If you ever drive, you should have car insurance. Even if you don’t own a car.
Why? Because you could potentially cause a wreck, and be liable for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal injury and property damage.
You could also be hit by an uninsured or under-insured driver. Or you could be the victim of a hit-and-run accident.
Fortunately, there’s a car insurance solution out there specifically designed to be affordable for people who want or need to drive from time to time but who don’t own a car of their own. “Non-owner” car insurance just covers liability, and if you choose and depending on your state law, personal injury protection, medical protection, and/or uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance.
Who needs non-owner car insurance?
You should consider non-owner car insurance if:
- You don’t own a car but frequently need to borrow one. You are attending school more than 100 miles away from home, but you don’t plan to borrow your parents’ car, even on trips home.
- You frequently rent cars. Yes, you can buy overpriced and limited insurance at the rental counter or the rental car company’s website. But if you rent more than a few times per year, or you want the best possible protection, it’s usually more economical and simpler to have your own insurance coverage in place, rather than pay the outrageous charges to the rental car company’s insurance carrier.
- You need low-cost SR22 insurance to prove financial responsibility to your state to get your driver’s license reinstated after a suspension.
What non-owner car insurance covers
Non-owner car insurance policies usually include options for liability coverage, personal injury and medical cost coverage, and uninsured/underinsured driver coverage – usually at about half the out-of-pocket premiums you need to buy a similar policy if you own a car.
Note: You normally need to opt in to choose medical coverage, and pay a little extra for it. If you don’t opt in, your car insurance won’t cover any medical bills for you.
What non-owner car insurance doesn’t cover.
Non-owner’s insurance does not cover collision or comprehensive on the car you’re driving. That’s up to the owner of the car. If you wreck the car, the car owner could come after you for the damage to their vehicle.
Non-owner’s coverage normally won’t cover you if you’re driving your parents’ car. For example, if you’re a college student living away from home, and you come home for a week over the holidays – your non-owner’s car insurance policy won’t cover you. For that situation, you need to be on your parents’ policy.
Furthermore, your non-owner policy will usually only kick in if you’re the driver. If you elect medical coverage, and you’re the passenger and not the driver, the coverage won’t apply. It’ll be on your own health insurance, or – if it exists – the car owner’s medical coverage on their policy.
Personal belongings are not covered. So if someone breaks into your borrowed car and steals your laptop, your non-owner policy won’t cover the loss (though your renter’s or homeowner’s policy might, subject to a deductible. Check with your carrier for specifics).
No commercial use.
Don’t rely on a non-owner policy to cover you if you’re using a borrowed car for any commercial use. Whether you’re delivering Pizzas, driving for DoorDash, delivering packages, Candygrams, or you’re a landshark, a non-owner policy won’t cover you if you’re involved in an accident while on a call.
If you’re using your car, a parent’s car, or a borrowed vehicle for any kind of commercial activity, call us today at (855) 438-7353, and ask to speak to an agent. You should get a custom-designed policy, tailored for your specific situation.
How to get non-owner car insurance.
The best way to buy non-owner car insurance is through an independent insurance agent, over the phone. An independent agent is free to match you with any carrier doing business in your state; A ‘captive’ agent can only offer a policy from one single company. At Select Insurance Group, we are big believers in consumer choice, freedom, and competition.
With a non-owner car insurance policy, it’s critical that you understand exactly what the policy covers, and exactly what the exclusions are – especially as they relate to medical costs, personal injury protection, and your state’s at-fault or no-fault laws.
If you have a recent violation or license suspension in play, it’s even more important to call us and speak to a live agent. That way, we can better understand the entirety of your situation, and custom design a policy – or combination of policies – to provide you with the best possible protection.
Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you on the road!
Steve “Mr. Insurance” Ludwig,
CEO, Select Insurance Group