Non-owner car insurance: How does it works and do you need one?

by Stable MARK | Updated: August 14, 2022
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If you don't own a car but still drive, non-owner car insurance is a great option for you. It's much cheaper than a standard policy, with rates often 5-15% lower. Plus, it provides liability coverage in case you're in an accident.

In this article, you’ll find out how it works, who should own one and who shouldn’t. Let’s go!

Non-owner car insurance: How does it works and do you need one?
Image 1: Non-owner car insurance: How does it works and do you need one?

A non-owner insurance isn't the right choice for everyone. For example, if you live with someone who owns a car, or if you would otherwise be required to be listed on a car's primary insurance policy, it's not the best option.

A non-owner car insurance – what it is?

If you don't own a car but still drive occasionally, non-owner insurance can provide you with the liability coverage you need in the event of an accident. This type of insurance protects you from lawsuits and other financial consequences if you are found to be at fault for an accident while driving a vehicle you don't own. So, even if you don't have your own car, it's still a good idea to have non-owner insurance as part of your overall financial protection plan.

A non-owner auto insurance policy can provide you with important coverage, even if you don't own a car. In addition to liability coverage, which pays for injuries and property damage to the other party if you're in an accident, a non-owner policy can also include:

  • rental car liability coverage
  • medical payments or personal injury protection coverage
  • uninsured or underinsured motorist liability insurance

Without comprehensive or collision coverage, a non-owner auto insurance policy won't cover damage to the car you're driving, medical bills, or other costs from injuries you sustain if you're in a collision. Therefore, it's important to make sure you have the right kind of insurance for your needs.

How does non-owners auto insurance work?

Purchasing non-owner car insurance means that only you will be covered by the policy - not your spouse or anyone else. This can be beneficial in many situations, such as if you only drive occasionally or you don't own a car but still need to be insured. Non-owner policies typically have no deductible, meaning you don't have to pay anything out of pocket before coverage kicks in. This is because non-owner insurance is generally secondary coverage, used only if the car owner's primary coverage isn't sufficient to cover all damages.

For example: If you're driving your friend's car and get into an accident, their insurance will only cover up to $30,000 in property damage liability. If you caused $38,000 of damage, you would be responsible for the excess $8,000 in damages. This amount would be covered by your non-owner’s policy, but only if it included at least $38,000 of property damage liability coverage. Unless your non-owner liability limits are greater than those of the person whose car you’re driving, your non-owner insurance won’t come into play. So, be sure you have enough coverage.

How to get a cheap non-owner policy?

If you're looking for a quote for non-owner insurance, you'll need to provide some basic personal information, as well as your driver's license number. You can then purchase coverage using a credit card or another method of payment.

Most major auto insurance companies offer non-owner policies, but you'll need to call an agent to get a quote. Geico is known for its easy online process, but even they require you to call an agent for a quote. You can find the numbers for several top insurers in the table below.

Phone number
State Farm
The General

Although you don't own a car, you still need insurance. The best company for non-owner auto insurance depends on your driving history and personal information, as these factors will determine your premium. In certain states, non-owner insurance is not provided by insurers. We recommend that you call multiple insurers and compare multiple car insurance quotes before you make a purchase to ensure that you get the best possible rate. If you need an SR-22 or FR-44, be sure to mention this when speaking with the insurer.

Your insurer will send physical proof of coverage once you’ve purchased a non-driver insurance policy. You can usually also get a copy emailed immediately if need be. If you require one the insurer can file an SR-22 form on your behalf.

Do you need non-owner auto insurance?

There are several reasons why you might choose to get non-owner auto insurance, even if you don't own a car:

  • You won’t drive it for an extended period or simply you sold your car
  • You regularly rent cars
  • You need an SR-22 or FR-44 because of a DUI or serious traffic infraction
  • You regularly borrow other people’s cars

Non-owner car insurance can provide peace of mind and protection in many different situations. So even if you don't have a car of your own, it's worth considering whether non-owner auto insurance is right for you.

You sold your car or won’t drive for an extended period of time

If you have sold your car or will not be driving for an extended period of time, it is important to maintain your auto insurance coverage. Nearly every insurer raises rates for drivers that have a "lapse in coverage," meaning those who have no insurance for a period of time after having a policy. Even if you never operate a vehicle during your time without insurance, you will be considered a higher risk and will not qualify for the best rates.

If you're looking for an affordable auto insurance option, non-owner insurance can be a great choice, especially if you think you'll need insurance in the future. Additionally, if you are in the military and being deployed overseas, a non-owner policy may be your cheapest option, even though some companies like USAA and Geico offer discounts for periods in which you leave the country. If that is your situation, compare quotes across the different insurers to be sure you're getting the best deal.

You regularly rent cars

If you frequently rent vehicles, it will likely be cheaper in the long run to purchase a non-owner auto insurance policy than to repeatedly buy rental car insurance. Minimum $20 a day costs insurance from the rental company. So, if you're renting a car for 50 or more days a year, the annual cost of the rental insurance will add up to more than the cost of a non-owner policy. Just make sure to

It's important to confirm with your insurer that you will have liability coverage when driving a rental car. You should also check if your credit card's rental car insurance will cover damage to the rental car. If not, you may want to purchase a collision damage waiver from the rental company.

Although it may seem like a good idea to get rental car insurance from your credit card, it won’t cover you if someone sues you for damages. The free card perk covers damage to the rental car itself. If you're worried about being sued for damages, it's best to purchase separate insurance coverage. Combining your credit card rental insurance with the liability portion of a non-owner’s policy would provide you with the most comprehensive coverage, outside of carrying a policy for a vehicle you own.

You regularly borrow cars from others

If you find yourself borrowing cars frequently from friends or other people, non-drivers’ insurance may be a good choice for you. With your own car insurance policy, you can be sure that you will be covered in the event of an accident. You won't have to worry about whether the other driver's insurance will cover you, or if their liability limits are too low. Having your own policy ensures that you will have a certain level of coverage every time you get behind the wheel.

If you borrow a car from someone you live with, or if you borrow the same car on a regular basis, you should be added to the car owner’s insurance policy for primary coverage. If you don't have car insurance, the company that issued your non-owner policy might not cover you at all if you get into an accident.

Non-owner SR-22 insurance

If you've been convicted of a DUI or other serious traffic violation, you may need to get SR-22 or FR-44 insurance in order to have your license reinstated. Depending on the requirements, you may need to maintain this coverage for two to five years.

Since you can't file an SR-22 yourself, you'll need to purchase a non-owner SR-22 policy from an insurance company. They will file the SR-22 on your behalf and help you get your license back.

One key benefit of using non-owners’ insurance for an SR-22 is that it’s usually less expensive. You may still face higher rates than others, due to whatever reason the SR-22 was required, but your premiums probably won’t be as high as they would have been with a traditional auto insurance policy.

It’s important to keep in mind that not every insurance company, especially smaller ones, will sponsor an SR-22 or FR-44. You can also get a non-owner policy through another company and have them file the SR-22 on your behalf.

Who shouldn't get a non-owner policy?

You should not get a non-owner auto insurance policy if you own a car or borrow the car of someone you live with. Also, you don't need one if you rarely borrow someone’s car or just use a company car, but only for business.

You drive a company car

If your employer owns the car you drive regularly—that is, a company car—the situation can be a little complicated. If you are driving for business purposes at the request of your employer, the company, or its insurance, they will typically cover you in the event of an accident. However, if you use a company car for personal activities on a consistent basis, you may be held liable for any damage that occurs during personal use. In this case, it's wise to consider getting non-owner insurance.

You own a car or live with someone whose car you borrow

If you own a car, you may not need non-owner car insurance, as your liability coverage may extend to borrowing or renting another person’s vehicle. However, it's always wise to check with your insurer to be sure. If you want additional protection, an umbrella policy may be a better solution.

If you don't own a car but occasionally borrow the car of a parent, spouse, or another person you live with, you should get your name added to their auto insurance policy. Even if you use the car only occasionally, their insurer should be made aware that you live together and may require you to be named as a driver. Failing to do this could result in the insurer not covering certain, or any, costs if an incident occurs.

You rarely borrow someone’s car

Although you may not need non-owner insurance if you're borrowing a friend's car, it's still a good idea to have coverage. If you get into an accident while driving someone else's car, the owner's insurance will typically be considered the primary coverage. However, this does not mean that you are completely off the hook. Even if you were the driver at fault, your friend's insurance rates could go up if a claim is made. Additionally, if the damages exceed the limits of the owner's insurance policy, any excess costs will be your responsibility. Not every insurer provides coverage when someone other than the owner is driving the car, so make sure to check you are covered before you take the wheel.

How much does non-owner car insurance cost?

If you're looking for cheap non-owner car insurance, it's important to compare quotes from multiple insurers. Our research found that, on average, a non-owner policy costs 5-15% less than a traditional auto insurance policy with similar coverage. However, the savings can be much greater if you compare a non-owner policy to a policy with full coverage, or if you're insuring an expensive car. So if you're looking for the best deal on non-owner car insurance, be sure to shop around and compare quotes from multiple insurers.

There are several factors that will affect the cost of your non-owner's insurance policy, including

  • The coverage limits you choose
  • Your driving history
  • Your location
  • How often do you plan on driving

A non-owners insurance policy can be a great option for people with SR-22s on their driving records. Even though your rates may be higher than they were before the incident that led to the SR-22, they will likely be lower than if you still had a car and a flawed driving history. So, if you're looking for an affordable insurance option, a non-owners policy may be the way to go.

Non-owned insurance limits

Non-owned car insurance is a great way to protect your business from liabilities arising from the use of unowned vehicles. The limits for this type of insurance are automatically the same as those you selected for your Liability insurance, which is required in order to carry non-owned auto coverage. Although non-owned insurance is available for multiple industries, your business may not be eligible for coverage.


If you don't own a car but still drive often, non-owner car insurance can be a wise investment. This type of insurance can help protect you financially if you're involved in an accident while driving someone else's car. It can also be useful if you frequently rent cars. Non-owner insurance is typically less expensive than traditional auto insurance, so it's worth considering if you don't own a car but drive often.

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