Why do some car insurance companies only write six-month policies?

Six-month car insurance policies can be beneficial to both drivers and insurance companies. Shorter policies can help companies assess the risk posed by the driver and then adjust rates accordingly.

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UPDATED: Jun 2, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: Jun 2, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know...

  • Insurance companies must determine the level of risk for potential customers
  • Six-month policies can be beneficial to both drivers and insurance companies
  • Find the best six-month policy for your needs by comparing several quotes

If you’re asking what your options are when it comes to your auto insurance policy, there’s some good news in that you have more than one way you can set things up. When you are searching for car insurance, you may wonder why some car insurance companies only offer six-month policies while others offer a 12-month auto insurance policy.

Since the concept of auto insurance is unfamiliar to many people, the internet is abuzz with searches from users looking for clarification on complex topics. You may be questioning your current insurer and what they’ve offered you, or you’re curious about the difference between six-month and 12-month car insurance policies.

One question that comes up again and again relates to the duration of the term of coverage at certain auto insurance companies.

Read on to learn why some auto insurers only offer a six-month auto insurance policy.

If you’re looking for six-month or even 12-month auto insurance quotes, be sure to enter your ZIP code for your free car insurance comparison. Comparison shopping is a great way to save on insurance costs as well as find the best terms of auto insurance rates on the current market.

Six-Month Auto Insurance Policies

Auto insurance companies are looking to make a profit. Some companies cater to drivers with good driving records to keep the level of risk low and the profits high.

Other companies cover drivers with more questionable records or habits at higher premiums.

The latter may employ different methods to keep their level of risk as low as possible given the circumstances.

A shorter policy term can serve these companies well by providing them with more opportunities to assess the level of risk posed by each driver and to adjust rates accordingly. This means that there’s a smaller period of time that they have to wait in order to get payment for the entirety of someone’s policy.

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Why Six-Month Policies Work for the Auto Insurance Industry

How does six-month auto insurance work? If the driver, or anyone listed on his policy, has had an accident in the last six months, the premiums are likely to rise. The same holds true if someone gets a traffic ticket.

If you filed a claim during the previous six months, that could negatively affect your premiums as well.

With a six-month policy, all the factors that go into the risk analysis can be computed two times per year instead of just once.

The extra analysis could potentially save the auto insurance company a lot of money by keeping a more accurate assessment of risk.

Why Six-Month Policies Can Work for Drivers

A six-month policy can work for the driver as well. If a driver maintains a good or excellent driving record, his premiums could be lower in the second half of the year than they were in the first.

Those six-month policies also cut the year’s payments in two, thus making each chunk more manageable.

If money is tight, it can be advantageous to pay two smaller payments instead of a single large one annually. Of course, many insurers offer monthly payment plans too. Consider this as an added incentive to keep a clean driving record.

Getting Quotes From Many Different Auto Insurance Companies

Auto insurance companies differ widely when it comes to the policy details and premiums they assign to their drivers. Especially because drivers themselves have various factors which determine how they can pay for their coverage. This is why both six-month and 12-month car insurance policies exist, and why one works better in some cases.

However, as mentioned above, you may often see six-month policies when looking for an insurance quote because they often work to the advantage of the company. This is why shopping online and looking at various quotes can be of some benefit.

Online quote comparison tools make it easy for a prospective policyholder to evaluate these different policies against each other to see which one is best for that driver’s unique circumstances.

By inputting personal information, a driver will see clear, comprehensive results that give all the information needed to make an educated decision about auto insurance coverage.

The online quote comparison process is quick and easy, yielding results that will save drivers money on coverage that is personalized to their needs and circumstances. However, doing things online isn’t for everyone, so if you’d feel safer speaking with a licensed insurance agent, that’s also an option.

If you need to compare insurance companies to browse six-month auto policy offerings, we do offer a free online comparison tool that can help you. All you need to do is enter your ZIP code.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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