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Ross Martin

Insurance Writer

  • 4+ years in the Insurance Industry

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

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Kristine Lee

Insurance Analyst

  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty
  • 4+ years of Experience in the Insurance Industry

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer. Before joining The Zebra, she was a…

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Beth Swanson

SEO Content Strategist

  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty

Beth joined The Zebra in 2022 as an Associate Content Strategist. She is a licensed insurance agent whose goal is to make insurance content easy to r…

Can you buy a 12-month car insurance policy?

Yes, you can buy a 12-month car insurance policy, but it may take a bit more searching to find the right company that offers it; the typical policy length for car insurance is six months.

In theory, an annual policy secures your car insurance rates and keeps your insurer from raising your premium for an entire year. But is it the best option for you? Well, it depends on your driving record, personal details, and insurance company.

Pros of an annual policy Cons of an annual policy
Possible paid-in-full discount Rate changes might feel higher
Rate consistency for a year Missed savings if rating factors improve
"Set it and forget it" approach Harder to find annual policies

How much does an annual auto insurance policy cost?

If a company does offer annual policies, you'll still need to meet eligibility requirements. Below are estimated prices for 12-month car insurance policies from well-known insurers (learn about our methodology). Remember that these rates are averages, so depending on your exact location and driving record, your premium will vary.

We've created the tables below to help you get a good idea of what year-long policies may cost from top insurance companies.

12-Month Car Insurance Rates by Insurance Company (Full Coverage)
Company Avg. Annual Premium
Erie $1,293
USAA $1,365
Infinity $1,771
Progressive $1,882
MetLife $2,212
The Hartford $2,407
12-Month Car Insurance Rates by Insurance Company (Minimum Coverage)
Company Avg. Annual Premium
USAA $434
Erie $504
Infinity $565
Progressive $692
The Hartford $735
MetLife $848

The Zebra’s Dynamic Insurance Rating Tool data methodology

The Zebra’s Dynamic Insurance Rating Tool for home and auto insurance rates utilizes the latest ZIP code-level rate filings from across the U.S., sourced from Quadrant Information Services and S&P Global. These filings, typically updated annually or biennially by insurers, are verified through Quadrant’s QA process and then integrated into The Zebra’s estimator.

The displayed rates are based on a dynamic home and auto profile designed to reflect the content of the page. This profile is tailored to match specific factors such as age, location, and coverage level, which are adjusted based on the page content to show how these variables can impact premiums.

For a comprehensive understanding, see our detailed methodology.

Which insurance companies offer 12-month policies?

Twelve-month car insurance policies aren't very common. We suggest you specifically ask for an annual policy duration during your quoting process, otherwise, most companies will default to a policy period of six months.

Below are some car insurance companies that offer 12-month policies.

There are some instances in which you might not be eligible for a 12-month policy from these insurance companies: if your state does not offer the program, or if you’re not eligible for coverage from the company — USAA only accepts military members and their families, while The Hartford only offers coverage for drivers over the age of 55.

Benefits of 12-month auto insurance

The primary benefit of an annual car insurance policy is that your rate is locked for an entire year, which is reassuring to some drivers. On a standard six-month policy, rates are revised every six months. Even if you didn’t have an accident or add or change vehicles or drivers, your rate can still increase due to a rate revision. 

Every year, an insurance company reviews its claims-to-revenue ratio to determine its premiums going forward. If your insurance company paid out more in claims than it earned in revenue during the previous period, it could charge higher premiums to offset this deficit.

pros and cons
zebra answering question

Q: But what is a rate revision?

A: A rate revision is when your insurer adjusts your premium at the end of a policy period. Insurers compare the previous year's claim payouts to their revenue and adjust prices accordingly. If the previous period resulted in a deficit, rates may be increased for the next policy period. You may see a lower rate issued, but this is fairly rare.

If you have a six-month insurance policy, you can see a revision twice per year (when you renew your policy). If you've opted for a 12-month policy, you can avoid a rate revision (other than changes you've made personally) until the following year.

What are the cons of an annual car insurance policy?

The decision is ultimately up to you, but we're here to help you evaluate both the advantages as well as the disadvantages. Let's take a look at the potential downsides of locking in your insurance pricing for 12 months so you can make the most educated decision possible.

auto policy
12-month policies can be hard to find

Many major insurance companies don't offer annual auto policies. Six-month policies are the standard in the insurance world since they allow insurance companies to recalculate rates more often. Some popular companies might offer yearly term lengths via their legacy policies, but you'll want to confirm this with your insurance company (or others you're considering) directly.

Your car insurance rates are locked in for a year

Whether this is truly a benefit depends on your situation. For example, accidents will usually cause drivers to be charged higher rates for three to five years afterward. Even if your violation penalty period expires in the middle of your policy, your insurance company won't remove this violation from your premium until your term is over.

In this scenario, you'd end up paying more for insurance coverage because of your lengthy policy. You could contact your insurance company and ask them to “re-pull” your rate for the violation to no longer be counted on your current policy, but that might not always work.

auto policy
Lower rates aren't guaranteed

Although your rates are locked in for a full year, that doesn’t automatically equate to a lower insurance premium. Your best bet for finding an affordable premium is to compare as many auto insurance companies as possible, finding quotes for six-month and 12-month policies.

Real experience

One of The Zebra's employees, Meredith, spoke about her experience opting for 12-month policies. She currently has a 12-month policy through Progressive but has also gotten annual policies with Amica in the past. 

Meredith Gulledge, real-life 12-month policyholder
Consumer insight

"I like to lock in the price since it always seems to go up. Plus, choosing the 12-month policy means I only have to check car insurance off my list once per year, especially since I choose to take advantage of the pay-in-full discount." 

Meredith Gulledge — Real-life 12-month policyholder

What type of driver could benefit from a 12-month policy?

Not everyone wants a year-long auto insurance policy, and many folks are fine with renewing their insurance every six months. But a 12-month car insurance policy might be right for you if:

  • You don't want to deal with renewing or shopping around more than once per year
  • Your rating factors generally remain consistent and you don't expect big changes
  • You prefer to avoid monthly payments 
  • You budget for large expenses in advance
  • You like to pay a year's premium at once and potentially qualify for a discount

What other factors affect my car insurance rate?

According to our data, about 39% of drivers say they're paying too much for auto insurance in 2024. As you've read above, changing the duration of your policy period will only affect what you pay for a temporary period — until a rate revision occurs.  If you want to reduce what you pay in car insurance, it's important to understand other factors in the rate calculation. Some of these include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Credit score
  • Driving history
  • Claims history
  • Marital status
  • Annual mileage

If you're looking to save money in the long term, we suggest focusing on some of the factors you can control, such as improving your credit score and driving safely.

Find affordable car insurance today!

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No, not all insurance companies will offer 12-month policies. 6-month policies are the norm and you'll likely have to ask specifically if a company offers longer terms. Some of the companies offering 12-month policies include SAFECO, USAA, MetLife, and Liberty Mutual.

Maybe. Some companies will offer a paid-in-full discount, and you might be able to save more by paying for an entire year's premium upfront. This is something you'll want to ask your agent or insurance company specifically. You do get the benefit of your rate not increasing throughout the year by committing to an annual policy.

This depends on your personal preference and which insurance company you work with. Most companies will write a policy for six months, and you have the option to pay in full or per month. Many insurers offer discounts if you pay the entire premium upfront, so it's worth asking about if you're able to do this. Some companies don't offer a discount, and your premium is the same whether you pay monthly or for the whole period.

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance editorial content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.