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Do I need car insurance if I always borrow my uncle's car?

Unless he has a very restrictive policy, your uncle's car insurance would cover you when you borrow his car. A standard car insurance policy generally covers the owner, any household members who are listed on the policy as well as friends or relatives who occasionally use the car with the policyholder's permission.

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That being said, your uncle should still double-check his policy. Some car insurance companies include step-down provisions for liability coverage. With a step-down provision, liability protection is lowered when the vehicle is used by "permissive drivers" -- people who borrow the car and are not listed on the policy.

If you frequently borrow or rent cars, consider non-owners car insurance. A non-owners policy would cover you if you rented a vehicle and got in an accident. If you borrowed and crashed a relative's car, the vehicle owner's policy would pay out first, and then your non-owners policy would kick in if the losses exceeded the car owner's liability coverage.

Car insurance rates for a non-owners policy are generally about half of what a standard car insurance policy would cost if you owned a car.

For more, see Car insurance for drivers who don't own vehicles.

Last updated: Sep. 24, 2012 Redesign Survey