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I need an SR-22 but don't own a vehicle. What should I do?


Question: I am required to carry a SR-22 but don't own a vehicle. What should I do?

Answer: You need to buy a non-owner’s car insurance policy.

While it may sound odd, you can indeed get car insurance though you don’t actually own a car nor drive a vehicle on a regular basis.

Car insurance companies offer non-owners policies because the industry is aware that there are certain situations where a person may need to carry car insurance but don't have a vehicle to place on the policy.

Typically, a need for a non-owner’s policy arises because:

  • A person is mandated by the state to obtain a car insurance policy, but that individual doesn't have a car.
  • Someone that doesn't own a car wants car insurance coverage for when he or she occasionally operates non-owned vehicles, such as a rental car.

In your situation, it would appear a state regulatory entity is requiring you to have an insurer certify that you have the ability to pay future auto accident claims (up to the certain mandated limits) by the means of a SR-22 form being filed.

A SR-22 can only be filed by car insurance companies after you have obtained at least the state-mandated coverages as part of a car insurance policy -- and can be required whether you own a car or not. 

States can mandate certain non-car owners to obtain car insurance and carry an SR-22 to verify financial responsibility because state agencies are aware that it’s possible for these individuals to be negligent and harm other people and their property while driving, even if the car they’re operating isn’t owned by them.

Non-owner’s policy is limited

A non-owner’s policy is confusing to some, but it shouldn’t be. It’s not a coverage but instead a policy description for when you have car insurance but don't own a car to insure.

Each state is different, but as a general rule a non-owner’s car insurance policy won’t cover you for a vehicle registered to you, one in your household, or a vehicle provided for your regular and frequent use, so don’t purchase a non-owner’s policy if any of these scenarios apply.

Some believe this policy type is the magic bullet of coverage; it’s not. A non-owner’s policy only covers liability up to the limits purchased and this coverage is usually secondary to that of the auto insurance policy of the actual car owner.  So, if you borrow a friend's car to driver the car owner's policy will be primary.

A non-owner’s policy will normally include:

  • Bodily injury liability
  • Property damage liability

Depending upon the state in which you live and the car insurance company you’re using, you may also be able to include on the policy other types of car insurance coverage, including:

  • Medical payments
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury
  • Underinsured motorist bodily injury

A non-owner's policy doesn’t offer physical damage coverages of collision or comprehensive, so any car that you do drive isn’t covered in any way by your non-owner’s policy if you damage it.

Currently the best way to obtain a non-owners policy with a SR-22 filing is by contacting our call center toll-free at 1-855-430-7658. Our agents will help you obtain a quote for the coverage you need.

We work with insurers such as Progressive and Infinity to provide non-owners policies and SR-22 filings. Not all insurance companies do business in all states, though.

Most companies can provide immediate proof of insurance via e-mail or fax. Processing of SR-22 requests depends mostly on whether your state accepts filings electronically.

If at any time during your policy period you do purchase a car, you’ll need to alert your car insurance carrier immediately so that you can change your policy over to an owner’s policy. If you fail to inform your auto insurer of the change and you’re in an accident, then coverages under the non-owner’s policy may be denied.

More articles from Penny Gusner


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