Don't own, but still drive? Look for non-owners car insurance

By Donna Fuscaldo Posted : 10/29/2014

Rental car insuranceIf you don't drive a car regularly but want protection when you do or to keep continuous coverage in place, a non-owners car insurance policy might be a good option.

Many auto insurance companies offer this type of coverage, although it's not widely promoted. A policy typically costs about half of that of what a full operators car insurance policy would cost.

"If you don't own a vehicle, it's recommended you carry some type of non-owners coverage that provides liability [insurance]," says Angela Preciado, auto product management director at USAA Insurance.

The monthly cost of non-owners auto insurance varies. Factors that influence pricing include:

  • The amount of protection you want
  • How often you plan to use a car
  • Your driving history
  • Your geographical location

Looking for cheap car insurance? Compare car insurance quotes for a non-owners policy to ensure you get the most bang for your buck, says Mark Smigelski, a personal insurance product specialist at State Auto Insurance Companies.

"It's very competitively priced," he says.

Non-owners auto insurance limits

Non-owners car insuranceNon-owners auto insurance generally covers liability only, which protects you if you are at fault for any injuries or property damage suffered by another driver.  

Non-owners bodily injury liability coverage will cover injuries suffered by another driver or passengers of another vehicle due to an auto accident that you have been deemed to be at-fault for.  Property damage liability covers damage you cause to another vehicle or property, such as a fence or guardrail.

Non-owners insurance typically does not include the following coverages:

  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Towing reimbursement
  • Rental reimbursement

 “The intent of the non-owners is to provide liability protection, not physical damage coverage for the vehicle," Preciado says.  So, if you borrow your friend’s car and crash it, he or she would need collision to cover the damage to the car because your non-owners policy would not. 

If you regularly rent cars, look for an auto insurance provider that offers a non-owner policy that extends to rental vehicles.  Many car insurance companies will not provide a non-owners policy to an individual who intends to rent vehicle.  Also, if you plan on renting or borrowing a car to use in business, you won’t be eligible for a non-owners policy with most car auto insurance providers.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), rental car companies usually must, by law, provide the state minimum liability insurance. Thus, if you want a non-owner policy just to rent a car, there likely is no need for it.  

Rental car agencies do offer excess liability coverage at the counter -- which the III notes is typically $7 to $14 a day -- if you would like higher liability than the state’s minimum limits carried on your rental car.

If you occasionally borrow the car of a friend or family member, the owner's car insurance policy will cover any accidents. However, a non-owners policy can still pay off in such circumstances as secondary coverage.

If the owner's liability limits are low, your non-owners policy may offer additional protection if the owner’s policy is exceeded. For example, if you crash your friend’s car and he only has a $5,000 property damage liability limit and your non-owners limits is $25,000, your policy could be looked to after his is exhausted. Without the non-owners policy there to help pay for damages, you could instead be looking at being sued by the damaged party.

Damage and theft protection

If you opt for a non-owners car insurance policy, it's important to remember that the policy will not cover any damages that occur to a car you rent. For this reason, it often makes sense to purchase a collision damage waiver -- commonly known as a CDW or loss damage waiver -- from the car rental agency.

Technically, a loss-damage waiver is not insurance. But, it will protect you from being responsible for damage to or the theft of your rental. Waivers also may offer protection from "loss of use" fees charged to renters while a rental car is being repaired.  A waiver typically costs between $9 and $19 per day, according to III.

A borrowed car from a friend also would have no coverage for damage or theft under a non-owners policy, so make certain the owner has collision and comprehensive on the vehicle.  If not, then be forewarned that if you damage the vehicle, it will be you personally that will be responsible to the owner for paying for damages.

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33 Responses to "Don't own, but still drive? Look for non-owners car insurance"
  1. autoankauf 27, Nov, 2013

    nice blog,i like the info that you are sharing with networking community.i like your way of written a blog.nice job,keep it up.

  2. Fenicia Rosario 18, Oct, 2013

    I do not own a vehicle and I don't need an SR-22 because I have a perfect driving record. I am not interested at this point in purchasing one, but I rent from Enterprise and have been for a long time because of their low weekend rates. Although, having to buy their insurance ends up to be expensive. I do not own a major credit card either. I need a non-owners liablity insurance. When I find a site that offers it, they then ask questions about a car you do not own, which does not make sense to me, does it make sense to you? I need help in finding a reputable insurance company that offers this type of insurance. Thank you

  3. M. Hughes 19, Apr, 2013

    I just got non-owners liability from American Family Insurance.

  4. DeJuan Burrell 11, Mar, 2013

    i need non-drivers insurance

  5. Tony B 10, Mar, 2013

    My son has alot of points on his policy. He currently has a non-owner policy and lives at home. He is looking to buy a car. To save money, can I, his father, insure the car under my policy (with full coverage) at a much lower cost, and have him drive the car with the non-owner policy? This would be much cheaper than him insuring the car undr his name. Is this OK to do?

    1. Tim F 05, Apr, 2013

      Tony.... here is what can happen in your situation.... by insuring his car in your name under your own policy makes your policy primary when it comes to claim time.... meaning your policy will pay first. Any law suits will fall primarily upon u. because u allowed him to drive know he had a BAD driving record. Insurance follows the car not the driver. Question is: Do u want to take that risk?

        Reply »  
  6. Joseph Nixon 21, Feb, 2013

    i need a quote in Tampa,Fl....I'm a HTO and i need non- owner insurance bad Please help someone

  7. Lisa 14, Jan, 2013

    I do not own a car but would like to barrow or rent one.

  8. Lee 16, Dec, 2012

    For those having trouble getting liability insurance for non-owners, try You can also ask the insurance company that carries your homeowner's, renter's, life or health policies if they would offer you this type of policy. They may offer it and give you a discount for piggy-backing an extra policy.

    1. Digger 01, Jan, 2013

      No, Lee, that only pops up to Geico and then asks for your vehicle info. There is never an option for "No car" at any site on the interweb. I think you could sooner find a Unicorn.

        Reply »  
  9. Ari Ross 02, Oct, 2012

    This was a pretty helpful article, but I was personally already looking for non-owners insurance when I found it. Whenever I go to get a quote I am asked to provide details on the vehicle I wish to insure. I don't have a vehicle to insure which is why I needed non-owners in the first place. Most of the insurance companies I have looked at offer non-owners for employers who wish to insure the drivers of company cars, but not for the average non-car-owner who might have use for driving. I need help just finding a policy/quote. If someone has any advice as to what companies I should look at it would be greatly appreciated!

  10. yuvi 26, Sep, 2012

    Hi, Thank you for your tips. I will like to understand if i can use the 'Non Owners/Named Operator' policy to cover the liability and my Visa credit card to cover the collision on a rental card? Can we mix the two to cover the insurance charges? Is it possible or doable? Thanks, yuvi

  11. yuvi 25, Sep, 2012

    Hi, I am a bit confused with the different content and responses i have received. I will like to know if the non-owners or the named operator policy can be used on rental cars or not? (to cover the liability)? If it does, can we use a combination of this policy (to cover liability) and a visa credit card (to cover collision) on rental cars? Please advise. Thanks, yuvi

  12. Andrew Potash 06, Aug, 2012

    Hello, I was hoping to get a quote for a nonowners auto policy. Please advise. Thanks, Andy

  13. Andrew Potash 06, Aug, 2012

    Hello, I was hoping to get quotes for non-owners auto insurance. Please advise. -Andy

  14. Fed=Up 25, Jul, 2012

    While the information is helpful in explaining WHAT it is and for, it does nothing to assist in actually acquiring the insurance in question. I have a vehicle and am the ONLY driver, 99% of the time. Occasionally my son will run an errand for me, but it is definitely NOT worth claiming him on my insurance rates! (kicked up from about $600 for 6 mths to $1800!! who can afford that!?!?!) I am with the woman above requesting insurance on the DRIVER for the few times they may drive the vehicle in question. So far, it is similar to chasing your tail.

  15. jacob little 05, Jul, 2012

    I need a quote for non owners insurance

  16. Non owners car insurance 03, Jul, 2012

    The Car rental companies are now asking for car insurance, for me and I don't have a car, but I do be driving my brothers and sisters car. I need now owners car insurance

  17. Eliseo Garza 13, Jun, 2012

    need non owners insurance

  18. Matthew Pavlica 09, Oct, 2011

    Great article, here are several tips from me on how to get cheaper car insurance: - Use insurance comparison site like You may be able to compare quotes from many insurance companies. - Ask for group discount.Get as many insurances as you need from the same company. - Stay insured.If you cancel your plan even for several days, some companies may consider you as high risk and you may need to pay more next time. - Car Security Devices.Any extra security measures you take to deter thieves from stealing your car will further decrease the risks you pose to the insurance company. - Good driving records.that will definitely lower your price.

  19. turrtle 06, Oct, 2011

    Your form at the top of this article requires you to enter a vehicle. So, this site does not provide quotes for non-owner insurance.

    1. Anonymous 10, Nov, 2011

      If you need more assistance you can always call our registered agents. Our number is 1-800-726-4780.

        Reply »  
  20. Eli 20, Sep, 2011

    Got quotes from both in Virginia and Maryland. You guys may to start there.

  21. Jake 20, Sep, 2011

    I called a few agents and no insurance company will provide insurance for a rental car. They said it cover temporary borrowing or usage of vehicles that you you do not own. The vehicle cannot be at your disposal for 24 hrs of a day.

  22. Bil 19, Sep, 2011

    I just called & they DON'T sell non-owner auto insurance everywhere. Has anyone in Mass got it? -Bil

  23. Rajesh Gadamsetty 21, Aug, 2011

    need non owner car insurance quotes

  24. Phillip Banks 14, Aug, 2011

    I need a quote for nonowners insurance for NC as soon as possible. Thanks. Phil Banks

  25. erica jones 03, Aug, 2011

    Looking for non owners insurance to protect me for when I do drive?

  26. 02, Aug, 2011

    You can request a quote for nonowners car insurance by using our form at the beginning of this article or by checking out our auto insurance homepage at Auto Insurance Quotes. Thank you for using!

  27. Richard G 17, Jul, 2011

    I have tried 25 Insurance companies online and there is now possible way to get an online quote for non-owners insurance. Apparently, we must call the companies and try to get quotes. My reason for looking is that at age 55, and having driven and had continuous insurance in place since, and have recently moved to NYC and considering selling my vehicle, but still wanting to insure my driving a rental, friends car or hertz-on-demand or ZipCar and not have a problem in a few years if i decide to purchase a car once again.

  28. Maria Aguilar 11, Jul, 2011

    I would like a quote on non owners insurance for my grandson that does not own a vehicle, but sometimes drives my vehicle.

  29. Sid 05, Jul, 2011

    I have been trying to get a quote for non owners insurance but everytime I go to a website the only options they give me is to get insurance on a car. I don't own a car, but i want to be able to drive my roommates vehicle on occasion and feel safe doing so. help?

  30. Travis Keeney 01, Jul, 2011

    I am wanting a quote for non-owners insurance


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