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How can I get auto insurance without owning a car?

You can buy a nonowners car insurance policy. These policies are designed for people who don't have their own cars but who rent them frequently or borrow them from friends or family.

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You cannot buy a nonowners policy online. You'll need to call an independent insurance agent to compare auto insurance quotes from different carriers for a nonowners policy. Expect to pay about half of what you'd pay in premiums for standard car insurance. But your rates will vary by liability limits and where you live. Usually these policies come with no deductible, unless your state requires uninsured/underinsured coverage, which pays your medical bills if a driver without insurance crashes into your car or you're the victim of a hit and run. Non-owners policies also don't include collision or comprehensive coverage.

These policies are recommended for anyone who drives a lot but doesn't own a car. Of course you can always buy rental car insurance from car rental companies, but a nonowners policy is probably more cost effective in the long run. It also allows you to choose how much liability coverage you want. Standard car insurance provides liability coverage for anyone who uses a car with the owner's permission, but only up to the policy's liability limits. Say, for instance, your friend has a relatively low liability limit, and you cause a bad injury accident while borrowing his car. If the cost of damages and injuries exceeded the liability on your friend's policy, the accident victims could sue you. If you had a non-owners policy, though, that coverage would kick in after your friend's liability limits were exhausted.

Read more about car insurance for drivers who don't own vehicles.

Last updated: Dec. 1, 2010 Redesign Survey