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Non-owner car insurance is a liability insurance policy for people who don’t own a car, but frequently drive cars owned by others. It covers you for injuries and damages caused if you are in an at-fault accident in a borrowed or rented car. Non-owner car insurance is also an option if you don't own a vehicle but need to file an SR-22 form.

Non-owner car insurance meets state requirements for liability limits. It’s inexpensive compared to a traditional auto insurance policy and protects you from financial responsibility in an at-fault accident. Non-owner car insurance doesn't include any coverage for the car; that falls under the owner's policy.

Many top car insurance companies offer non-owner car insurance, but before you buy you should make sure it’s right for you. Below we'll explain what non-owner car insurance covers and why you should consider buying car insurance without owning a car.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Based on an Insurance.com 2022 rate analysis, a non-owner car insurance policy costs $380 a year on average.
  • Non-owner car insurance provides liability coverage to drivers who don't own a car but still require insurance coverage.
  • It does not cover any of your injuries or damage to the car you are driving if you are responsible for an accident.
  • According to Insurance.com's analysis, Auto-Owners ($86 annually) non-owner car insurance is the cheapest car insurance rate, on average.

What is non-owner car insurance?

Non-owner car insurance provides liability coverage for drivers who need car insurance but own a car. Most types of car insurance are designed for vehicle owners. Non-owner auto insurance protects you no matter who owns the car.

"Non-owner policies are available for individuals who don’t own a car or have regular access to a car, but who do drive on occasion," says Rick Kautzer, associate director of personal lines product management at Dairyland, an insurance company based in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. This type of coverage pays for injuries and damages you cause in an accident when you're driving a car that someone else owns.

Non-owner car insurance is what’s known as secondary coverage. That means the owner’s policy applies first, and any remaining liability will be paid out by the non-owner policy.

For example, let's say your non-owner policy has $40,000 in property damage liability, and the owner of the car you're driving has $20,000 in property damage liability. You cause an accident with $30,000 in damages, leaving $10,000 beyond your friend's limits. Your non-owner policy would cover the extra $10,000.

However, non-owner car insurance won't cover damage to the car you're driving or cover your injuries if you're at fault for an accident.

Non-owner car insurance is a good fit for you if you frequently rent vehicles or borrow a car, or are trying to keep continuous coverage when you're in between vehicles. Additionally, non-owner car insurance is a good option for high-risk drivers who are required to have a liability policy to keep their driver’s license.

“A non-owner policy provides the driver with protection for themself, regardless of whether the vehicle is insured,” Kautzer says. “This type of policy can also help satisfy a required proof of insurance, which helps an individual maintain an active driver’s license.”

How much is non-owner car insurance?

The average rate for a non-owner car insurance policy is $380 a year, based on a 2022 rate analysis by Insurance.com.

Non-owner auto insurance costs vary, but this coverage is usually less expensive than policies covering a vehicle. 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

Depending on your record, high-risk auto insurance may be necessary. If this is the case, a non-owner policy is likely to cost you more than it would 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 time frame
  • 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. An SR-22 is proof of financial responsibility and is required by the state after someone has had their driver's license suspended or revoked or after a major traffic violation. Filing a non-owners SR-22 insurance form won’t add to your insurance rates, but the insurer may charge a one-time filing fee of up to $25.

The following table provides sample auto insurance rates by state for non-owner car insurance.

Non-owner car insurance average costs by state

StateAverage non-owner car insurance cost
Alaska$233
Alabama$364
Arkansas$232
Arizona$386
California$323
Colorado$333
Connecticut$509
Washington D.C.$470
Delaware$720
Florida$759
Georgia$373
Hawaii$407
Iowa$193
Idaho$190
Illinois$385
Indiana$263
Kansas$280
Kentucky$522
Louisiana$366
Massachusetts$421
Maryland$355
Maine$235
Michigan$574
Minnesota$257
Missouri$315
Mississippi$350
Montana$298
North Carolina$926
North Dakota$220
Nebraska$241
New Hampshire$300
New Jersey$993
New Mexico$303
Nevada$414
New York$578
Ohio$230
Oklahoma$218
Oregon$483
Pennsylvania$337
Rhode Island$573
South Carolina$435
South Dakota$170
Tennessee$300
Texas$408
Utah$436
Virginia$336
Vermont$292
Washington$389
Wisconsin$248
West Virginia$294
Wyoming$216

Where to get cheap non-owner car insurance

Finding the cheapest non-owner insurance quotes involves the same steps as finding any other insurance policy. You should compare quotes from at least three insurance companies to see which has the lowest rates.

Among the major carriers surveyed by Insurance.com, Auto-Owners has the cheapest non-owner car insurance, on average. You'll see how major carriers compare on quotes for non-owner insurance, and that you can save up to $1,000 or more by comparison shopping.

CompanyNon-owner yearly rate
Auto Owners$86
Shelter$97
Vermont$120
Iowa Farm Bureau$143
Western National Finance$143
American National Finance$145
USAA$160
Frankenmuth$165
Auto Club Enterprises$174
Westfield$195
Safety$196
Kemper Corp$273
Erie$273
Berkshire Hathaway$296
State Farm$306
Travelers$343
Mercury Gen$355
Automobile Club Mi$383
Nationwide Corp$428
CSAA$444
Arbella$476
Farmers$478
Hartford Fire & Cas$482
American Family$500
Allstate$536
Progressive$593

How does non-owner auto insurance work?

Non-owner car insurance is for people who don't own a car. It provides liability coverage if something happens and covers you when you are at fault for causing damage or injury to other people. However, it will not provide coverage for your own injuries or damage that occurs to the car you are driving.

Can you get car insurance without a car?

Yes. Guidelines vary, but typically an insurer will require that:

  • You have a valid driver’s license.
  • You do not own a vehicle.
  • Some insurers also require that no one in your household owns a vehicle and that you do not have regular access to a vehicle.

What does a non-owner car 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 because collision and comprehensive coverage isn’t part of the policy.

With a non-owner insurance 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.

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 in a rental, 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.

What’s not covered by non-owner auto insurance?

Non-owner insurance does not include the following types of coverages:

  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Towing reimbursement
  • Rental reimbursement

Non-owner car insurance does not protect against:

  • Damage to the borrowed or rented vehicle: You won’t be covered if you’re in an accident that causes damage to the vehicle you happen to be driving at the time. This means that if you borrow your friend's car and get into a fender bender with another vehicle, the vehicle's owner can file a claim under their own car insurance, or against the other driver's car insurance.
  • Bodily injury you suffer in an accident: Non-owner car insurance policies provide liability coverage. The policy won’t cover any medical costs or lost wages that you may experience due to injuries sustained in an accident.
  • Other drivers: Non-owner car insurance only covers the person who bought it. It does not offer coverage to other people in your household, like your spouse or others.
  • Driving for business purposes: If you are using your car for work, like delivering packages, non-owners car insurance policy will not cover you.
  • Personal belongings: Non-owner car insurance won’t cover personal belongings inside the motor vehicle, such as bags, laptops or other items.

Is non-owner car insurance for you?

So, do you need non-owner auto insurance?

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.

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 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 need a standard policy.
  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 get 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 email, 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 a non-owner car insurance quote.

Follow these steps to buy non-owners insurance

  1. Contact an auto insurance company representative about the coverage. If non-owners SR-22 insurance is required, provide the agent with your state notification number (if applicable – not all states require this).
  2. Supply basic driving history.
  3. Receive information on available companies and insurance rate quotes.
  4. Choose the company and quote that best meets your needs.
  5. Supply a down payment to begin coverage.

FAQs: Non-Owner Car Insurance

What is non-owner SR-22 insurance?

Non-owner SR-22 insurance is a type of car insurance for drivers who don't own a car but are required to have SR-22 insurance. If your license is suspended, you might need to get this type of policy to be able to drive again.

An SR-22 is proof of financial responsibility and is required by a state after someone has had their driver's license suspended or revoked. 

How do you get non-owner SR-22 insurance?

Not every insurance company offers SR-22 policies. So, you will need to ask your current insurer – or any insurers you are considering – whether you can get this coverage.

Once you find the right insurer, the company should take care of filing the SR-22 form with the state on your behalf. However, it is always a good idea to ask your insurer directly whether it performs this service.

Can a non-owner insure a car?

You can insure a car that you don't personally own in most states by proving insurable interest. This means that you have a financial interest in the vehicle and will lose money if the vehicle suffers damage. It also reduces the risk of you committing insurance fraud.

How can you get liability insurance without a car?

By purchasing a non-owner car insurance policy, you are getting protection for yourself should you injure another person or damage someone’s property while you are driving.

“Only the person listed on the policy as the ‘named insured’ is eligible for coverage under a non-owner policy,” Kautzer says. “The coverage follows the listed individual, not the vehicle driven.”

What happens if I have non-owner car insurance and I buy a car?

If you own a car, it's important to purchase the right kind of insurance. A traditional auto policy will cover the damage and injuries you cause to others. Non-owner auto insurance policies don’t cover you if you buy a car.

Can you drive someone else's car without insurance?

You don't need to get car insurance if you drive someone else's car on occasion. However, if you drive other people's cars often, it might be a good idea to get non-owner car insurance.

Can you rent a car without insurance?

Yes, you can rent a car without having auto insurance. In most cases, rental cars come with some form of liability coverage that will protect you in case something goes wrong while driving the vehicle.

Do you need insurance if you have a license but no car?

You don't need car insurance if you have a license but no car. If you borrow cars occasionally, the owner's insurance should cover you. But if you rent cars or drive someone else's car frequently, it might be a good idea to get non-owner car insurance.

Can I drive someone else's car with my insurance?

Yes, you can drive someone else's car with your insurance if you have their permission to use their vehicle. It is known as "permissive use" which means their insurance will likely cover you in the event of an accident, as long as you have their permission.

Methodology

In calculating average costs, Insurance.com gathered quotes for a 40-year-old male driver with no violations on his record and a good insurance score. All quotes were compiled in 2022.

--Penny Gusner contributed to this report

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