If you’re considered a higher-risk driver due to traffic violations, getting a DWI/DUI or other reasons, you may be required to get an SR-22 certificate. An SR-22 is a form that’s filed with your state’s DMV and confirms that you meet your state’s minimum auto liability requirements. It’s also referred to as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility.

If you’re required to carry an SR-22 but don’t own a vehicle, you need to buy a non-owner car insurance policy. While it may sound counterintuitive, you can get auto insurance when an SR-22 certificate is required, even if you don’t own a car or drive a vehicle regularly.

Curious how non-owner insurance works without a vehicle? Want to learn how to get non-owner SR-222 insurance? Seeking the cheapest non-owner SR-22 insurance? Read on for more information and advice from the experts.

Key Highlights
  • SR-22 is the form you file to verify financial responsibility, and a non-owner SR-22 policy is the type of insurance you may need if you don’t own a car.
  • States can mandate non-car owners to obtain car insurance and carry an SR-22 to verify financial responsibility.
  • Non-owner SR-22 insurance covers bodily injury liability and property damage liability.
  • A non-owner policy doesn’t offer the physical damage coverages of a collision or comprehensive policy.

What is non-owner SR-22 insurance?

Non-owner SR-22 insurance covers bodily injury liability and property damage liability.

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

  • The state mandates a person to obtain an auto insurance policy, but that individual doesn’t have a car.
  • Someone who doesn’t own a car wants car insurance coverage when they occasionally operate non-owned vehicles, such as a rental car.

Car insurance companies offer non-owner policies because there are certain situations when a person may need to carry auto insurance but doesn’t have a vehicle to place on the policy.

If you have been convicted of a DUI or other serious traffic violation, a state regulatory entity often requires an insurer to certify that you can pay future auto accident claims (up to certain mandated limits) by means of an SR-22 form being filed.

When is an SR-22 required?

According to Andrew Head, Certified Financial Planner and professor at Western Kentucky University, some of the reasons your state may require SR-22 insurance without a vehicle:

  • Failure to carry liability insurance on your vehicle
  • A conviction for driving without insurance
  • Driving uninsured and being involved in a motor vehicle accident
  • DUI, DWI or other major alcohol offense convictions
  • Serious moving violation (such as reckless driving) convictions
  • Accumulating too many DMV points
  • Being categorized as a habitual traffic offender
  • Needing to apply for a hardship or probationary permit (while license is suspended)
  • Reinstating your license after a suspension or revocation

Mark Friedlander, director of corporate communications for the Insurance Information Institute in St. Johns, Florida, says that three states – Georgia, Missouri and Texas – separately issue what’s called an SR-22A certificate, which is different from an SR-22.

Mark Friedlander Director of corporate communications for the Insurance Information Institute in St. Johns, Florida
Mark Friedlander
Director of corporate communications for the Insurance Information Institute in St. Johns, Florida

“An SR-22A certificate is primarily for low-level driving offenders, such as those who fail to carry their state’s minimum liability coverage,” Friedlander says.

“Your insurer issues an SR-22A certificate and files it with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, just like an SR-22.”

Being required to file an SR-22A could adversely impact your auto insurance rates depending on why you need the certificate, although your premium likely won’t jump as high as it would if you need an SR-22.

Check out our detailed guide on SR-22 insurance and how much it costs?

How does non-owner SR-22 car insurance work?

An SR-22 is the form you file to verify financial responsibility, and a non-owner policy is the type of insurance you may need if you don’t own a car so you have insurance and state-mandated forms to comply with the laws for such a situation.

States can mandate non-car owners to obtain car insurance and carry an SR-22 to verify financial responsibility. That’s 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 they don’t own the car they’re operating.

“Be aware that not owning a vehicle may make it more difficult to obtain an SR-22 certificate,” Friedlander says. “You will need to furnish proof of insurance to earn the certificate. If you don’t own a vehicle, you should apply for a non-owners auto insurance policy before filing for an SR-22 certificate.”

What does non-owner SR-22 insurance cover?

Some believe this policy type is the magic bullet of coverage; it’s not. A non-owner 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 drive, the car owner’s policy will be primary.

A non-owner policy will typically 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

What is not covered under a non-owner insurance policy?

A non-owner policy doesn’t offer the physical damage coverages of collision or comprehensive policies, so if you drive a car and damage it, that won’t be covered by your non-owner policy.

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

How much does non-owner SR-22 insurance cost?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, an SR-22 certificate requirement can increase your average annual auto insurance premiums by a minimum of 50% to a maximum of 400% above your current rate, based on the severity of the infraction and the risk assessment by your insurer.

Non-owner SR-22 insurance ranges from $86 with Auto-Owners to $1,756 with Sentry Insurance, according to a 2022 CarInsurance.com data analysis.

However, if you are filing an SR-22 for a traffic conviction other than a DUI – for instance, a license suspension or driving uninsured – it may be less. An SR-22 filing will also change your status from that of a preferred customer to a non-standard risk customer.

How to get non-owner SR-22 insurance

The best way to get cheap SR-22 non-owner insurance quotes is to do what you would to find a low-cost standard policy – compare car insurance quotes from multiple companies.

“Prices vary from company to company, so it pays to shop around,” Friedlander says. “Get at least three price quotes from national and regional carriers. You can obtain multiple quotes via online comparison tools, on the phone directly from insurers, or through a local insurance agent that represents a single company or multiple insurers.”

If you are buying a new auto insurance policy, be sure to ask if the company files SR-22 forms before you spend time getting a quote. Even though you’ll pay more for coverage attached to an SR-22, you can still save by comparison shopping.

Which companies sell non-owner SR-22 auto insurance?

The following companies sell non-owners policies, both with and without an SR-22. So, this is an excellent list to start with:

  • Safety Insurance
  • Erie Insurance
  • Kemper Insurance
  • Geico
  • State Farm
  • Travelers
  • Mercury Insurance
  • Automobile Club MI
  • Nationwide
  • CSAA Insurance
  • Arbella Insurance
  • The Hartford
  • American Family
  • Allstate
  • Progressive
  • Farmers Insurance
  • National General Insurance
  • North Carolina Farm Bureau
  • Sentry Insurance

Who has the cheapest non-owner SR-22 insurance?

Here are some of the lowest annual rates we found from the insurance companies surveyed for non-owner state minimum liability-only insurance, according to a 2022 CarInsurance.com rate analysis:

Non-owners car insurance quotes
Graph
Table
Average rates for non-owner state minimum liability
CompanyNon-Owner State Minimum Liability Only
Auto-Owners $86
Shelter Insurance $97
Vermont Mutual $120
Iowa Farm Bureau $143
Western National Mutual $143
American National Finance $145
USAA $160
Frankenmuth Insurance $165
Auto Club $174
Westfield Insurance $195
 

Find out who has the cheapest SR-22 car insurance near you

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What can I do to avoid needing SR-22 non-owner insurance?

According to Certified Financial Planner and professor Andrew Head, there are some simple ways to avoid needing an SR-22. Head offers some advice: Maintain adequate auto insurance coverage and drive responsibly. But if you are already in this situation, use it as an opportunity for a second chance at responsible driving.

Andrew Head Associate Professor of Finance at Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY
Andrew Head
Associate Professor of Finance at Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY

“Recognize first that the requirement of an SR-22 is no trivial thing; the state requires this ‘super verification’ of coverage because you have been deemed very high risk. This most often involved driving in a way that puts other people’s lives in jeopardy,” Head says.

“Simply choosing to drive at all always poses a risk to others – doing so without insurance can mean adding possibly ruinous financial hardship to an innocent person already reeling from an injury. Think of an SR-22 as a second chance instead of a punishment. The state is allowing you to drive, despite a past mistake.”

In other words, to avoid being in a situation that will require SR-22 insurance, take your responsibility as a driver very seriously.

How do you cancel a non-owner SR-22 policy?

If at any time during your policy period, you purchase a car, then you’ll need to alert your car insurance carrier immediately so that you can cancel your non-owner auto insurance policy and get a standard auto insurance policy.

Expert Advice
Rick Estrella Director of Operations for Estrella Insurance in Miami

Rick Estrella

Director of Operations for Estrella Insurance in Miami

“You simply replace your non-owners auto insurance policy with a regular auto insurance policy that has your SR-22 certificate attached,” Estrella says.

Be careful here: If you fail to inform your auto insurer of the change and you’re in an accident, coverage under the non-owner policy may be denied. The process for canceling the SR-22 certificate itself varies by state.

“We recommend you contact your state’s department of motor vehicles to confirm the process in your state,” Friedlander says. “In many states, you can get an SR-22 removed from your driving record after three years by notifying your auto insurer, which will cancel the SR-22 filing with your state. However, if you cancel early, penalties can include getting your driver’s license being suspended.”

Read more: How to cancel an SR-22?

FAQs: Getting non-owner SR-22 insurance without a car

Does non-owner SR-22 cover any car I drive?

Fortunately, your non-owner auto insurance policy will cover any vehicle you drive, including a rental car. But the vehicle must not be titled in your name and you should not have regular access to it. Your non-owner policy should stipulate that you are only driving an unspecified vehicle occasionally, so you can’t borrow your mom’s car to drive to work every day.

I need an SR-22 but don’t own a car: How can I get it?

To purchase a non-owners policy, you must first meet certain conditions. An insurance company will generally 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.

Next, you would shop for a non-owner policy the same way you would for a standard policy. However, not all carriers offer non-owner coverage. Then, the insurance company will have an SR-22 filed on your behalf. Auto insurance companies can only file an SR-22 after you have obtained at least the state-mandated coverages as part of your non-owner car insurance policy.

Once you have the SR-22 filed, you’ll need to maintain the related insurance coverage for the state-mandated period. The time period varies, but most commonly, it’s three years.

Methodology

CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services in 2022 to field rates for non-owner coverage and full coverage with an SR-22 and one DUI for a 40-year-old male with a good insurance score and 12-mile commute.