Non-Owners Car Insurance

Contributor, Benzinga

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Car insurance is known to come in many different forms and non-owners car insurance might be one of the most overlooked policies that is no doubt useful in certain situations. People who don’t have their own vehicles but still need to drive qualify for this insurance. 

For instance, you may want to rent a car on vacation or share a ride with co-workers to a meeting. Whatever the case may be, even if you happen to drive other people’s vehicles it is important to consider nonowners car insurance and whether it is right for you.

What is Non-Owners Car Insurance?

A non-owners insurance policy provides coverage for anyone who does not own a vehicle but sporadically drives someone else’s. This is a form of liability coverage that pays for any injuries or property damages sustained in a vehicle accident. You should note that if the borrowed or rented vehicle is damaged or you are injured in an accident that you caused, liability car insurance does not cover those costs.  

Typically, non-owners car insurance includes the required coverage types for the specific state in which you live. Again, besides liability coverage, under this policy uninsured or underinsured motorists are protected with coverage if you are injured in an accident by a driver who does not have enough or any liability insurance. Medical or personal injury protection also falls under non-owners insurance, which pays for personal injuries after an accident no matter who is at fault. 

Collision or comprehensive insurance, which pays to fix damage to your personal vehicle or even replace it completely if the damage is sufficient, is not included under non-owners insurance. Usually, there is no deductible on non-owners insurance.

Your regular insurance covers you in other people’s vehicles. You should still check with your insurance agent to make sure you are covered. Even so, you might want more coverage because of the kind of work you do or the circumstances.

When Do You Need Non-Owners Car Insurance?

Non-owners insurance is sold on a per-person basis, meaning you need it for a specific purpose and you are driving.  

For those who don’t have their own vehicles, you might want to consider non-owners insurance in the following scenarios:

  • You need an SR-22 or FR-44 form
  • Your state requires insurance to get or reinstate a driver’s license
  • You use a car-sharing service often
  • You want to maintain continuous coverage
  • You rent and borrow cars

SR-22 and FR-44

Some states require an SR-22 or FR-44 in order to reinstate your license. In the event that your license is suspended and you’re waiting for reinstatement — and probably don’t have a car — you can get this insurance to prove you have it prior to finding a new car. SR-22 or FR-44 are filed by insurers on your behalf. This proves that you have the very minimum amount of insurance coverage.  Even if you are getting your license for the first time, some states require insurance for proof of financial responsibility.

Car-Sharing Services

Car-sharing services like Zipcar and Turo offer coverage for drivers. However, it may just meet your state’s minimum requirements. Anyone who uses a car-sharing service can also use this insurance just to protect themselves in someone else’s car. Plus, if you don’t own a car, this is the only insurance you can get to protect yourself.

Borrowing Cars

If you don’t have a car but do have a license, non-owners insurance can help protect you. If you’re driving your friend’s car or driving on a road trip, it is still possible for you to get a simple policy to make sure you’re covered. You can also get extra coverage just for a big road trip. Let’s say you’re driving a big vehicle or an RV. You might want more coverage just because that vehicle is so expensive.

If you’re between owning a car, sometimes it can make you look risky from the perspective of insurers if you go without auto insurance. This generally leads to higher rates when you do buy a vehicle. Looking at this from a conservatively, it might be cheaper to buy non-owners insurance than to skip coverage altogether — even if you are without a car for only a brief period. 

Renting a Car

Renting cars frequently can sometimes enable non-owner insurance to cost less than liability coverage. But if you are a frequent renter, you want more coverage. It’s usually cheaper to use non-owners insurance because you get more coverage and already have it. No drama with the rental company. For anyone worried about getting into an accident in a rental car, non-owner insurance offers a great sense of peace of mind. 

Non-Owned Insurance Limits

Generally, a non-owner car insurance quote comes with no deductibles and limited coverage. You have enough coverage to protect yourself and the car, but you are not carrying the comprehensive coverage you might see with a traditional policy.

Additionally, non-owner’s insurance will likely not cover massive damages or potential legal action. This is simply a policy to help you remain legal on the road—provided you drive safely.

But, besides liability coverage, what else does non-owner’s insurance cover? Your policy likely covers medical payments, property damage and rental car liability along with uninsured or underinsured drivers. Keep in mind, however, that the policy covers less than you would expect from a traditional auto policy.

Online Purchase
Yes
Pros
  • Up to $35,000 in coverage in primary and secondary liability insurance
  • 24 hour customer service
  • Usually cheaper than rental car coverage at the rental desk
  • Online quotes and claims
Cons
  • Must purchase ahead of time

Best for Rental Car and Non-Owners Coverage: Bonzah

Bonzah is a unique platform offering non-owners coverage, designed specifically for frequent travelers looking for better, more affordable rental car coverage. Bonzah is the only online provider of on-demand primary and supplemental coverage for non-owners.

Get coverage up to $1 million for as low as $1 per day as well as a slew of perks. These include personal belonging coverage up to $500 and free cancellation within 10 days if you don’t make a claim or haven’t started your trip.

Use Bonzah whenever you need to cover the gaps left by other types of insurance when driving a car you don’t own. And definitely use it at the rental car desk — let them know you already have coverage, and save money in the process while you ensure you’re protected from liability.

Benzinga’s Best Car Insurance Carriers

Now that you have a better understanding of non-owners car insurance, let’s explore the best car insurance carriers according to the experienced team at Benzinga. The team has compiled a list of the best car insurance carriers for drivers who are looking for a non owner’s policy.

Compare Quotes securely through Allstate’s website
SR-22 Insurance
Yes
N/A
1 Minute Review

Allstate is one of the largest insurance companies in the country, and it’s been around for 90 years. That means it’s secure and able to pay your car insurance claims. That doesn’t mean it’s stodgy, though. It has introduced innovations like Drivewise, which allows you to save on your insurance based on your driving habits, and Milewise, which is pay-per-mile insurance. 

You can purchase insurance online or through an Allstate agent. Allstate offers several options for discounts that can bring down your policy costs significantly. It also offers several types of insurance so you can have all or most of your policies with 1 insurer. 

Overall, Allstate is a good choice and worth comparing with other insurers to see if it’s right for you. It’s available in all 50 states and has an A+ rating from AM Best. 

Best For
  • Personalized service
  • Pay-per-mile insurance from an established company
  • Buying multiple types of insurance
Pros
  • Extensive agent network
  • Easy sign-up process
  • Many customer service options
Cons
  • Drivewise and Milewise aren’t available in all states
Get a Quote securely through The AARP Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford’s website
SR-22 Insurance
Yes
N/A
1 Minute Review

The AARP Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford is designed exclusively for AARP members who are at least 50 years old. Some of the unique features of the program can help you save money on your policy over time, especially if you have and maintain a clean driving record.

Other stand-out features include new car replacement (rather than the depreciated value), reimbursements for expenses incurred if you get injured in an accident and lifetime repairs guarantees. 

The AARP Auto Insurance from The Hartford is rated #1 by J.D. Power and Associates for customer satisfaction in handling auto insurance claims.

Best For
  • Safe drivers who are looking to save money
  • AARP members at least 50 years old
Pros
  • Offers unique coverages and benefits that can be added to a standard auto insurance policy
  • Allows drivers to save for safe driving
  • Rated #1 by J.D. Power for customer satisfaction in auto claims handling
Cons
  • Only available for AARP members
  • Must be at least 50 years old to qualify
SR-22 Insurance
Yes
N/A
1 Minute Review

Progressive auto insurance is among the first of the larger insurers to actively embrace usage-based insurance via electronic monitoring of driving habits. Often a refuge for younger drivers and drivers who have been refused insurance elsewhere, progressive markets and supports its insurance products through its website and a network of independent agents.

Best For
  • Young and less-experienced drivers
  • Drivers with consistently good driving habits
  • Rates for good drivers
  • RV drivers
Pros
  • More welcoming to less-experienced drivers
  • Great website and mobile app functionality
  • Driving based discounts can be generous
Cons
  • Relatively smaller agent network may leave some without a local agent
  • Rates can increase at renewal based on driving data from Progressive’s Snapshot.
compare quotes securely through AAA’s website
Best For
Roadside assistance
N/A
1 Minute Review

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a federation of auto clubs, and it offers a wide range of insurance options, including car insurance. It is the most trusted and familiar name in auto-related services. The company has come a long way since its founding, but the mission remains the same. 

Safe and efficient transportation is exactly what AAA commits to per the company’s core statement. AAA is probably best known for its roadside assistance, but the company offers a variety of insurance coverage and memberships as well. AAA strives to make your life easier with its insurance coverage for you and your family. Your safety and security is AAA’s priority.

 

Best For
  • AAA Members
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Extra insurance perks
  • Anyone looking for unique insurance carriers
Pros
  • Serves all states
  • Mobile app
  • Emergency roadside assistance
Cons
  • Have to be an AAA member
  • Policies not available in every area

Protect Yourself While Driving With Non-Owners Coverage

Do you need non-owners insurance? This is a good question because you need to know you are covered when you’re not driving your car or you’re driving in a tense or potentially expensive situation. Be sure to consider non-owners insurance — you will thank yourself down the road if you find yourself in an unexpected situation. Come back to Benzinga to learn more about car insurance and other money matters.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

How does non-owners car insurance work?

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How does non-owners car insurance work?
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Non-owners insurance is designed on a per-person basis. It just covers you, and it allows you to get coverage if you’re driving someone else’s vehicle, but you don’t have insurance or your insurance doesn’t cover you in other cars. You generally are unable to insure someone else’s vehicle, but you can insure yourself with the non-owner policy. This personal auto coverage will protect you and your wallet should you find yourself involved in an accident when driving someone else’s vehicle.

 

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Q

Do I need non-owners insurance?

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Do I need non-owners insurance?
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It depends. You only need it if you are driving someone’s car and you don’t normally drive, or if you work in something like the transport or delivery industry and you’re driving specific vehicles for clients. You shouldn’t invest in non-owners car insurance if you borrow a car from someone in your household or you rarely drive, if at all. In order to get a quote, you will need to call an insurance company or agent. You can either call a company or find an agent if you are looking for the best way to get a policy. 

 

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Q

What Happens if Someone is Driving My Car and Get in an Accident?

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What Happens if Someone is Driving My Car and Get in an Accident?
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Likely, your insurance will cover all the damage. However, if the other driver has insurance that covers them in all cars they drive, you can file a claim against their policy

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