The Simple Guide to Buying Non-Owner Car Insurance

September 12, 2019

Driving a friends car

You don’t own a car, but you still need car insurance.

This sounds like the worst of both worlds, but having non-owner’s insurance can help you save money in the long run. Non-owner car insurance is a special kind of policy that gives you bodily injury and property damage liability coverage when you’re borrowing, renting or sharing a car.

The good news is that non-owner car insurance is pretty affordable, and it can save you money on insurance in the long run! The bad news? Non-owner insurance can be hard to find. Read on to learn the basics.

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What Does Non-Owner Car Insurance Cover?

Non-owners insurance includes two types of coverage: bodily injury liability and property damage liability. This means that non-owner car insurance protects you financially in case you hurt someone or damage their property while driving a vehicle you don’t own.

Examples include borrowing a friend’s or roommate’s car; using a family member’s car; or renting a car. If you cause an accident in one of these situations, non-owner car insurance can cover:

    • The cost to repair damage to the other driver’s vehicle
    • The cost to repair damage you caused by hitting an object (like a fence)
    • Medical expenses for the person you hit
    • Compensation for the other person’s lost income, if they’re hurt and they can’t work
    • Legal fees, in case the other person sues you

Depending on the insurance company and your state’s insurance laws, non-owner’s insurance may also include:

    • Medical payments coverage (MedPay), which can help pay for your and your passengers’ medical bills after a crash, no matter who’s at fault
    • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which can pay for damages caused by a driver who has no insurance or insufficient insurance.

However, non-owner car insurance typically does not cover:

    • Any damage to the car you’re driving (the owner’s collision/comprehensive insurance takes care of that)
    • Any injuries you sustain in an accident
    • Rental car reimbursement, towing, roadside assistance or other car-insurance perks

Because non-owner insurance is limited in what it covers, it’s usually much cheaper than regular insurance. It’s also considered secondary coverage, which means it pays for losses that aren’t covered by the car owner’s insurance.

Which Companies Offer Non-Owners Car Insurance?

It’s not always easy to find non-owners insurance, because not every company sells it. Options include:

  • The General, which specializes in insuring drivers who have past driving violations or accidents, insurance lapses or less than perfect credit.
  • Good2Go offers discounts of up to 25% on non-owners policies in 12 states.
  • Direct General Auto Insurance, which offers affordable and flexible insurance plans to drivers with non-standard insurance needs, all across the south and southeastern U.S.
  • Dairyland Auto Insurance, an insurance based in Wisconsin, provides high-quality car insurance, including non-owners policies, to high-risk drivers.
  • GEICO, a huge insurance company that insures more than 28 million vehicles nationwide, offers non-owner insurance policies.
  • Nationwide is another large insurer that provides non-owner policies.
  • Acceptance Insurance offers low-cost auto insurance in 12 states. If you have bad credit and/or you need an affordable SR-22 non-owner insurance policy, Acceptance is a good company to try.
  • Acuity Insurance has excellent service and high customer satisfaction, which is a plus when you’re shopping for non-owners insurance.
  • Pronto Insurance provides non-owner’s liability insurance for California and Texas drivers.
  • SafeAuto specializes in affordable, minimum-limits auto insurance.
  • USAA offers non-owner auto insurance, but you must be a USAA member to qualify. (Do you meet the USAA membership requirements?)

Other companies may offer these policies, but don’t advertise them. If you’re currently insured, it may be worth calling your insurance company to ask if they can sell you a non-owner or liability-only policy.

How Much is Non-Owner Car Insurance?

A non-owner’s policy is typically much cheaper than regular car insurance because it doesn’t pay for damage to the vehicle you’re driving.

So how much is non-owner car insurance? The answer really depends on your driving record. Non-owner SR22 car insurance will be a lot more expensive than a regular non-owner’s policy, for instance.

Most companies don’t offer non-owners car insurance quotes online — you have to call. To make sure you get the best deal, here’s what we recommend.

First, get personalized insurance quotes on Compare.com. When we ask you about the car you drive, just enter the info for the car you use most often. Select state minimum coverage, without collision/comprehensive, to see which companies offer you the best rates. Then, click to call those insurers and ask about a non-owner car insurance quote.

4 Reasons to Buy Non-Owners Car Insurance

There are a few reasons you might need a non-owner’s policy.

1. Because you’re required to file an SR-22 or FR-44.

Maybe you totaled your car in a DUI accident and you’re not ready to buy a new one. Even though you don’t own a car, you need to carry car insurance in order to keep your driver’s license, because of your SR-22 status. Non-owner SR-22 car insurance is a good option if you don’t own a vehicle. It won’t be super cheap, but at least non-owner’s insurance is less expensive than conventional SR-22 insurance.

2. Because you don’t own a car, but you often borrow one. 

Let’s say your friend often lends you his car so you can get to work, but he worries about his financial risk in case you get into an accident. In situations like these, it’s smart to protect yourself with a non-owner policy.

3. Because you’re between cars at the moment.  

Your beloved Civic just died with 230,000 miles on the odometer, but you don’t have the cash for a new car. While you’re between cars, it might be a good idea to get non-owner car insurance.

Of course, you’d rather take the money you’d spend on insurance premiums and put it in your new-car-fund jar. However, if you let your insurance lapse, even for just a few months, you’ll wind up paying much higher premiums once you reinstate it, and insurers may be reluctant to cover you. With a non-owner car insurance policy, you can avoid the lapse and save money.

4. Because you often rent cars or use car-sharing services. 

 You live in a big city and use public transportation to get around. But you sometimes use a car for grocery runs and Ikea buying sprees. If you use a car-sharing service, like Zipcar, do you need non-owner car insurance?

Car-sharing services do typically cover their customers with liability insurance. But it can be smart to protect yourself with a personal non-owner policy, just in case you cause an accident that exceeds the limits of the company policy.

You might also want to buy non-owner’s insurance if you frequently rent cars. Your credit card may include a collision damage waiver to cover damage to a rental car, but you still need liability coverage. Having your own car insurance coverage can save you money over buying the rental car company’s liability insurance — but run the numbers before you commit.

Whatever kind of car insurance you need, don’t buy blindly! Shop for the best rate on Compare.com. You can get multiple personalized car insurance quotes in minutes — start here!

 

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