What's non-owner car insurance and how does it work?

By Allstate

Last updated: January 1

Non-owner car insurance is a type of auto insurance policy designed for individuals who do not own a vehicle but may occasionally drive or use cars they don’t own. This insurance provides liability coverage, meaning it protects the driver financially if they are found at fault in an accident while driving a borrowed or rented vehicle.

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How does non-owner car insurance work?

If you get into an accident in a vehicle you don’t own, non-owner car insurance can help pay for damages or injuries if the car owner’s car insurance doesn’t cover the full cost, according to Forbes.

For instance, let's say you reside in an urban area and primarily rely on public transportation or ridesharing services. However, there are times when you need to rent or borrow a car. Maybe for a weekend getaway or a trip to the furniture store. Since you don't own a vehicle yourself, you opt to get a non-owner car insurance policy to ensure you have liability coverage whenever you’re using a car that’s not yours.

In the event that you are involved in an accident while driving a car you don’t own, your non-owner car insurance policy will step in to provide coverage for damages or injuries you may cause to others, up to the policy limits.

Can I get auto insurance if I don’t own a vehicle?

Yes. You don’t need to own a vehicle to purchase this type of coverage.

Can I insure a car that’s not in my name?

Yes, non-owner car insurance allows you to get coverage on a vehicle that is not registered in your name. This type of policy usually extends to vehicles you may borrow or rent for occasional use.

Does non-owner car insurance affect my driving record?

No, non-owner car insurance typically does not impact your driving record, as it is not tied to a specific vehicle. It provides liability coverage for you as a driver.

Do I need non-owner car insurance?

If you frequently borrow cars for personal use, whether you rent, borrow from a friend, or use car sharing services, you should consider non-owner liability protection, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).

When should I skip a non-owner policy?

In some cases, it may not be necessary to purchase non-owner car insurance. For example, if you borrow a car from someone within your household you may already be on their policy. If you’re listed as an additional driver on the owner of the car’s insurance policy, you won’t need a separate non-owner car insurance policy. If you occasionally rent a car, you may purchase liability coverage from the rental agency rather than buying a non-owner policy.

What does insurance for non-car owners cover?

Non-owner car insurance typically includes liability coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist protection, and medical payments or personal injury protection. This coverage extends to the driver, regardless of the vehicle they are using. Be sure to check your specific policy for the types of coverages you have.

What does it typically not cover?

Non-owner insurance does not cover damage to the vehicle you’re driving or injuries to yourself. Other exclusions may include your personal belongings, intentional damages and business use.

How much does non-owner insurance cost?

The cost of non-owner car insurance varies based on factors such as driving history, age, coverage amount, location, and coverage limits.

Is it more affordable than regular car insurance?

Non-owner car insurance can be more affordable than regular car insurance, especially for individuals who do not own a vehicle but still need liability coverage and don’t drive often.

Non-owner vs. rental car insurance: What’s the difference?

Non-owner car insurance and rental car insurance are distinct types of coverage designed for different situations and drivers. Both provide protection, but they serve different purposes and are appropriate for different circumstances. Non-owner car insurance is tailored for individuals who frequently borrow or rent cars, providing liability coverage for their driving activities. In contrast, rental car insurance is intended to offer an additional layer of protection when you rent a vehicle, according to the III.