Non-owner car insurance is coverage that protects you when you don't have your own car but cause an accident while driving a borrowed or rented vehicle. Non-owners car insurance provides liability insurance, although some insurers may also offer personal injury protection, medical payments and/or uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage as part of the package.
The liability protection is the primary reason to have the insurance - without it you could be held responsible for the costs associated with an accident if you're found at fault. Be aware that non-owner insurance does not include comprehensive and collision protection or reimbursements for towing or a rental car following an accident.
Not all insurers write non-owner policies in every state, but many of the bigger companies (including Nationwide, State Farm, Progressive and Geico) offer them in most states. Penny Gusner, the consumer analyst for Insure.com, says you may need to contact agents who represent insurers you're interested in to see if they offer non-owner coverage and what the specific costs and conditions may be.
CarInsurance.com's agents, who can be reached at 1-855-430-7753, can also help if you're looking for a non-owners policy.
You may also want to try contacting the consumer division of your state's insurance department to see if they have a list of insurers that offer non-owner policies where you live.
Applying for a non-owner policy is similar to applying for a standard owner policy. You'll need to provide information to the insurance company, including these details, among others:
- Driver's license numbers for all drivers
- Driving record for all drivers
- Social Security numbers for all drivers
- Credit card and checking account information
As for costs, non-owner car insurance is less expensive than regular insurance, but the price varies from company to company. Costs tend to range from 10 percent to 80 percent of the price you'd pay for a standard auto policy, says Jarrett Dunbar, a spokesman for Nationwide. Dunbar points out that "much depends on how often the customer has access to a car, how that car will be used and what age the operator is."
CarInsurance.com's sister site, Insurance.com, recently ran sample rates in California, comparing the cheapest liability-only policy available for drivers who own a car with a similar policy available to drivers who don't. The policy quotes don't cover damage to the car itself, only damage the driver causes to people and property, and that doesn't include any injuries suffered by the driver himself or his passengers.
Using a 25-year-old single male who rents and has a clean driving record as an example, the study found that he'd pay $438 a year for a non-owner policy, compared to $470 if he bought coverage for a vehicle he owned.
A single woman, age 40, who rents and has a pristine driving record would pay $368 a year for non-owner coverage, compared to $424 for an owner policy.