Non-owner car insurance guide

By Posted : 02/11/2016

You might buy non-owner car insurance because:

  • You need to get a driver's license (in certain states)
  • You want to have your driver's license reinstated after a suspension

Only a few car insurance companies write non-owner auto insurance policies (also known as named non-owner policies. The purchase process requires you to speak with an insurance agent. Nonetheless, it is possible to buy auto insurance without a car.

If a non-owner car insurance policy is what you need to get back behind the wheel, give Insurance.com a call at 844-520-1574.  One of our licensed agents can help you obtain quotes and buy coverage. Our agents can also help if you need a typical auto insurance policy. You can compare car insurance quotes  online as well.

Learn more about what a non-owner policy can and can't do.

•    Non-owner car insurance cost
•    What does a non-owner auto insurance policy cover?
•    Is a non-owner policy right for you?
•    When is a non-owner auto insurance policy unnecessary?
•    How to buy a non-owner policy
•    Non-owner car insurance companies

How much does non-owner car insurance cost?

Non-owner auto insurance costs vary, but this coverage is usually less expensive than policies covering a vehicle. (Sample rates are below.) Insurers view those who don’t own cars as less risky because they don’t have regular access to a car. Factors influencing cost include:

  • The amount of liability insurance coverage you want
  • Your driving history
  • Your geographical location
  • How often you plan to use a carSR22 filing

Depending on your record, high-risk auto insurance may be necessary. If this is the case, your non-owner policy is likely to cost you more than it would for someone with a clean record.

Drivers may be considered “high-risk” if their record includes:

  • A DUI conviction
  • Reckless driving
  • Multiple traffic offenses within a short timeframe
  • Driving without insurance

If you’re seeking license reinstatement, your state may require higher liability limits than it does for others. Higher limits will cost a little more.

In some cases, it may be necessary to file an SR-22 form with your state. Filing an SR-22 won’t add to your car insurance policy cost, but the insurer may charge a one-time filing fee of up to $25. The following table provides example auto-insurance rates for drivers in Southern California. It compares liability coverage quotes for both a car owner and a non-owner.

Driver profile
 Owner ($/yr)   Non-owner ($/yr)  Non-owner savings  %
Single male, age 25, renter, clean record         $470           $438    7%
Single male, age 25, renter, DUI w/ SR22         $910           $852    6%
Single female, age 40, renter, clean record         $424           $368   13%
Single female, age 40, renter, DUI w/ SR22         $822           $718   13%

What does a non-owner auto insurance policy cover?

Non-owner auto insurance policies generally cover liability (bodily injury and property damage only). Liability insurance covers injuries or property damage that you’re legally liable for as a result of an auto accident. It does not cover your rented or borrowed vehicle if it gets damaged or stolen while you're using it.

With a non-owner policy, you can purchase different liability limits. If your state has demanded that you file an SR-22 or FR-44 financial responsibility form, the state may dictate what liability coverage amount you should obtain.

In certain states, non-owner auto insurance can provide medical or uninsured motorist coverage. Non-owner insurance does not include the following types of coverages:

  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Towing reimbursement
  • Rental reimbursement

Your non-owner liability coverage can be used as secondary coverage if you borrow someone’s car and are in an auto accident; the car owner’s auto insurance serves as the primary insurance.

Some insurers offer non-owner auto policies that extend coverage to rental cars. If you buy non-owner auto insurance to cover you when renting vehicles, you should check with your insurer to confirm your policy includes rental cars. Keep in mind that rental car companies usually are required, by law, to provide the state minimum liability coverage for their cars.

  • 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

If you plan on having a gap in owning a car, obtaining a non-owner insurance policy to maintain continuous insurance coverage is a wise idea. Continuous coverage can make you eligible for discounted rates--and keeps you from rate hikes typically given to those who have a gap in coverage.define regular access

Insurers define “regular access to a car” in various ways, with some viewing it as using a vehicle as little as once per week or four times per month. 

In certain cases, you may even opt for a non-owner policy when you own a vehicle. If you're required to file a certificate, such as an SR-22 or FR-44, and your current carrier does not offer them, you can take out a supplementary non-owner policy with another company to meet this obligation. Because your vehicle won't be covered by this secondary policy, the extra costs involved in this strategy are usually low. 

Who should not buy personal non-owner auto insurance?

The following scenarios indicate that non-owner auto insurance isn’t the right fit for you.

  1. You own a car. If you own a car, you can shop for auto insurance using our quote comparison tool that allows you to compare car insurance quotes side-by-side from top insurance companies. It's free and people have saved an average of $555 when purchasing using this online tool.
  2. You’re listed as a primary driver of a vehicle. Some car insurance companies won’t allow you to buy a non-owner policy if there are too many primary drivers and vehicles listed on a policy. If a policy lists three drivers and three cars, and you're one of the drivers, you will be listed as the primary driver on the third vehicle and won't be able to buy non-owner car insurance.
  3. You are using a vehicle for business purposes. A commercial non-owner policy is better suited for this situation.
  4. You cannot get a valid license within 30 days. If you are currently without a valid license and will not be able to get one shortly, you cannot obtain a non-owner policy.

How to buy non-owner car insurance

To purchase a non-owner auto insurance policy, you need only your driver’s license number and a credit or debit card. You can get proof of insurance almost immediately by e-mail, and the car insurance company you choose can file an SR-22 or other required state form on your behalf, if you need it.

You must speak with an agent to obtain non-owner car insurance quotes.

Follow these steps to buy non-owner insurance

  1. Call Insurance.com (844-520-1574) and inform the agent that you need a non-owners policy.
  2. If an SR-22 is required, provide the agent with your state notification number (if applicable--not all states require this).  
  3. Supply basic driving history. 
  4. Receive information on available companies and insurance rate quotes.
  5. Choose the company and quote that best meets your needs.
  6. Supply a down payment to begin coverage. The amount required varies greatly by company and state.
  7. The agent completes the purchase. In most cases, the insurance company files an SR-22 directly with your state, if necessary.

Non-owner car insurance companies

For non-owner policies, the carriers we work with include:

** Companies offer SR-22 and FR-44

Not all companies do business in all states.

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