Published: June 10, 2021Updated: July 5, 2022

What is Non-owner Car Insurance?

Can you insure a car you don’t own?

If you drive someone else’s car often, you may want to get non-owner car insurance, which is insurance on a vehicle you don’t own. We’ll go over when non-owner car insurance is necessary, how much it costs, and how to get it.

What Is Non-Owner Car Insurance?

Non-owner car insurance is an insurance policy for someone who drives another person’s vehicle but doesn’t own the car themselves. Typically, non-owner car insurance is limited to liability coverage and does not include medical payments coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, or collision and comprehensive coverage. That means it will cover only the property damages and bodily injuries of other parties in accidents you cause.

Non-owner coverage is secondary coverage, meaning it’ll pay for damages and injuries after the primary car insurance limits have been reached.

Can You Get Car Insurance Without a Car?

Yes, you can get car insurance without a car through non-owner insurance.1

NOTE

You can buy a car without car insurance, but you won’t be able to drive it off the lot without showing proof of insurance unless you live in New Hampshire or Virginia, where auto insurance isn’t required.

What Does Non-Owner Car Insurance Cover?

Typically, non-owner insurance covers bodily injuries and property damages.

  • Bodily injury coverage covers the other party’s medical expenses and deaths in an accident you caused. The other party would make a third-party claim to your insurance provider.
  • Property damage coverage covers the cost of repairing or replacing any third-party property damaged in an accident you caused. Like bodily injury coverage, property damage coverage covers only the other party, not you.

What Doesn’t It Cover?

Non-owner insurance will not cover the following.

  • Your injuries: To get reimbursed for your own medical costs, you’d need either medical payments coverage in an at-fault state or personal injury protection in a no-fault state, which also includes coverage for childcare and lost wages.
  • Your damages: For damages to your car in accidents you caused, you’d need collision coverage, which no state requires.
  • Theft: Comprehensive coverage covers damages to your car from theft, whether it’s theft of a specific car part or the entire vehicle.
  • Vandalism: Comprehensive coverage also covers car vandalism.
  • Weather-related incidents: Comprehensive coverage covers damage from weather-related events, including hail and fires. Essentially, if something damaged your car other than a collision, comprehensive coverage would apply. Like collision coverage, no state requires it.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorists: If you get into an accident with someone driving without insurance, your non-owner insurance won’t pay for your damages or injuries.

Do You Need It?

The truth is, most people don’t need non-owner insurance. See if you need it below.

Who Needs It?

  • Someone who drives a rental car or Zipcar
  • Someone between vehicles who wants to avoid a lapse in coverage, which leads to higher auto insurance costs
  • Someone who needs an SR-22 or FR-44 certificate but doesn’t have their own car
  • Someone who drives a friend’s car frequently

Who Doesn’t Need It?

  • Someone who drives a car they own
  • Someone who drives a car owned by someone who lives in the same household as them
  • Someone who drives a car and is listed on that car’s insurance policy

The Cost of Non-Owner Car Insurance

The cost of non-owner insurance varies, although it’s typically cheaper than regular car insurance. Many factors affect the price of non-owner insurance, from your driving history to the amount of coverage you choose.

FYI

Non-owner insurance usually doesn’t have deductibles.

How to Get Non-Owner Car Insurance

You get non-owner insurance the same way you get regular car insurance:

  1. Get quotes. You can get non-owner auto insurance quotes online from car insurance companies that offer it, like GEICO and Allstate.
  2. Speak to an agent. Talk to either an agent or broker about your needs, and they will guide you to the right policy.
  3. Pay your premium. Once you pay your premium, your insurance coverage will begin on your policy’s effective date.

Non-Owner Car Insurance Limits

What liability limits should you choose? We recommend $500,000 for bodily injury and property damage coverage if you can afford it. However, you should get as high a limit as you can afford to pay in premiums.

Can I Get an SR-22 With Non-Owner Car Insurance?

An SR-22 is proof of minimum car insurance coverage. You might need to file an SR-22 if you are convicted of a DUI. If you don’t own a car but drive one, non-owner car insurance is a great option that will satisfy your SR-22 requirement.

Non-Owner Car Insurance for Business

If an employee using their own car for a work task gets into an accident, their employer could be held liable. That’s why some businesses choose to buy non-owner car insurance for employees’ cars that are used for work purposes. It can apply to hired, rented, or borrowed vehicles, and is a good idea for any business that doesn’t own vehicles.2

Note that “work purposes” does not include commuting to and from work. Rather, it includes employees visiting clients, driving to conferences, and delivering and picking up business supplies.

What Happens if Someone Else Driving Your Car Gets Into an Accident?

Borrowed car coverage means that if someone else gets into an accident while driving your car, you’re covered the same as you would be if you were driving. That also means that if the driver is at fault, your rates may increase.

Does Insurance Follow the Car or the Driver?

Car insurance typically follows the car, not the driver. That means you’re liable for any accidents or damages someone causes while driving your car with your permission.

Does Insurance Cover Drivers Not on My Policy?

Most car insurance covers drivers not on your policy through a “permissive driver clause.” That clause states that the driver isn’t responsible for your damages; you are, so make sure you trust the person you’re lending your car to.

Can You Get Insurance Without a Driver’s License?

One frequently asked auto insurance question we get is, “Can you get auto insurance without a driver’s license?” What about getting car insurance with a suspended license? And how does a license suspension affect car insurance?

There are some cases in which you could get insurance without a license. Perhaps you lack a license, or your license has been suspended or revoked, but you own a car other people drive.

Legally, you don’t need to have a license to get car insurance, but not every insurance company sells policies to people without a license. One company that sells insurance to non-licensed drivers is The Hartford. Just make sure to list yourself as an excluded driver to lower the risk for the insurance provider and thus the amount of your premium.

Citations

  1. What happens when you let someone else drive your car? Progressive. https://www.progressive.com/answers/insurance-for-borrowed-cars/

  2. Why non-owned automobile insurance is important for businesses. Nationwide.
    https://www.nationwide.com/lc/resources/small-business/articles/why-non-owner-insurance-for-businesses