A Guide To Non-Owner Car Insurance

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A Guide To Non-Owner Car InsuranceA Guide To Non-Owner Car Insurance

Can You Get Insurance if You Don’t Own a Car?

Yes, you absolutely can, and no, we aren’t accusing you of joyriding. Say you run weekly errands using your parents car, or you’re planning on house-sitting for a pal who’s on an extended sabbatical — and using their car while you're at it. In either case, you don’t own the car, but you might need car insurance, though not forever. 

While it sounds counterintuitive, you can get insurance even if you don’t own a car. It’s appropriately called non-owners car insurance, and it exists for individuals who don’t own a vehicle but do find themselves frequently driving a car that belongs to someone else. 

In this article, we’ll explain how this type of car insurance works, what it covers, how much it costs, and when you might want to purchase a non-owner auto insurance policy.

What is Non-Owner Car Insurance and What Does It Cover?

Non-owner car insurance is automobile coverage for individual policyholders who don’t have their own vehicle and frequently drive a car that belongs to someone else.

This type of policy offers secondary coverage and is what’s known as a “named insured” policy, meaning only the person listed on the actual policy is covered. 

A good thing about non-owner car insurance is that it comes with liability coverage, meaning that it will pay for any property damage or medical expenses suffered by the other party in the event you’re in an accident. 

A less-good thing about non-owner car insurance is that it does not actually protect the vehicle you’re driving. Said another way: that means there’s no comprehensive or collision coverage. If you want that extra protection, you’re going to need to pay more; otherwise, you’ll be stuck paying any bills out of pocket. But because non-drivers insurance is secondary coverage, this means that the car’s owner should have a standard auto insurance policy — and that will pay out first.

Pro-tip: If you’re exploring non-owners car insurance, you might also want to consider purchasing uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage, medical payments coverage, or personal injury protection. These add-ons can help you see healthcare providers post-accident without having to pay the medical bills out of pocket.

When Do You Need Non-Owner Car Insurance? 

If you only drive a couple of times per year, non-owner coverage probably isn’t worth the cost. But you might want to investigate non-owners car insurance policies if you’re someone who: 

  • Uses a car-sharing service frequently, like Zipcar.
  • Rents cars regularly.
  • Borrows a friend’s car often (Plus, your friend should check with their insurer to make sure you’re covered when you drive their car!)

In the case of borrowing a car from someone you know, the owner might only have the minimum auto insurance required by their state. This means that if you’re in an accident resulting in $50,000 worth of property damage, but your friend’s policy only provides $25,000 in coverage, you’re responsible for the other $25,000. In this situation, your non-owners car insurance policy would pay the balance.

You might also want non-owners insurance during military deployments. While you may not be driving during that time, the non-driver's policy will help you maintain continuous coverage, which could result in a lower premium when you need a standard auto policy later.

And if you’ve ever had a DUI or other serious moving violation, this might be the policy you need in order to get your license reinstated. Some states require a minimum amount of coverage to drive a car, and a non-owners policy could be enough. 

Something to keep in mind: If you find yourself behind the wheel of a car belonging to  someone you live with, it’s probably better to be added as a named driver on their policy. In fact, your insurance provider may require the policyholder to list all drivers in the household. And it’s possible that, if you do have regular access to a car in your home, you aren’t eligible for a non-owner’s policy — so you really need to read the T&Cs.

How Much Does Non-Owner Car Insurance Cost?

Non-owner auto insurance typically costs less than traditional car insurance, but the exact rate will depend on the coverage limits you choose, your location, your driving record, and how much you plan to drive. If you’ve had major driving convictions, your costs will be higher.

But here’s an important flag if you’re thinking about buying this type of coverage: it’s almost impossible to get a quote for non-owner car insurance online. So you’ll have to pick up the phone and call your insurance company or an agent to get pricing. 

One final note on cost: Since this type of insurance doesn’t cover the vehicle you’re driving, you won’t have to pay a deductible when you file a claim.

Find the Right Non-Owner Car Insurance Policy With Marble

Thinking a non-owners car insurance policy might be right for you, but not sure where to start? Marble can help you shop for policies, compare quotes, and keep everything organized — all in one digital wallet. Sign up today and you can earn rewards just for having insurance.