Non-owner car insurance

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Non-owner insurance keeps you covered while driving even if you don’t have a car of your own. This coverage protects you from having to pay for damage incurred during an accident; after all, regardless of whether or not you own the car, you as the driver carry the risk while on the road.

A non-owner insurance policy is fairly specialized and not ideal for everyone. But if you frequently borrow or rent cars, the cost could well be worth the added protection.

Who should get non-owner car insurance? 

Non-owner car insurance may be right for you if you don’t own a car but still have a driver’s license and frequently find yourself behind the wheel. Here’s a brief overview of several common scenarios to get an idea of whether it’s right for you.

When you drive someone else’s car

In some situations, non-insurance coverage can protect you when driving someone else’s car. Liability coverage usually follows the driver, not the car, so if you frequently borrow a vehicle, your policy will keep you protected.

When you frequently rent cars 

Rental cars generally tack on a liability policy to protect you in case you injure someone else or damage their property. You’ll need your own plan to cover any damages to the rental vehicle itself.

When you’re required to have insurance after a DUI

Sometimes it’s difficult to get auto insurance once you’ve been convicted of a DUI. In some states, however, you may still need to submit an SR-22 form, verifying to your state that you are insured. 

When you’re in-between cars 

Insurance policies weigh both your personal history and vehicle information to determine your rate and coverage limits. Without a car, you don’t need a full policy. Instead, you can opt for a non-owner insurance quote to get the right amount of coverage when you don’t have a car.

Non-owner car insurance vs. car insurance 

Both non-owner and traditional car insurance act in a similar way. Non-owner insurance provides you with liability-only coverage for anyone you hurt while driving — meaning, it covers any other injured person and their property. Liability car insurance does the same, although you have additional policy options to protect your car (and yourself) with a typical policy.

The core difference between the two types of policies is that non-owner car insurance follows the driver from vehicle to vehicle. When you own a car and have an insurance policy in place, it covers the vehicle and most drivers who drive the car with your consent.

How much is non-owner car insurance? 

For anyone wondering, “How much does non owner car insurance cost,” the answer varies based on the individual. Like any other car insurance policy, relevant factors include:

  • Your driving history
  • Frequency of driving
  • Location
  • Your age and gender
  • Your car (age and model)
  • Your credit score
  • Scope of coverage

The average cost of non-owner insurance is $474 a year. Again, your personal situation can cause this number to vary, particularly if you’re looking for a non-owner policy after a DUI.

What does non-owner car insurance cover?

What is non-owner car insurance? Compared to other policies you may have had in the past, it most closely resembles liability insurance and covers the following:

  • Bodily injury: This covers any costs from the death or injury of someone else while you’re driving.
  • Property damage: This covers any damage you cause while driving to physical property, whether it be another car, a fence or something similar.

If you prefer, you can also add on supplemental insurance policies, such as:

  • Personal injury protection: This type of policy financially protects you after injury from a car accident. It can help you with medical bills, loss of income, funeral expenses and child care expenses.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: If you’re hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver while driving someone else’s car, this additional policy reimburses you for any damages.

What doesn’t non-owner car insurance cover?

Non-owner car insurance certainly offers you a degree of protection as a driver, but there are several key types of coverage that are lacking, including the following:

  • Collision coverage: Adding collision coverage to a regular policy offers reimbursement for vehicle damage when the driver is at fault.
  • Comprehensive: Similar to collision, comprehensive coverage protects your car — except that instead of paying for damage from an accident, it covers events like vandalism and theft. 
  • Roadside assistance: Roadside assistance helps with unexpected car trouble, like a flat tire or dead battery. It may pay for these emergency services and towing your vehicle to a nearby mechanic.

Because these specific policies are designed to help with costs associated with a vehicle, they don’t make sense to add onto a non-owner policy because those policies are associated solely with the driver rather than a consistent car. 

Can I get non-owner insurance without a license? 

Non-owner insurance protects the driver, not the car. As such, you do need a driver’s license to qualify for this type of policy.

With car insurance, however, there may be some circumstances in which you can get a policy even without a driver’s license. If you bought a car and have a primary driver who lives with you (who does have a license), you’ll likely be able to get a policy. Obviously, you shouldn’t drive the car if you don’t have a license.

If this scenario describes you, find an auto insurance company that offers policies for people without licenses. It’s not an everyday situation that carriers deal with. 

The takeaway

Non-owner insurance can protect you financially when you don’t have a car of your own. Qualifying is similar to the application process for regular car insurance. While coverage mirrors a traditional liability-only plan, carefully read your policy to understand what is (and isn’t) covered. While add-ons related to vehicle coverage aren’t usually available for non-owner insurance, you may be able to add on supplemental coverage for some extra protection.

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