You don’t own a car, but that doesn’t mean you don’t drive. Among the many types of car insurance, non-owner car insurance is the one for you.

Here you'll learn how a non-owner policy may benefit you, and what it costs in your state.

Key Highlights
  • Non-owner car insurance is cheaper than normal insurance it costs $474 a year, on average, based on a rate analysis.
  • The non-owner policy covers 2 types of coverage Bodily injury liability and Property damage liability.
  • Collision and Comprehensive insurance will not be offered under non-owners policy.
  • Geico has the cheapest car insurance rate $311 per year, on average, for a non-owners policy.

What is non-owner car insurance?

Non-owner car insurance is often used by high-risk drivers who are required to buy a liability policy to keep a driver’s license. But it is also used by drivers who don’t own cars and rent frequently or are trying to keep continuous coverage.

A non-owner policy will generally cost much less than an owner’s policy. The average cost of a non-owners policy is $474. The low rate is because car insurance company risk is lower than that of a car owner who drives on a daily basis.

The premium amount is, however, dependent upon normal rating factors, such as your driving record and where you live, so you could pay much more than that.

Can you get car insurance without a car?

Yes. Guidelines vary, but typically an insurer will require that:

  • You have a valid driver’s license.
  • You 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 vehicle.

Here we will go into more detail on the following:

Why would you want a non-owner policy?

Here are four instances when you may want a non owner insurance policy:

  1. As a car renter, the policy serves as primary liability coverage, though you would still need to buy the collision damage waiver (CDW) to pay for repairs to the rental car if your credit card company does not automatically do so.
  2. As someone trying to maintain continuous coverage, you are avoiding a gap in your insurance history that would get you labeled as a high-risk driver and result in higher rates when you do buy your next car (and insurance policy).
  3. As a high-risk driver, the policy is typically needed to satisfy conditions to receive or reinstate a driver’s license. If you are required to 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.
  4. You may own a car, but want to buy non-owner insurance to fulfill state obligations for SR-22 or FR-44 filings.
Tip iconExample

Let's say you have a car and you're satisfied with your current insurer, but you need to file an SR-22 or FR-44 and your current car insurance company does not provide this service.

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.

What does a non-owner policy cover?

Coverage under a non-owner policy includes:

  • Bodily injury liability
  • Property damage liability

Some insurers also offer as part of a non-owner policy:

  • Medical payments coverage
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage
  • 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:

  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Rental reimbursement
  • Towing and labor
  • Custom parts and equipment coverage

A non-owner policy will not pay for repairs to a car that you borrow. In fact, if you borrow a friend’s car, you need to verify that the owner has a policy that will extend to you as primary coverage.

Your non-owner coverage would pay only in the event that the owner’s coverage limits are reached, and then, only to cover the damages inflicted on the person or vehicle you hit.

Non-owners insurance prevents a lapse in coverage

Non-owners insurance can help you avoid a lapse in coverage for the time you're driving frequently but don't yet own a car. Preventing a lapse in coverage is a smart move because auto insurance companies typically charge you more for a policy after a period of time that you've had no insurance.

A lapse in coverage for a week up to 30 days will hike your car insurance rate by an average of 9%, or about $130, a year.A 60-day lapse gets you a 13% increase, about $190 more a year. But in some states a 60-day lapse can cost as much as 20% to 48% more.

Who should not buy non-owner car 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. Normally, 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 of your own. This is especially true if your spouse owns a vehicle, since an insurer may consider that vehicle your property to insure as well.
  • You drive a car on a regular basis. If you don’t own a car but drive someone else’s on a frequent basis, you should be added to that person’s policy as a driver. If you're in full possession of the vehicle, find an insurer that will allow you to place a regular auto insurance policy on that vehicle.
  • You are using a vehicle for business use. A commercial non-owner policy, offered by companies such as Progressive, may be better suited for this need.
  • You don’t have a driver’s license and cannot obtain one within 30 days of starting a non-owner policy.

How much does non-owner car insurance cost?

Non-owner car insurance costs $474 a year, on average, based on a rate analysis. However, depending on where you live and other factors, you may pay twice that, or half.

Tip iconExpert's Tip

Non-owner car insurance is cheaper than normal insurance, but the costs vary from company to company. Costs tend to range from 10% to 80% 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."

Non-owner car insurance costs in your state

There can be significant cost differences by state and even city.

Here's a look at the average costs for non-owner car insurance by state:

State Average Non-Owner Car Insurance Cost
District of Columbia$521
New Hampshire$457
New Jersey$1,090
New Mexico$337
New York$483
North Carolina$406
North Dakota$340
Rhode Island$972
South Carolina$351
South Dakota$235
West Virginia$450

How much is non-owner car insurance in California?

The average non-owner cost for California is $286. However, depending on your location, you may pay closer to $200 or nearly $400.

Here's how the costs compare between cities in California:

City Average Non-Owner Car Insurance Cost
Chula Vista$238
Garden Grove$293
Huntington Beach$301
Long Beach$304
Los Angeles$351
San Bernardino$298
San Diego$243
San Francisco$282
San Jose$248
Santa Ana$306
Santa Clarita$305
Santa Rosa$246

Who has the cheapest non-owners car insurance quotes?

Among the major carriers surveyed, Geico has the cheapest car insurance rate, on average, for a non-owners policy.

You'll see how major carriers compare on quotes for non owner insurance.

Non-owners car insurance quotes
CompanyNon-Owner Yearly Rate
State Farm$408

How do I buy a non-owner policy?

You apply for a non-owner policy in the same manner 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 who have access to multiple non-standard carriers or contact your state’s insurance regulator for consumer information on companies offering non-owner policies.

If you have a non-owner insurance policy and you purchase a vehicle, you will need to let your insurer know immediately to change your policy over to an owner’s policy that will cover your new car -- or else you’ll be without coverage on the vehicle.

Does Geico sell non-owner car insurance?

Yes, Geico does offer 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
  • Dairyland
  • The General
  • Safe Auto
  • Direct
  • Infinity
  • Allstate
  • Progressive
  • Nationwide
  • Geico


author image
Penny Gusner
Consumer Analyst/Insurance Expert

Penny has been working in the car insurance business for more than 10 years and has become an expert on procedures, rates, policies and claims. She has seen it all, and working with from its inception, she researches the routine and the bizarre with equal enthusiasm. She has three very active children and a husband with a zeal for quirky cars.