What non-owner car insurance covers

Non-owner auto insurance policies cover bodily injury and property damage liability only unless additional coverage is required by law. If you need non-owners car insurance with an SR-22, you might need more than the state minimum limits; find out before you buy.

A non-owner car insurance policy covers:

  • Bodily injury to passengers in a vehicle you strike or to a pedestrian you injure
  • Property damage to another vehicle
  • Property damage to any other type of property owned by someone else
  • Any other legally required coverages that are part of a legal minimum car insurance policy in your state, which may include personal injury protection (PIP), medical payments (MedPay) and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM)

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.

Non-owner car insurance only covers damages that are beyond the limits of the car owner’s policy. So, if an accident causes $40,000 in property damage and both you and the owner have limits of $25,000, the owner's policy would pay the first $25,000 and the non-owners policy would pay the remaining $15,000.

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 unless that coverage is required by law in your state and is part of the policy as a result.
  • 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. “Only the person listed on the policy as the ‘named insured’ is eligible for coverage under a non-owner policy,” says Rick Kautzer, associate director of personal lines product management at Dairyland Insurance. “The coverage follows the listed individual, not the vehicle driven.”
  • Driving for business purposes. If you are using your car for work, like delivering packages, a 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.