Non-owner car insurance is for people who don't own a car but may need to borrow or rent a car, or are legally required to maintain coverage.
Most people don't know much about non-owner car insurance. Until recently, it wasn't the kind of thing the media discussed or people chatted about around the water cooler. It's easy to dismiss – why buy insurance if you don't have a car?
What changed? The advent of car-sharing services like ZipCar, Car2Go, and even BMW's ReachNow. These businesses have exploded in popularity since they debuted in the 2000s.
Does that mean only folks who use car-sharing services should bother with this type of insurance? Not at all. In fact, people buy it for a number of other reasons too.
One reason is that it keeps drivers from being penalized for a lapse in car insurance. Another is it helps them retain or reinstate their driver's licenses. The latter is often needed if someone has had a lot of accidents, speeding tickets, or DUIs. It's also an easy way to fulfill insurance requirements for drivers who need SR-22 or FR-44 forms.
Non-owner policies may also be a good fit for people who sometimes drive for work but don't need a full commercial policy.
Still, people who don't own a vehicle but borrow, rent, or share one regularly are most likely to buy non-owners insurance policy.
What exactly is non-owner car insurance? Also, how does it work and how is it different from a standard auto policy?
Basically, non-owner insurance is a lot like the liability coverage that's tied to a standard policy. In other words, it protects drivers who cause accidents that injure people or damage cars or property. But it's primarily designed for people who don't own the vehicles they're driving.
Pretend you are driving a car you don't own and you cause an accident. A non-owner insurance policy will help pay for damages to other people, their vehicles, and their property. Because it only covers liability, it won't pay for damages to you or the car you're driving.
Are you thinking about purchasing a non-owner car insurance policy? Compare quotes for non-owners car insurance policies from multiple companies so you can pay the lowest rates for the amount of coverage you need.
Non-owner car insurance is useful in the following situations:
Drivers designated as 'high-risk' sometimes must file an SR-22 (or FR-44 in some states) to prove that they have the required levels of liability insurance. These forms can be required after DUIs, uninsured car accidents, or speeding tickets. Insurance is extra expensive for high-risk drivers, but non-owner policies can meet liability requirements without breaking the bank.
If you are a frequent user of car-sharing services like Car2Go, Zipcar, and ReachNow, consider a non-owner insurance policy. It will protect your assets in the event of an accident. Though each company usually provides some form of liability protection, it's not always enough. Make sure you carefully study the car sharing company's insurance levels to see if a non-owner policy is necessary.
Do you use daily rentals like HyreCar to drive for a rideshare company? A non-owner policy can fill the insurance gaps and protect your finances. Usually a rideshare company's insurance policy only covers certain parts of your trip, leaving you liable for accident damages.
Similar to car sharing, think about purchasing a non-owner policy if you frequently rent vehicles. Non-owner policies can provide more extensive coverage than the policy provided by rental car companies. Plus, if you rent often, a non-owner policy is cheaper than always opting for the rental company's liability protection.
Insurance companies hate to see lapses in coverage. If you allow your coverage to lapse, you're at risk of fees, fines, and being labeled as a high-risk driver. You can avoid this by purchasing a cheap non-owner policy. It'll ensure that you stay covered at an affordable price.
Similar to an SR-22, reinstating a suspended license may require proof of insurance. Non-owner policies can fill that hole.
Do you borrow cars often? If yes, purchase a non-owner policy. The owner of the borrowed car may have insurance, but it's easy to exceed those limits in the event of a bad accident. That, and there's no guarantee the owner's insurance coverage extends to you.
If you sold your car and haven't purchased a new one, non-owner insurance will prevent a lapse in coverage. Plus, it can cover you when test driving new cars.
Does all of the above make you want to get non-owner coverage? Great! Just remember that it's not appropriate for everyone who doesn't have a car but still uses one now and then.
In fact, here are a few specific situations where buying this kind of coverage won’t make much (if any) sense:
In this case, rather than buy non-owner car insurance, you should take advantage of:
Non-owner insurance usually won’t cover you if the car you use now and then belongs to someone you live with – and that person could be a relative, a friend, or just a “roommate.” Instead, you should ask that person to add you to his or her auto policy as an additional driver.
Non-owner car insurance also is unlikely to cover you if you borrow a single vehicle for an extended period of time.
And as with the situation mentioned above, if a friend or family member owns the car in question, the best way to protect yourself is to be added to that person's car insurance policy. That includes using your parent's car.
In this is true for you, you'll have to pick up a commercial non-owner policy to be properly protected.
A few different options exist for drivers seeking a non-owner insurance policy:
Some insurance companies may offer their own specific non-owner plans. Many companies sell this type of insurance.
What companies sell non-owner car insurance? Fortunately, consumers have several options.
Keep in mind that insurers offer different non-owner plans and policies in each state. Depending on where you live, you might not be eligible for your preferred plan. These companies sell non-owner insurance policies:
Other companies may offer non-owner policies. If your preferred company isn't on the list above, call and ask about their non-owner car insurance plans. QuoteWizard can help you get the best rates for non-owner car insurance by comparing quotes from top providers.
A: Non-owner car insurance is a type of policy specifically for people who do not own the car they're driving. It provides liability insurance for rented or borrowed vehicles.
A: Non-owner policies are smart purchases in several situations. Here are a few examples:
There are other situations where non-owner car insurance makes sense. Talk to your insurance agent to find out if it's a good fit for you.
A: If you frequently borrow the same car, consider adding yourself to the owner's insurance policy. For example, if you use your parent's or roommate's car often, you may want to expand their policy to include you. Non-owner policies normally don't cover a vehicle that you have regular access to.
Also, you may run into trouble if you're using a non-owner policy when driving for business purposes. Depending on your specific situation, a commercial policy is likely the better option. Some insurers like Progressive offer employer non-owned insurance. This policy is purchased by businesses who rely on employees to occasionally use their personal vehicle for commercial purposes.
A: This depends on your specific situation, of course. In general, though, one of the main benefits of buying non-owner car insurance is that it gives people peace of mind. Aside from that, if you're someone who rents cars on a regular basis, it's more affordable than rental insurance. Also, it ensures you'll be labeled a "preferred driver" if you buy and insure (through more traditional means) a vehicle in the future.
A: In most cases, no. That said, some states require people with poor driving records to own car insurance if they want to retain their driver's licenses or have them reinstated.
A: Yes, they do. For example, Car2Go, ReachNow, and Zipcar all provide members with a certain amount of bodily injury and property damage liability protection. (Zipcar offers coverage of 100/300/25--or $100,000 bodily injury per person, $300,000 bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 property damage per accident. ReachNow and Car2Go, on the other hand, provide coverage limits of 30/60/10 and 100/300/50, respectively.)
A: In some cases, yes, but there are exceptions. One is if you live with her and you're not listed on her policy as an additional driver. Another is if you borrow her car regularly. (This second exception is true even if you aren't roommates.) If you don’t live together and you only borrow her car now and then, though, her insurance will protect you when you take it for a spin. Just make sure she’s given you the OK before you do so, of course.
A: The insurance offered by rental-car companies is an OK option as long as you don't rent cars very often. If you rent them regularly, though, you should go with non-owner car insurance. It will be a lot more affordable than constantly paying for the rental-company's pricey coverage
A: Fully? Not really. As an example, your non-owner policy won't cover damage to the rental car if you cause an accident. Most rental-car companies will sell you a collision damage waiver that protects you from that, though. Before you agree to it, make sure your credit card doesn’t provide you with similar coverage, as many do these days.
A: Again, not fully. Your credit card’s rental insurance usually only covers damage to the vehicle you pay for and drive. It rarely includes liability coverage, so you could still be on the hook for injuries you cause and cars or property you damage while using the rental.
A: Not usually, although this varies depending on the company and the policy.
A: Non-Owner car insurance policies generally cost the same as minimum liability coverage. That means about $200 to $300 a year depending on which state you live in and a few other factors.
A: Why, at QuoteWizard of course!
A: Your non-owner car insurance premiums will be based on the following:
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