Non-Owner Car Insurance: What Is It and Do You Need It?


WRITTEN BY: Julia Matseikovich

UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 23, 2022 | 1 MIN READ

Have a driver’s license but don’t own a car? You might want to consider non-owner car insurance. This way, you know you’re covered regardless of whose vehicle you’re driving. Learn more about non-owner car insurance, including when you do and don’t need it.

What Is Non-Owner Car Insurance

This policy is a good option if you don’t own a car but sometimes drive a car. For example, if you regularly drive rental vehicles, borrow, or use car-sharing services, you would need non-owner car insurance.

You wouldn’t want this policy if you only occasionally borrowed a relative’s car. Instead, you would want to be listed as an occasional driver on the owner’s insurance.

What does this type of insurance cover?

Non-owner car insurance covers:

  • Medical bills resulting from accidents
  • Injuries to other drivers in accidents that are your fault
  • Accidents caused by uninsured drivers
  • Property damage excluding damage to the vehicle you’re driving.

What isn’t covered?

Non-owner auto insurance doesn’t cover damages to the vehicle you’re driving. It also doesn’t include property damage or injuries you might have suffered in an accident.

Don’t worry, though.

In most cases, car insurance follows the vehicle. So as long as the car owner has full-coverage insurance, repairs to the car are covered under that policy. 

Is an SR-22 the same as non-owner car insurance?

No.  An SR-22 is not the same. An SR-22 is what you get to get your driver’s license reinstated after a serious violation such as a DUI. However, you can get a non-owner SR-22 car insurance policy if you no longer have a vehicle.

When Do You Need Non-Owner Car Insurance?

People who don’t own a car aren’t legally required to have auto insurance. But there are a few reasons you might want to purchase non-owner’s car insurance:

  • You regularly borrow someone else’s car
  • You need an SR-22 or FR-44 because of a serious traffic violation, like a DUI
  • You regularly rent vehicles
  • You sold your car or haven’t used it in a while because you were deployed

Who needs this policy?

If you don’t own a vehicle but regularly use another person’s vehicle, you should have this type of insurance. Also, if you need an SR-22 because of a DUI, you should have this type of insurance. 

Who doesn’t need this policy?

There are a couple of scenarios where you wouldn’t need this policy. First, if you live with someone whose vehicle you regularly use, you should be listed on their insurance policy as an occasional driver.

If you only occasionally borrow a friend’s car or rent a car once a year, buying this type of policy wouldn’t be worthwhile. You always want to ensure that you’re covered before driving any vehicle.

What to do if you have non-owner insurance and buy a car

You will no longer qualify if you purchase a vehicle. The best thing to do is contact your insurance agent and cancel your policy. Then, you need to buy a standard car insurance policy.

How to Get Cheap Non-Owner Car Insurance

The best thing you could do to get the cheapest policy is to call around to ensure you get the best quote.

The national average cost for six months over coverage is $585 compared to $765 for standard liability-only car insurance. The cheapest company that offers non-owner liability insurance is USAA for $252 per six months, but it is only available to active or retired military members and their families.

Where can you get non-owner car insurance?

Not all companies advertise that they offer this policy, and sometimes they only offer it to existing customers. 

Who sells non-owner car insurance?

These are companies that sell this policy but keep in mind that they might not sell to new customers:

  • USAA
  • American Family
  • Acceptance Insurance
  • Farmers
  • Direct Auto Insurance
  • Dairyland Insurance
  • Geico
  • Travelers
  • Nationwide
  • Liberty Mutual
  • State Farm

How much does this policy cost?

It’s hard to give an exact cost as it depends on the individual. You also have to factor in that each insurer can have different costs. A policy can be between 5% and 15% cheaper than standard car insurance.

The cost depends on the following factors:

  • Where you live
  • Your coverage limits
  • How often do you expect to drive
  • Your driving history

If you are getting a non-owner SR-22 insurance policy, keep in mind that any serious violations on your record will impact your insurance rates.

FAQs

Can you insure a car you don’t own?

Yes. This policy is made for people who regularly borrow another person’s car or rent a car.

What insurance companies offer non-owner car insurance?

Many companies offer non-owners car insurance, but not all offer it to new customers.

These are the companies that offer non-owner car insurance:

  • USAA
  • American Family
  • Acceptance Insurance
  • Farmers
  • Direct Auto Insurance
  • Dairyland Insurance
  • Geico
  • Travelers
  • Nationwide
  • Liberty Mutual
  • State Farm

Do I need non-owner car insurance?

You only need it if you regularly use a vehicle that’s not your own. If you borrow a friend’s car or regularly rent a vehicle, you need non-owner car insurance. 

How do I get an SR-22?

You can obtain an SR-22 by filing with your state, which can be obtained from your state’s department of motor vehicles. It is also known as a “Certificate of Financial Responsibility.” It proves that you have car insurance that meets the minimum coverage required by law.

What does an SR-22 cover?

An SR-22 covers any liability arising from an accident and will cover property damage. It’s considered a “financial responsibility” because it covers the driver’s liability to others who could be injured in an accident.

Getting Non-Owner Car Insurance

Get car insurance quotes from several companies if you want more information about non-owner car insurance. This way, you know you’re getting the best deal possible.