If you don’t own a car but need to buy car insurance -- either to get a driver's license or have your driver's license reinstated with an SR-22 filing -- then a non-owner car insurance policy may be just what you need to get back behind the wheel.
Only a few car insurance companies write non-owner car insurance policies, and the purchase process means you usually will have to speak with an agent. Nonetheless, you can definitely get car insurance without a car. Understanding how to compare car insurance will help with the conversation.
Learn more about what a non-owner policy can and can't do.
The cost of a non-owner car insurance
The cost of non-owner auto insurance varies but usually is cheaper than a policy that includes a vehicle. (You'll find sample rates below.) You also are less risky to an insurance company because you don’t have regular access to a car.
Factors that influence pricing include:
- The amount of liability coverage you want
- Your driving history
- Your geographical location
- How often you plan to use a car
Of course, if your record makes you a high-risk driver – you have a DUI, reckless driving or other major offense– a non-owner policy will cost more for you than it would for someone with a clean record since your driving history is a main rating factor for a non-owner policy.
Your state also may require a greater amount of liability coverage for a driver seeking license reinstatement than it does for others.
The SR-22 won’t add to the expense of your car insurance policy, but the insurer may charge a separate one-time filing fee of up to $25.
Here are some examples of rates for drivers in Southern California, comparing liability coverage quotes for both a car owner and a non-owner.
Single male, age 25, renter, clean record:
- Car owner: $470 a year
- Non-owner: $438 a year
Single male, age 25, renter, DUI with SR-22 requirement:
- Car owner: $910 a year
- Non-owner: $852 a year
Single female, age 40, renter, clean record:
- Car owner: $424 a year
- Non-owner: $368 a year
Single female, age 40, renter, DUI with SR-22 requirement:
- Car owner: $822 a year
- Non-owner: $718 a year
What does a non-owner policy cover?
Non-owner auto insurance generally covers liability (bodily injury and property damage) coverage only. Liability covers the injuries or property damage to others if you’re deemed at fault in an auto accident.
With a non-owner policy, you can purchase different limits of liability. If your state has demanded you to file an SR-22 or FR-44 filing, choose at least the amount of liability coverage the state has mandated you carry on a car insurance policy.
Non-owner can include medical coverages, such as medical payments or uninsured motorist, in certain states.
Non-owner insurance does not include the following types of coverages:
- Towing reimbursement
- Rental reimbursement
Your non-owner liability coverages can be used as secondary coverage if you borrow someone’s car and are in an auto accident; the car owner’s auto insurance would be primary.
Non-owner isn’t for everyone
Typically a non-owner policy is available to motorists who:
- Have a valid driver’s license (or can get one by obtaining a car insurance policy)
- Don’t own a vehicle
- Don’t have regular access to a car
The definition of “regular access to a car” varies by auto insurer, but with some it means use of a vehicle as little as once per week or four times a month.
Some car insurance companies won’t allow you to buy a non-owner policy if there is a vehicle in your household, but others do.
How to buy non-owner car insurance
To buy a non-owners auto insurance policy, you need only your driver’s license number and a credit or debit card to put a down payment on your policy.
You can get proof of insurance almost immediately by e-mail, and the car insurance company you choose will file an SR-22 or other required state filing on your behalf if you need it.
You must speak with an agent to obtain a quote and buy this specialty policy.
How a non-owners purchase works
- Call Insurance.com (844-520-1574) and inform the agent that you need a non-owners policy.
- If an SR-22 is required, provide the agent with the number from your notification from the state (if applicable; not all states require this).
- You’ll be asked to supply the same basic driving history as someone applying for an owner’s policy.
- The agent will give you information on the available companies and rate quotes.
- All carriers require a down payment to begin coverage, but the amount required varies greatly by company and by state. Let your agent know what you would prefer.
- Choose the company that you would like to purchase your policy through. The agent completes the purchase. In most cases the company will file the SR-22 directly with the state.
Non-owner car insurance companies
For non-owner policies, the carriers we work with include ACCC, Infinity, Dairyland, Peachtree Casualty, National General, Progressive and Titan. Not all companies do business in all states.
For SR-22s and FR-44s, the carriers we work with include Infinity, Dairyland, National General, Progressive and Titan. Not all insurance companies do business in all states.