Long-Term Car Insurance: How to Choose It and Save Money

Long-term car insurance is simply a standard one-year car insurance policy. Most insurers offer this type of policy, and it's less expensive than shorter term policies.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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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®

UPDATED: May 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Long-term car insurance is simply a one-year policy
  • Long-term policies are less expensive than short-term ones
  • In most cases, a long-term policy is the better choice


Long-term car insurance is simply a standard one-year car insurance policy. Most insurers offer this type of policy.

Get free online car insurance quotes by entering your ZIP code now.

However, there are companies out there who offer six-month policies and other types of short term car insurance to meet the specific needs of drivers who only need coverage for a short period of time.

Is long-term insurance a good idea?

Short-term car insurance exists to meet the needs of individuals in very specific situations. For the most part, people tend to need car insurance for at least a year at a time.

Long-term car insurance is much more cost-effective than short-term car insurance. If you get quotes on both and compare, the daily or monthly cost of each type of coverage is typically very different, with long-term policies offering lower averages.

Even if you have a short-term need for insurance, like if you expect to move within the next 6 months, you may want to invest in long term car insurance that you pay monthly and cancel the policy mid-term rather than opt for costly short-term car insurance.

Pay-as-you-go car insurance options are starting to be offered by some companies. Compare prices and cancellation fees before making your choice.

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Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

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Free Car Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

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What can you do to save money on your automobile insurance premiums?

You can save on the cost of long term car insurance by being deliberate about your car, your driving record and decisions you make about insurance.

  • Take care of your driving record. It is the most important factor when it comes to insurance cost. Therefore, you need to drive cautiously to avoid accidents and tickets. This can result in no claims bonus discounts with some providers.
  • When buying a car, take the time to learn how much it will cost to insure. Some cars are more expensive to insure than others because of the type of car it is, or the cost of parts for it.
  • The way you use your car can also impact the cost of insurance. When possible, avoid using it for business purposes, as this will raise the cost of coverage. You should also limit the number of miles you use it each year. Low mileage discounts may be available.
  • Understand how adjustments in your coverage can save on your long-term insurance coverage. By raising your deductibles on collision and comprehensive coverage you can save significantly on your annual premium.

Learn about the types of discounts offered by different insurance companies serving your area. Some companies offer many, while others offer few.

Discounts on your premium can be earned for a variety of things:

  • Belonging to certain groups
  • Insuring multiple cars on the same policy
  • Having other types of insurance coverage with the same company
  • Having certain safety features factory installed on your car

Comparing Quotes on Long Term Car Insurance

Most car insurance policies are issued for a period of one year. However, there are insurers who happen to offer six-month policies.

These companies often do so to appeal to those who are hurriedly looking for a bargain because many people simply assume the length of the policy is the same as others.

When you are shopping around for car insurance, it is important to check the duration of the quotes you receive.

You should also check out the companies you receive quotes from when looking for car insurance. You want to take out a policy with a company that is financially stable and has a reputation for treating its customers fairly.

To learn about the financial stability of a company, get its rating from one of the independent insurance ratings companies like A.M. Best  or Standard & Poor’s.

These companies give a letter grade to insurers based on their ability to meet financial obligations now and in the future.

To learn about how an insurer treats customers, check with your state department of insurance, which keeps data on complaints made against insurers operating in the state.

You can also do an online search to find out what consumers say about their experience with a specific insurance company. Reviews and complaints about a company can be very revealing.

Get a variety of car insurance quotes by typing in your ZIP code now.

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