Auto Insurance Basics

Non Owner Car Insurance: What Is It and Who Should Have It?

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Non owner car insurance is a liability policy for those who drive, but don't own a car. Whether you rent or borrow a car often, or need to file for an SR-22 without a vehicle, a non-owner policy will be right for you. We explore in-depth this type of insurance, and discuss what some of the best companies for a non-owner policy may be.

What is Non Owner Car Insurance?

Non owner insurance is a type of auto insurance that provides you with liability and property damage coverage when you are driving you do not personally own. So should you be in an accident with another driver, and found to be at-fault, your non owner policy would shield you from lawsuits just as a normal liability policy would. Based on the state which you live, you would need to have the minimum amount of coverage required by the state for the policy to be valid. As for price, a non owner policy will generally cost 5% to 15% less than a policy you would have if you owned a car.

Should You Get Non Owner Auto Insurance?

You should only get a non owners policy if you fit one of the following:

  • If you need an SR-22/FR-44
  • If you frequently or borrow cars from rental services or non-friends/relatives
  • If you are being deployed overseas

If You Need to Get an SR-22, Non Owner Auto Insurance May be Your Best Option

Those who received a DUI or committed a serious traffic violation may need to get SR-22 or FR-44 insurance to get their license reinstated. Unfortunately, you usually need insurance and an insurance company to do that for you. That’s where a non owner car insurance policy comes in handy. The company you get the policy with can file the SR-22 on your behalf and get you on your way to a license reinstatement.

Not every insurance company, especially smaller ones, will sponsor an SR-22 or FR-44 either. If you do not want to leave you company though, you can get a non-owner policy through another company so they can file the SR-22 on your behalf.

If You Rent or Borrow Cars Often, You Should get a Non Owner Policy

If you rent often, a non owners policy may be cheaper than always getting rental car insurance. We find rental car insurance costs at least $20 each time so if you're renting a car more than 50 days a year, that will likely cost more than most non owner auto policies you would get. If you rely on your credit card for rental car insurance, you may also want to consider a non owner policy because most credit card rental policies don't actually provide you coverage should someone sue you for damages--they just cover damage to the rental. Combing your credit car rental insurance with the liability portion of a non-owners policy would actually provide you with the most comprehensive coverage outside of a normal policy.

As well, if you find yourself borrowing cars frequently from non-friends or relatives, this insurance would also be great for you. Perhaps you are a nanny who uses a family car to usher children around. Most likely the family would not add you to their auto policy. Ultimately, their policy would cover the damage to the car, to the children, but may not be enough for your own damages. Having the extra coverage would be a smart thing to have.

If You are Being Deployed Overseas

This may also be a great option if you are in the military and need car insurance while you are being deployed overseas to avoid a lapse in coverage. While some companies like USAA and GEICO offer hefty discounts for when you leave, it may actually turn out that a non owner auto policy will be your cheapest option. You will have to compare across the different insurers to be sure.

Best Car Insurance Companies for a Non Owner Policy

Most major auto insurance companies offer non owner insurance policies. The following all have non owner car insurance:

  • State Farm
  • Nationwide
  • Titan
  • The General
  • Progressive
  • Dairyland

Which of these is the best? Neither of these companies are actually very forth coming with their non owners policies--and some have restrictions. State Farm is likely the best as it takes all drivers for any circumstance. GEICO is also good because it is likely to provide the cheapest quotes, but it will only cover you in the event you are driving a rental car--so no borrowed cars. Progressive's non owner auto policy is only eligible for business related vehicles. To get a Progressive non-owner quote, the car you don't own will have to be related to work in some way. For all of these companies, you will have to call up an agent to get a quote. None provide online non-owner car insurance quotes.

How Much Does Non Owner Car Insurance Cost?

It is difficult to get pricing for a non owner policy because they are not provided online by any company. You will need to comparison shop for quotes by calling up companies individually. In general, our research found rates for a non owner policy compared to a standard are 5% to 15% cheaper. If you are getting a non owner policy in order to get an SR-22, it is important to remember any DUIs or incidents on your record will still negatively impact your rates--even if its for a non owner policy. Do not expect your rates with a non owner policy to be cheaper than your old, pre-incident rate, but expect it to be cheaper than a rate you would get if you still had a car.

How to Get a Non Owner Policy?

Unfortunately, no auto insurer offers non owner quotes online. Even GEICO, which is renown for the ease of its online process, requires you call an agent to get a quote. The following tables lists the numbers for each company to call and get a quote.

CompanyPhone Number
State Farm800-782-8332
The General1-800-280-1466

When You Shouldn't Get a Policy

If you are any of the following, you should not be getting a non owner auto policy:

  • If you own a car
  • If you borrow a relative's car frequently
  • If you use a company car only for business

If you own a car this insurance is not for you. If you want extra liability protection, an umbrella policy is better. If you are a young driver, and drive your parents’ cars, it could be an option if they do not want to carry the brunt of adding a young driver to their policy. You will have to weigh the cost of the non owner policy and the cost of adding you to your parents policy to see which is the most affordable.

Borrowing Relative's Cars

You don't technically need non owner insurance if you're driving someone else's car with their permission. If you get into an accident with a friend's or relative's car, they are liable for the accident. So if you have a generous friend who does not mind filing a claim on your behalf, then you don't need to buy the insurance. If you did have the policy however, it would serve as a secondary coverage that could split the costs with your friend to ease their burden. Remember though that if you live with your friend, and use the car often, the insurance company will expect you to be on the main policy.

Borrowing Company Cars

Finally, if you drive a company car, as in, the car you drive the most is owned by your company, the situation can be a little complicated. If you drive the car exclusively for business and you do everything your employer asks, then the company, or their insurance, will cover any accidents. Getting Non-Owners wouldn’t make much sense in this case. If however you use a company car for leisure activities. For example, you take the car home with you and drive anywhere you like, then this policy may be useful. Any accident incurred while using a company car for leisure activities will most likely not be covered by the company, making you liable.

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