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Non-Owner Car Insurance: Getting Coverage When You Don't Own a Car

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Most states require drivers to have auto insurance, but what happens if you drive but don't own a vehicle? In that case, you'll need non-owner car insurance to be fully protected. Below, we'll go over what that is, when a driver might need it, and how to get a cheap non-owner car insurance policy if you decide it's right for you.

What is a non-owner car insurance policy?

A non-owner insurance policy provides liability coverage even if the policyholder doesn't own a vehicle. It's similar to a traditional auto insurance policy. However, it typically doesn't offer protection for the vehicle or the policyholder's medical expenses if they're at fault in an accident.

Requirements for non-owner car insurance

Here are some requirements a driver may run into when trying to buy a non-owner car insurance policy:

  • License requirement: For any driver wondering, "Can you get car insurance without a license?" some insurers are wary of working with drivers who don't have a current driver's license. They may require at least one driver on the policy to have a valid license.
  • Existing customer requirement: Some insurance companies only offer non-owner insurance to existing customers and won't sell these policies to new customers.
  • Coverage requirement: As with traditional auto insurance, drivers must purchase at least the state minimum liability insurance. Some insurers may allow drivers to purchase more.

Can you get car insurance without a car?

Non-car-owner insurance is a policy specifically designed for drivers who don't own a car but drive fairly often. Not all insurance companies offer these policies. Interested drivers will likely have to call insurers to get a non-owner car insurance quote.

What does non-owner car insurance cover?

Non-owner car insurance typically consists of the following coverage:

  • Bodily injury liability: This pays for other drivers' medical injuries if the policyholder is at fault in an accident. There's usually a per-person and a per-incident limit. This may be written as $25,000/$50,000 or something similar.
  • Property damage liability: This pays for damage to property, including other drivers' vehicles if the policyholder causes an accident.
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage: In states that require this type of car insurance coverage, non-owner car insurance policies will include it. It pays for the policyholder's medical expenses and repairs for the vehicle they're driving if they're hit by a driver without insurance or with too little coverage to pay for all the damages.
  • Medical payments coverage: This is another coverage option a non-owner insurance policy may include if the state law requires it. It pays for medical payments, even if the policyholder is at fault in an accident.

What is not covered by non-owner insurance?

Non-owner car insurance doesn't cover the following:

  • Policyholder medical expenses: Unless the policy includes medical payments coverage, drivers must pay for their own medical costs out of pocket if they cause an accident.
  • Damage to the borrowed or rented vehicle: Damage to the vehicle due to a crash, natural disaster, or other accident typically isn't covered by a non-owners policy.
  • Policy extras: Optional coverages, like gap coverage, and coverage for custom vehicle equipment typically aren't included in a non-owner insurance policy.

How much does non-owner car insurance cost?

Non-owner insurance policies typically cost anywhere from $200 to $500 per year. But the exact cost varies depending on several factors. Some of these include:

  • Location
  • The amount of coverage a driver wants
  • Age
  • Driving record
  • Amount of time spent driving

The only way to know for sure how much a non-owner car insurance policy will cost is to get some auto insurance quotes and compare them.

Where can you get cheap non-owner car insurance?

Many popular national and regional insurers offer non-owner car insurance, though they may not advertise it on their websites. If a driver is not sure if it's an option, they can always call the company and ask.

Best non-owner car insurance companies

Some of the best non-owner car insurance companies include:

  • State Farm: State Farm is known for its excellent customer service and comprehensive coverage. It also offers a unique personal mobility policy, currently only available to California residents. This provides protection for policyholders when driving a car or using any other means of transportation.
  • Allstate: Another well-known national insurer, Allstate offers reasonable non-owners insurance policies to drivers who reach out by phone.
  • GEICO: GEICO is a favorite among drivers looking for cheap auto insurance. It has numerous driver discounts that can help qualifying policyholders save on their premiums.
  • Progressive: Progressive is another company known for its affordable rates and plentiful discounts. Customers interested in a Progressive non-owners insurance policy should call the company for more information.
  • Liberty Mutual: Liberty Mutual offers many unique car insurance policy options, including non-owner car insurance.

This isn't a comprehensive list of companies offering auto insurance to drivers who don't own vehicles, and these companies may not offer non-owners policies in all states. Contact the insurers to find out what's available in the area.

Who needs non-owner car insurance?

Drivers should consider purchasing a non-owner car insurance policy if any of the following apply:

Drivers who need to get or reinstate their driver's license

Some states require drivers to show proof of insurance to get a driver's license for the first time or reinstate a suspended one. A non-owner policy is an option for those who don't own a vehicle.

Drivers who are between cars

Drivers who have sold their vehicle but not yet purchased a new one may prefer to get a non-owners policy to keep continuous insurance coverage.

Drivers who share or rent cars often

Drivers who borrow from friends, rent cars, or use car sharing services often may want a non-owner car insurance policy to give them coverage beyond what their friend or the rental or sharing service already has.

Who shouldn't get a non-owner auto insurance policy?

Drivers who fall into one of these categories probably don't need a non-owner auto insurance policy:

Drivers who borrow a car from another driver in their household

In this scenario, it's often better for the driver to get added to the other household member's policy. Typically, insurance companies cover accidents if a friend gives a driver permission to use the vehicle. But in some states, insurers may refuse to cover accidents if they're caused by a driver in the household that's not on the policy.

People who rarely drive

It's possible to skip non-owner car insurance and rely on the car owner's policy when a driver only occasionally gets behind the wheel, though this may not provide enough coverage in every situation. Don't try driving a car without insurance. That's breaking the law and could lead to serious financial and legal troubles.

RELATED: Do you have to have car insurance?

FAQs

  • Drivers don't always need car insurance to borrow a car from a friend. The friend's policy typically covers accidents the driver causes as long as they had permission to take the vehicle. But this varies by state.

  • It is possible to get car insurance without a license, though it may be tricky to find coverage. Non-licensed drivers may have better luck if they list a licensed driver in their home on the policy.

  • Yes, it is legal to drive with non-owners insurance, which gives drivers liability coverage when driving a vehicle they don't own.

  • It's up to each driver to decide if they should buy car insurance when they don't own a car. Drivers who choose to skip this should ensure that the car owner has coverage, though. Otherwise, driving the vehicle is breaking the law.

  • Every car insurance company offers different rates. The only way to know which offers the best non-owner car insurance rate is to get some quotes and compare them.

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