Non-owner auto insurance provides liability coverage for people who occasionally drive vehicles they don’t own. Depending on your insurance company and where you live, it may also provide other types of coverage.
Let’s take a look at how non-owner car insurance works, who might need it, and how much this type of coverage might cost.
How does non-owners insurance work?
Non-owner auto insurance provides coverage for drivers while driving a car they don’t own. Non-owners insurance provides auto liability coverage, which can help pay for the other driver’s medical expenses or property damage after an accident you cause.
Depending on where you live and which insurance company you choose, non-owners’ car insurance may provide additional protection, such as uninsured motorist coverage, personal injury protection, or medical payments coverage. Keep in mind that non-owners insurance typically doesn’t cover any damage to the car you’re driving.
The liability coverage provided by a non-homeowners insurance policy is generally secondary. This means that if you cause an accident while driving a vehicle whose owner has liability coverage, that coverage may kick in first. But if the damage or medical expenses exceed the car owner’s liability coverage limits, your non-owners insurance policy could help cover those costs.
As with any other type of auto insurance coverage, you can expect to pay a premium for non-owners auto insurance and it will have a coverage limit – the maximum amount your insurance company will pay for a covered claim.
It’s important to note that if the vehicle you occasionally drive belongs to a family member or even a roommate, you may not need a non-owners policy. The laws of your state or insurance company may require anyone in your household who has a car to list it on their auto insurance policy.
What does non-owners insurance not cover?
There are a couple of limitations to auto insurance for non-owners. This is what it will not cover.
Damage to the car you drive
Non-owner auto insurance does not provide comprehensive or collision coverage. This means that if you are responsible for an accident, your non-owner’s policy will not help pay for damage to the vehicle you were driving.
A vehicle you own
Non-owners insurance, as the name implies, will not cover a vehicle you own. If you end up buying a car, you’ll probably need to purchase a traditional auto insurance policy, depending on your state’s requirements.
Do I need non-owner’s car insurance?
Non-owner auto insurance isn’t for everyone. But it may make sense if the following applies to you.
- Rent cars often: Drivers who rent cars regularly may find buying non-owners insurance less expensive than buying supplemental liability coverage from the car rental company every time they rent a car.
- You drive a friend’s car: If you occasionally borrow vehicles from your friends, non-owner coverage can further protect you (and them) as long as you get behind the wheel.
- You’re Between Vehicles: If you’re temporary without a car, purchasing non-owners insurance can help you avoid expiration of insurance coverage. By having continuous coverage, even if you don’t currently own a car and don’t plan to drive until you get one, you may be able to avoid higher car insurance rates when you’re ready to buy a traditional policy.
- Use car-sharing services: Drivers who occasionally use car-sharing services can benefit from non-owners insurance. Services like Zipcar can provide drivers with some types of insurance coverage, but non-owner’s insurance can provide additional protection if the cost of injuries or damage you cause exceeds the carpool service’s coverage limits.
- You need proof of insurance to reinstate a driver’s license: If your driver’s license is suspended for something like a DUI, you may need to provide an SR-22 (or FR-44, in some states) form to reinstate it. One of the requirements to obtain this form is proof of valid liability coverage. If you do not own a vehicle but want to reinstate your license, you may need to purchase non-owners insurance coverage.
How much does non-owner car insurance cost?
The average cost of a non-owner auto insurance policy in the US is around $485 per year, according to data published in February 2020 on Insurance.com.
But what you pay for non-homeowners insurance will depend on a few factors. These may include the coverage limit you want, your driving record, where you live, and how often you plan to drive.
In general, you can expect to pay less for non-homeowners insurance than you would for a standard auto insurance policy because you only drive occasionally (meaning less risk to the insurance company) and coverage is limited.
If you think you might need non-homeowners insurance coverage, consider contacting an auto insurance agent. They can help you decide if this type of coverage is right for you and identify insurance companies that offer non-homeowners insurance.
Non-owners insurance is only offered by a few auto insurance companies. And those that do offer it may require you to call or visit a local office to get an insurance quote instead of letting you get a quote online.
As with any auto insurance product, it’s always smart to compare quotes from multiple companies. Taking the time to do this can help you find the best policy for your needs.