What Is Non-Owner Car Insurance?
Non-owner car insurance is coverage for drivers who don’t own a car but drive regularly using rental cars, car sharing services, or borrowed vehicles. Drivers are eligible for non-owner insurance if they have a valid driver’s license and do not own a vehicle. Many insurers will not write a non-owner policy if a driver has access to a vehicle in their household.
Key Things to Know About Non-Owner Car Insurance
- Non-owner policies provide the minimum coverage required by the state, as well as some optional add-ons.
- Most major insurers offer non-owner car insurance.
- Non-owner car insurance costs between $200 and $500 per year.
- Consider getting non-owner car insurance if you don’t own a car but plan to frequently rent or borrow one.
How Does Non-Owner Car Insurance Work?
Non-owner car insurance provides liability coverage to people who don’t own a car. Like standard liability insurance, it covers car damage and injuries to other people when you are at fault, but it will not cover your own injuries or damage that occurs to the vehicle you are driving.
Non-owner insurance policies include any state-mandated types of coverage and usually allow drivers to add optional types of coverage, such as uninsured/underinsured motorist and personal injury protection (PIP). Since non-owner insurance policies don’t cover a specific vehicle, they do not include collision or comprehensive coverage.
What Does Non-Owner Car Insurance Cover?
Non-owner car insurance usually provides the same level of protection as a standard car insurance policy. A non-owner insurance policy will cover you for:
- Injuries to other drivers in accidents that you cause
- Property damage, excluding damage to the vehicle you’re driving
- Accidents caused by uninsured/underinsured motorists
- Medical bills resulting from accidents
Best Non-Owner Car Insurance Companies
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*USAA is only available to military service members and their families
Most national insurance companies offer non-owner car insurance policies. However, they will generally only provide quotes over the phone, and Progressive only offers non-owner car insurance to existing customers.
How Much Does Non-Owner Car Insurance Cost?
Non-owner car insurance costs between $200 and $500 annually. Since drivers with non-owner insurance aren’t on the road as much as the average policyholder, they’re less likely to file a claim and pay less for coverage as a result.
The amount of coverage you choose, your driving history, your location, and your driving frequency will help determine the exact cost of your policy. Non-owner insurance policies do not have a deductible.
Learn more about how much non-owner car insurance costs.
When to Consider Non-Owner Car Insurance
You’re seeking to get your license reinstated after a serious infraction.
If your license is suspended after you are convicted of a DUI or other serious traffic offense, state laws will require you to file an SR-22 or an FR-44 to get your license reinstated. As part of this process, you will have to certify that you have purchased car insurance. If you do not own a car, purchasing a non-owner insurance policy will meet state requirements.
You frequently rent cars.
Most states require car rental companies to provide the state minimum levels of liability insurance as part of the basic rental fee. But in many cases those state minimums cover very little, and some states like California do not require rental companies to provide liability protection.
You can buy additional liability insurance at the rental counter, but this coverage will cost you $10-$16/day. So if you rent cars more than a few times a year and you want more than the minimum level of liability coverage, your own non-owner policy may be the most affordable option.
Paying with a credit card provides you with coverage for damage to the rental car, but bank cards provide no liability insurance protection.
You frequently use car sharing service services.
Car sharing companies include some level of liability coverage as part of the rental fee. Zipcar, for example, provides members who joined after July 2018 with the minimum amount of coverage required by their state. But you’re responsible for a $1,000 “damage fee” before this coverage kicks in.
Car sharing services generally offer extra coverage or reduced deductibles for an additional annual fee – Zipcar’s “damage fee waiver” is $79/year, for example. With a non-owner insurance policy, however, you’re automatically covered when you drive any vehicle, including those rented through car sharing services.
You are borrowing a car from a friend or family member.
When you drive someone else’s car, expenses from an accident will generally be covered under the owner’s insurance policy. But then the car’s owner is choosing the level of coverage, not you. And if there are problems with claims, you’re not the insurance company’s customer. Under your own policy, you can be certain you have adequate liability coverage.
You’re temporarily between cars.
If you’re car-free in the near term but plan to buy a car soon, a non-owner insurance policy is an inexpensive way to maintain continuous coverage and long-term customer status. It will also provide you coverage as you are test-driving vehicles. When you do buy a car, you will need to inform your insurer immediately and switch to an owner’s policy.
When Not to Use Non-Owner Insurance
Non-owner car insurance is not right for people who:
- Live with someone who owns a car, as most companies will not allow you to purchase a non-owner policy in this situation.
- Use public transit or ridesharing services instead of driving.
- Only drive when using rental cars a handful of times per year, in which case rental car insurance would be a better plan.
- Do not plan to ever own a car.
Video: Non-Owner Car Insurance Basics
Ask the Experts
To gain more insight about non-owner car insurance, WalletHub posed the following questions to a panel of experts. Click on the experts below to view their bios and answers.
1. What kind of drivers should consider non-owner car insurance?
2. What kind of drivers should not consider non-owner car insurance?
3. What is the biggest advantage of a non-owner car insurance policy?