What does non-owner insurance cover?
Non-owner car insurance is a special policy for people who drive but don’t own a vehicle, and it usually only covers the damage you’re responsible for in an accident.
Unlike a regular policy, non-owners insurance only includes basic, required coverage. There’s no physical damage coverage (comprehensive and collision coverage) because there’s no vehicle to worry about — that’s one of the reasons non-owner car insurance can be so cheap.
Non-owner auto insurance can include:
Bodily injury coverage: Covers the costs if you injure someone else in an at-fault accident.
Property damage liability coverage: Covers the costs if you damage someone else’s property in an at-fault accident.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: Covers you if you’re hit by someone who’s uninsured or doesn’t have enough car insurance.
Personal injury protection: Covers your injuries, medical bills, doctor’s visits, and funeral expenses after an accident.
Medical payments coverage: Also covers your injuries after an accident, but doesn’t offer as much coverage as personal injury protection.
Like regular car insurance, your policy limits for each coverage show you the max amount your insurance will pay out after an accident. You can tell how much non-owners coverage you have by checking the limits on your declarations page.
What doesn’t non-owner car insurance cover?
Non-owner car insurance is different from a regular policy because it doesn’t cover anything related to the car itself, since there’s no vehicle to protect. That means non-owner car insurance won’t cover:
Damage to the car you’re driving: You can’t add comprehensive or collision coverage to a non-owners policy because you don’t own a vehicle to protect.
Roadside emergencies: Roadside assistance, which covers things like jump starts or tire changes, usually isn’t an option with non-owner car insurance.
An interrupted trip: Non-owners insurance doesn’t cover a hotel stay, food, and roadside assistance if you’re stranded on a road trip.
Transportation after an accident: You won’t get money for a rental car, taxi, or other transportation from non-owners insurance.
How does non-owner car insurance work?
Non-owner car insurance works like a normal policy. The difference is that if you borrow or rent a car and have an accident, your non-owners insurance would only kick in if the costs from the accident go past the car’s existing coverage.
So let’s say you crash into another driver’s car while driving your friend’s sedan. The accident was your fault and that you caused $40,000 worth of damage to the other cars. Your friend has car insurance, but their policy only covers up to $25,000 in property damage.
In this situation, you’d be on the hook for the remaining $15,000 yourself. But since you’ve got a non-owners policy with up to $50,000 in property damage liability coverage, your policy will cover the remaining costs.
Cost of the accident
What your friend's insurance covers
What non-owner insurance would cover
Who needs non-owner car insurance?
You usually don’t need insurance if you don’t own a car. Since most cars you borrow or rent will already be insured, you could rely on that coverage and not get non-owner insurance — but for some people, a non-owner policy is a good idea.
You might need a non-owner car insurance if:
Who doesn’t need non-owner car insurance?
Not everyone needs to get non-owner insurance, even if they rent or drive other people’s cars. If you have a license but not a car, you don’t need non-owner insurance if:
How to get non-owner insurance
Unlike regular car insurance, you won’t be able to get non-owner insurance by getting quotes online. Instead, you’ll have to:
Call an insurance company or a broker: Even companies that have lots of convenient online tools will want to get more details from you before you can get non-owner insurance.
Provide basic information: You will have to give a few personal details before you can get non-owner car insurance, like your name and address, contact information, and driver’s license number.
Let insurers know if you need an SR-22: Drivers who need non-owner SR-22 insurance need to tell carriers while shopping for coverage, since not every company will cover you if you have a high-risk driving record.
Compare rates from different companies: It’s easy to find the best rates when you compare quotes before buying. Although non-owners insurance is cheaper than regular auto insurance, you still don’t want to pay more than you have to for coverage.
Best companies for non-owner car insurance
You can’t get non-owner car insurance from every company that sells regular policies. Some companies (like Progressive) only offer non-owner insurance to people who they already cover, while others only offer non-owner policies in certain states.
That said, you can get non-owner car insurance from many of the top companies for most drivers, including GEICO, our best pick for most people. The following companies offer non-owners insurance (or named non-owner insurance):
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How much does non-owner car insurance cost?
Drivers who don’t own their vehicles also get behind the wheel less often, which reduces the chance of an accident and lowers the cost of non-owners insurance.
Like with any type of car insurance, the cost of non-owner car insurance depends on your coverage limits and driving history. For example, your rates will be more expensive if you’re considered a high-risk driver or if you have to get non-owner insurance with an SR-22.