Do you need car insurance without a car? Drivers who don’t own a car might need car insurance, too. Non-owner car insurance is designed for people who need to be insured but don’t own a car. It’s affordable and easy to get.
Among the many types of car insurance, non-owner car insurance is the one for you if you don’t own a car. It typically costs less than regular car insurance because it only covers the driver’s liability in the event of an accident.
Compared with a standard insurance policy, non-owner car insurance does not have a deductible, which means you don’t have to pay any money before your insurance company comes into play if you file a claim. And you can get non-owner car insurance for less than $500 a year — less than the cost of most yearly cell phone bills.
Learn how a non-owner insurance policy works and how much it costs in each state.
- What is non-owner car insurance?
- How does non-owner car insurance work?
- Can you get non-owner car insurance without a car?
- Why would you want a non-owner insurance policy?
- When shouldn’t you buy non-owner auto insurance?
- What does a policy for car insurance without a car cover?
- How much does non-owner car insurance cost?
- Non-owner car insurance costs in your state
- Who has the cheapest non-owner car insurance?
- How do I buy a non-owner car insurance policy?
- Frequently asked questions: Non-owner car insurance
What is non-owner car insurance?
Non-owner car insurance can be used by high-risk drivers who must buy a liability insurance policy to keep their driver’s license. But it is also used by drivers who don’t own cars and rent frequently or are trying to maintain continuous coverage.
A non-owner insurance policy will generally cost much less than an owner’s policy. The average cost of a non-owners car insurance policy is $380 per year. The low rate is because a car insurance company insuring a non-owner driver’s risk is lower than that of a car owner who drives daily.
However, the premium amount depends upon typical rating factors, such as your driving record and where you live.
How does non-owner car insurance work?
Non-owner car insurance typically provides liability coverage, which can help protect the driver in an accident. You can also purchase medical payments protection, personal injury protection and underinsured/uninsured motorist protection as additional coverages.
Although it is optional insurance coverage, it can be helpful for those who drive occasionally or do not have regular access to a vehicle. Non-owner car insurance is secondary coverage and kicks in if the vehicle owner’s primary coverage isn’t enough to pay for the damages.
If you have an accident while driving someone else’s car and cause damage worth $30,000 and the car owner’s primary coverage pays for $15,000 of the damage up to the policy’s coverage limits, you would be responsible for the rest.
Can you get non-owner car insurance without a car?
Yes. Guidelines vary, but typically an insurer will require that you:
- Have a valid driver’s license.
- Do not own a vehicle.
- Some insurers also require that no one in your household owns a vehicle and that you do not have regular access to a car.
Why would you want a non-owner insurance policy?
Here are four instances when you may want a non-owner insurance policy:
- As a car renter, the policy serves as primary liability coverage. However, you would still need to buy the collision damage waiver to pay for repairs to the rental car if your credit card company does not automatically do so.
- As someone trying to maintain continuous coverage, you are avoiding a gap in your insurance history that labels you as a high-risk driver, resulting in higher rates when you buy your next car insurance policy.
- As a high-risk driver, the policy is typically needed to satisfy conditions to receive or reinstate a driver’s license. If you must file an SR-22 or FR-44 with the state – an insurance company’s guarantee that your coverage is current – a non-owner SR-22 insurance policy can satisfy that mandate even if you don’t own a car.
- You may own a car, but want to buy non-owner insurance to fulfill state obligations for SR-22 or FR-44 filings.
Suppose you have a car and are satisfied with your current insurer but must file an SR-22 or FR-44 and your present company does not offer it. In that case, you can purchase a separate non-owner policy with another carrier to meet your filing requirements. The extra cost is typically very low because the supplemental non-owner policy isn’t covering your car.
When shouldn’t you buy non-owner auto insurance?
A non-owner personal auto insurance policy isn’t for you if:
- You own a car. In this case, purchase a standard owner’s policy.
- There is a vehicle in your household. Typically, in this situation, you would be required to be placed on the car owner’s policy as a driver to be covered instead of obtaining a non-owner policy. This is especially true if your spouse owns a vehicle since an insurer may also consider that vehicle your property to insure.
- You drive a car regularly. If you don’t own a car but drive someone else’s vehicle frequently, you should be added to that person’s policy as a driver. If you’re in full possession of the vehicle, find an insurer allowing you to place a standard auto insurance policy on that vehicle.
- You are using a vehicle for business use.
- You don’t have a driver’s license and cannot obtain one within 30 days of starting a non-owner policy.
What does a policy for car insurance without a car cover?
Coverage under a non-owner insurance policy includes:
- Bodily injury liability
- Property damage liability
Some insurers also offer medical payments and uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage.
Because a car is not attached to a non-owner policy, you will not be offered the following types of coverage:
- Rental reimbursement
- Towing and labor
- Custom parts and equipment coverage
A non-owner car insurance policy will not pay for repairs to a car you borrow. If you borrow a friend’s car, you need to verify that the owner has a policy extending to you as primary coverage.
Your non-owner insurance coverage would pay only if the owner’s coverage limits are reached and then only to cover the damages inflicted on the person or vehicle you hit.
How much does non-owner car insurance cost?
Non-owner car insurance costs $380 a year, on average, based on a CarInsurance.com rate analysis. However, you may pay more or less depending on where you live and other factors.
Non-owner car insurance is cheaper than standard insurance, but the costs vary from company to company. According to Jarrett Dunbar, a spokesman for Nationwide, costs tend to range from 10% to 80% of the price you’d pay for a standard auto policy.
Dunbar says 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.”
Non-owner car insurance costs in your state
There can be significant cost differences by state and ZIP code. Here’s a look at the average costs for non-owner car insurance by state:
How much is non-owner car insurance in California?
The average non-owner car insurance cost in California is $323. However, depending on your location, you may pay closer to $300 or nearly $600. See how costs compare between cities in California in the table below.
Who has the cheapest non-owner car insurance?
Among the major carriers surveyed, Auto-Owners offers the cheapest non-owner car insurance, on average. See how carriers compare for non-owner insurance rates.
How do I buy a non-owner car insurance policy?
You apply a non-owner car insurance policy in the same manner as you would for an owner’s policy. Not all auto insurance providers offer non-owner policies because this is considered a non-standard policy.
You can contact local independent agents with access to multiple non-standard carriers or your state’s insurance regulator for consumer information on companies offering non-owner policies.
Suppose you have a non-owner insurance policy and you purchase a vehicle. In that case, you must inform your insurer immediately to change your policy to an owner’s policy that will cover your new car – or else you’ll be without coverage.
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Frequently asked questions: Non-owner car insurance
Does non-owner car insurance prevent a lapse in coverage?
Non-owner insurance can help you avoid a lapse in coverage when you frequently drive but don’t yet own a car. A lapse in coverage for a week up to 30 days will hike your car insurance rate by an average of 14%, or about $269 a year. More than 30 days lapse gets you a 22% increase, about $439 more a year.
Does Geico sell non-owner car insurance?
Yes, Geico does offer car insurance coverage for non-owners, as well as many other carriers.
Here is a list of auto insurance companies that offer non-owner coverage:
- State Farm
- Farmers Insurance
- American Family
- Kemper Insurance
Does non-owner car insurance cover rental cars?
Yes, non-owner car insurance covers rental cars. If you’re at fault in an accident while driving a rented vehicle, the non-owner insurance policy will cover the driver’s liability up to the policy limit. You can also purchase rental car insurance if you rent cars often.
CarInsurance.com gathered rates for non-owner car insurance across all the states with the help of Quadrant Information Services. Non-owner insurance rates are based on the profile of a 40-year-old male driver with a good credit score and a clean driving record.