Do You Need Non-Owners Car Insurance?

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Updated June 30, 2022

You don’t own a vehicle, but you borrow other people’s vehicles to drive from time to time. Typically you ensure they have insurance so you know you’re covered, but then you heard about non-owner car insurance. 

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.

Do you really need an auto insurance policy even if you don’t  have a car of your own? It depends.

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.

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 it protects you financially in case you hurt someone or damage their property while driving a vehicle you don’t own.

Examples of times when this protection would kick in include borrowing a friend or roommate’s car; using a family member’s vehicle; 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 you 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. This is a small list of insurance companies that do offer this coverage: 

  • 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 offers affordable and flexible insurance plans to drivers with non-standard insurance needs throughout the south
  • Dairyland Auto Insurance, an insurance company 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 state minimum auto insurance.

As with any time you shop for car insurance, be sure to compare rates from different companies to make sure you’re getting the best rate for the coverage you need. 

How Much is Non-Owner Car Insurance?

A non-owner’s policy is typically much cheaper than regular car insurance because it doesn’t offer a great deal of coverage. 

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 using our auto insurance comparison calculator. When we ask you about the vehicle, just enter the info for the car you drive most often. 

Select state minimum coverage, without collision/comprehensive, to see which companies offer you the best rates. Then, call those insurers and ask about a non-owner car insurance quote.

Going this route will help you narrow down the companies that are likely to offer the most affordable rates. 

Get your personalized auto insurance quote

4 Reasons to Buy Non-Owners Car Insurance

Non-owners car insurance isn’t for everyone, but if you fit these 4 scenarios, then it’s certainly worth looking into. 

1. 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 it’s less expensive than conventional SR-22 insurance.

2. 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 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. 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, but if you let your insurance lapse, even for just a few months, you’ll wind up paying much higher premiums once you reinstate it. Then insurers may be reluctant to cover you. With a non-owner car insurance policy, you can avoid the lapse and save money in the long run. 

4. 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 shopping 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 vehicles. Your credit card may include a collision damage waiver to cover damages 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.

Who Doesn’t Need to Buy Non-Owner Car Insurance? 

It’s great that you want to cover all your car insurance bases, but there are some scenarios where you might not need non-owner car insurance. 

A family member drives your car

If your child, parent, or spouse is the one driving your car, you can probably skip non-owner car insurance. Instead, check with your current insurer to see if you can simply add them to your policy.

You don’t use a ride sharing service frequently

If you rarely use a ride-sharing service, purchasing non-owner car insurance is unnecessary.  The car-sharing service might provide additional insurance options at the time of purchase. If you feel the coverage levels are enough, you can opt out of non-owner car insurance. 

Of course, it’s best to review your financial status before making any final decisions. If your current coverage offers enough liability protection to cover your personal assets, you shouldn’t run into any trouble. 

However, if the numbers come up short, contact your insurance agent to see what changes you can make to get additional coverage. 

Non-Owner Car Insurance FAQs 

What does non-owner car insurance cover?

Non-owner car insurance provides you bodily injury insurance and property damage liability coverage. It can also cover your medical expenses, compensation for lost income, or damage to your vehicle after a collision. 

How much does non-owner car insurance cost?

The amount you’ll pay in non-owner car insurance depends on several factors, mainly on your driving record. A driver who needs non-owner SR22 car insurance will pay much more than a standard non-owner car insurance policy. 

Who should purchase non-owner car insurance?

You should think about purchasing non-owner car insurance if you fall into the following categories:

  • You’re required to fill out an SR-22 or FR-44
  • You don’t own a car, but you borrow one fairly often
  • You’re in between cars at the moment and want to avoid a lapse in car insurance 
  • You rent cars frequently or use car-sharing services

Will my non-owner car insurance apply to my rental car?

Yes, it will. While your credit card might include a collision damage waiver to cover repairs to the car, you’re still on the hook for liability insurance. Non-owners car insurance can bridge the gap and protect you in an accident. 

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