto insurance company will tell you the length of time, in months, that your coverage is good for. When you get a quote, the length of the policy should be listed somewhere nearby. Unless you have temporary car insurance, you can expect your policy term to be at least six months. That means the average car insurance per month lasts for six months before you will need to renew it.

Maybe you’re looking for auto insurance and you want to know how long you’ll pay for coverage. Before we help you learn more, enter your ZIP code in the free comparison tool above to find rates in your area.

How long can auto insurance last?

How long are car insurance policies? Coverage can last six months or 12 months, depending on the company. Some of the largest insurance companies have six-month policies. However, it’s not uncommon for companies to offer 12-month auto insurance policies either.

Once you purchase a policy, you commit to the length of auto insurance coverage. It’s not likely that you’ll find a three-month policy or a month-long policy. If you’re from the U.K. and you’ve managed to find our article, we can inform you that auto insurance policies in the United Kingdom usually last for one year.

What about auto insurance companies? Geico is known for its six-month policies, while Progressive auto insurance offers customers a 12-month policy. Each company will inform you about the duration of its policies.

Let’s look at the national average for auto insurance as a 12-month policy, a six-month policy, and a monthly premium.

National Average Auto Insurance Rates by Coverage Type
Coverage TypeAverage Annual
Auto Insurance Rates
Average Six-Month Auto Insurance RatesAverage Monthly
Auto Insurance Rates
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Full coverage is all of the coverage types combined. The only coverage required by law is liability insurance, but the cheapest is comprehensive coverage.

How long does auto insurance last after cancellation?

Once you cancel your auto insurance, you’re no longer covered. You’ll need to find coverage right away if you plan to drive. If you decide to cancel your car insurance policy before it expires, you could be penalized. Cancellation penalties are fines of $25 or more.

Some auto insurance companies will issue a short-rate fee.

According to the International Risk Management Institute (IRMI), a short-rate fee is a percentage of the total amount of your auto insurance policy. The average percentage for a short fee is 10 percent of the total policy rate.

How long does temporary car insurance last? Temporary auto insurance options like usage-based insurance can last as long as you need it. However, you won’t receive the same benefits as a standard car insurance policy.

How long do auto insurance quotes and claims last?

It takes about 15 to 30 minutes to get a quote online. However, car insurance claims are extended to months and years.

When you file a claim, it could take up to 90 days to resolve. That includes investigation, compensation, and resolving injuries and property damage. If you haven’t filed a claim, you must do so within the statute of limitations. According to Find Law, each state carries a unique statute of limitations. It’s in your best interest to file a claim as soon as possible.

Get a car insurance quote right now from our free comparison tool and avoid civil liability suits. Enter your ZIP code to compare auto insurance companies in your area.

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When does auto insurance go down after an accident?

The following video explains how auto insurance works and what to do if you get into an accident.

How long does it take for car insurance to go down, and how long does a car accident stay on your insurance record? These two questions are intertwined because auto insurance companies only look back two to three years. Therefore, you won’t see any decreases in your auto insurance rates for at least two years.

Auto Insurance Companies That Only Look Back Two to Three Years

Here’s a list of known companies that look back two to three years.

  • Geico
  • Progressive
  • Safeco
  • AAA

Two to three years is the same amount of time that accidents stay on your driving record. However, traffic violations, like speeding tickets, vary by state. States like Pennsylvania will hold speeding tickets on your record for one year.

How Long Can Auto Insurance Last: The Bottom Line

How long do car insurance policies last? It all depends on the company policy. Any car insurance quote or agent should tell you how long your policy will be. Also, the duration of the policy will affect your car insurance rates per month.

The sooner you file a claim, the faster you can get a car inspection and compensation for damages. How long does car inspection last? Car inspections can take up to 15 minutes, and they’re vital to assessing the cost when you file a claim.

How long does an accident affect your insurance? An accident can affect your coverage for up to three years. Your car insurance company will increase your rates once they discover you have an accident on your record. However, car insurance discounts can offset the accident on your driving record.

Enter your ZIP code into our free comparison tool below to compare auto insurance that lasts for six or 12 months right now.

Frequently Asked Questions: How long does auto insurance last?

#1 – Does the insurance rate decrease after six months?

You’re likely to receive an increase in rates after six months. If you happen to reach the three-year mark with the same insurance company, you could receive cheaper insurance rates.

#2 – What happens when your auto insurance policy ends?

Once your car insurance policy ends, you will no longer be insured. You’ll have the option to renew or search for another insurance company.

#3 – Does insurance go down at 21 years old?

Yes. You’ll still be considered a risky driver, but your coverage will be cheaper than it was when you initially purchased it.

#4 – How long does an accident stay on your insurance at State Farm?

An accident will stay on your record for up to three years with State Farm.

#5 – Do you pay for the last month of auto insurance?

All car insurance payments are made in advance. Your last month of auto insurance will be paid for before it starts.

#6 – How long do auto insurance policies last?

Car insurance policies typically last six or 12 months, depending on the company.

#7 – Does auto insurance go down after five years?

Yes. If you maintain a clean driving record, improve your credit score, or keep your policy as you get older, your car insurance rate will decrease.

#8 – Can you drive your car the day your insurance expires?

You can, but it’s not safe to drive your car uninsured.

#9 – What auto insurance companies only go back three years?

Geico, AAA, Progressive, and Safeco only look back three years on your record.

#10 – Can I cancel my auto insurance if I pay monthly?

Yes. You can cancel your car insurance whenever you need to, but you could be penalized for canceling early.



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