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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.
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.
Here are some requirements a driver may run into when trying to buy a non-owner car insurance policy:
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.
Non-owner car insurance typically consists of the following coverage:
Non-owner car insurance doesn't cover the following:
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:
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.
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.
Some of the best non-owner car insurance companies include:
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.
Drivers should consider purchasing a non-owner car insurance policy if any of the following apply:
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 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 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.
Drivers who fall into one of these categories probably don't need a non-owner auto insurance policy:
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.
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.
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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