Hugo auto insurance review: Pay-as-you-go insurance for state-minimum coverage

Man talking on the phone sitting in car with door open.Image: Man talking on the phone sitting in car with door open.
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Editors’ take: Hugo auto insurance could be a good option if you drive sporadically and don’t need full coverage. With Hugo’s on-demand car insurance model, you can activate your insurance when you need it and turn it off when you don’t. But Hugo isn’t available everywhere. If you’re interested in robust discount opportunities and extensive coverage options, you may be better off getting full coverage from a more seasoned insurance company.

Hugo auto insurance at a glance

AvailabilityNot available in most states
J.D. Power customer satisfaction ratingsNot listed
How to get an insurance quoteOnline
How to submit a claimThrough a claims specialist


  • Pay-as-you-go insurance model
  • No down payments
  • “Instant” proof of insurance


  • Not available everywhere
  • Coverage options are limited

What you need to know about Hugo auto insurance

A newcomer to the car insurance scene, Hugo stands out for its innovative and flexible “micropayment” model. The company claims to offer on-demand insurance that drivers can turn on while driving and turn off when they’re not. According to the company, customers don’t have to pay hidden fees or down payments — though they do have to start with at least three days’ worth of coverage — and can get proof of insurance in under six minutes.

Pay-as-you-go insurance model

One of the things that makes Hugo unique is its pay-as-you-go insurance model. Customers deposit money into their accounts which is then used to cover the cost of their “as needed” car insurance. They can turn on their coverage for days, weeks or months at a time, pay a flat per-day rate while their insurance is “on,” and turn off their car insurance so they aren’t paying on days they don’t drive.

Not available in every state

Hugo isn’t available in most states, so you’ll need to check on the insurer’s website to see if it’s offered where you live.

May be different to get customer service

Hugo doesn’t appear to have a mobile app, but customers can turn on or off their coverage via text message or the Hugo website. Customers can also manage their policies through their online accounts. But information on the Hugo website is sparse, and no agents or hotlines appear to be available for assistance.

Auto coverage offered by Hugo

Hugo’s coverage options also seem limited and may be best for drivers looking for state-minimum coverage on a car they don’t drive often. The company offers three policy options: Flex, Unlimited Basic and Unlimited Full.

None of Hugo’s coverage options currently includes towing or roadside assistance.

Flex Plan

The Flex option offers liability coverage that meets state requirements and might be best for drivers who don’t drive every day. It’s a pay-per-day liability policy that allows customers to buy three, seven, 14 or 30 days to begin. It allows you to turn off your policy for days you won’t be driving.

Basic Plan

Basic also offers liability coverage that meets state requirements and includes medical and accidental death coverage. Basic is geared toward drivers who drive more often and offers a six-month policy option.

Unlimited Full Plan

The Unlimited Full plan offers what Hugo calls full coverage — which includes collision, comprehensive and liability insurance — and is probably best suited for drivers who drive their car frequently. Unlimited Full coverage also includes medical coverage, accidental death coverage and rental car insurance.

Unlimited Full is the only Hugo policy that covers your vehicle and passengers and comes with the added perk of same-day claims pay. Like the Flex and Unlimited plans, Hugo advertises no upfront fees for Unlimited Full.

Auto insurance discounts offered by Hugo

Hugo doesn’t offer much information about potential car insurance discounts. Still, its focus on pay-as-you-go coverage could save drivers money if they don’t drive often or require full coverage. The company does claim to offer cash rewards for each coverage tier.

FAQs about Hugo auto insurance

Is Hugo insurance nonstandard?

Hugo doesn’t appear to offer nonstandard insurance for high-risk drivers, and it doesn’t offer SR-22 certificates.

Who is Hugo insurance owned by?

Hugo is an insurance tech start-up backed by venture capital funds, Founders Fund and Canaan. It currently partners with First Acceptance for insurance underwriting.

How long has Hugo insurance been around?

Hugo began its unique model with a beta version of its Flex coverage in Illinois in August 2020.

Not sure if Hugo auto insurance is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • Auto insurance from Root could be good for someone looking for an online experience and insurance rates based on their driving behavior.
  • Metromile insurance may be ideal if you’re interested in paying for an insurance policy calculated based on your mileage.

About the author: Sarah Sidlow is a freelance writer and editor based near Detroit. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Georgetown University. Sarah’s work has appeared in Luxembourg’s national newspaper, Washington City Paper… Read more.