Non Owner Car Insurance If you don’t own a car but still drive now and then, non-owner insurance may be a wise purchase.

When you drive someone else’s car, the owner’s auto insurance policy should cover you, assuming you’re using the car with the owner’s permission. However, if you get into an accident and the damages exceed the amount specified by the owner’s liability coverage, you may be on the hook for a significant amount of money.

When this happens, the injured party could come after your assets – including your savings and home – to recover the rest. Non-owner insurance can help protect you by increasing the amount of your total coverage.

Non-owner insurance can also be helpful if you will be without a car for a period – say, for spending a year abroad – and want to maintain continuous insurance coverage to prevent higher rates in the future. (Insurers typically charge higher rates if your insurance coverage has lapsed recently.)

What is non owner insurance?

Non-owner car insurance is liability-only coverage for drivers who don’t own a car. When you’re driving a car that someone else owns and cause an accident, it will pay for injuries and damage to others and their property.

Non-owners car insurance is typically a “secondary coverage,” which means it is used if the car owner’s insurance falls short in paying for the repair and medical bills in an accident that’s your fault. The insurance policy on the car you’re borrowing will be used first, and then your non-owners policy kicks in if you have higher liability limits than the car owner.

For example, let’s say your non-owner policy has $50,000 in property damage liability, and the owner of the car you’re driving has $25,000 in property damage liability. You borrow the car and cause an accident with $40,000 in damages. Your friend’s policy would pay out $25,000, and your non-owner policy would cover the extra $15,000 because your limits are higher and you have coverage.

However, non-owners car insurance won’t cover damage to the car you’re driving or cover your injuries if you’re at fault for an accident.

Key Takeaways

  • Non-owner car insurance is liability-only coverage for drivers who wants protection in case they get into an accident while driving someone else’ car.
  • Non-owners car insurance is perfect for you if you frequently drive or rent someone else’ car, as well as those who want continuous coverage while they do not own any vehicles.
  • You may see an increase in rates by an average of 9% or about $130, a year if there is a lapse in coverage for a week up to 30 days.
  • A non-owner insurance policy is a type of liability coverage that provides you with bodily injury and property damage liability coverage.

Who should get non owner car insurance?

Non-owners car insurance is a good fit for you if you frequently rent vehicles or drive someone else’s car, or are trying to keep continuous coverage during the time you don’t own a vehicle. Additionally, non-owner car insurance is used by high-risk drivers who are required to buy a liability policy to keep a driver’s license.

How much insurance goes up for a lapse in coverage

Non-owners insurance can help you avoid a lapse in coverage during the time you’re driving frequently but don’t own a car. Preventing your insurance from lapsing is a good idea because insurance companies frown upon interrupted coverage. 

Insurers say their statistical models show that drivers who haven’t carried steady, uninterrupted insurance coverage tend to file more claims, and so cost the insurance company more.

A rate analysis by found that a lapse in coverage for a week up to 30 days will increase your rate by an average of 9%, or about $130, a year when you go to get a new policy. A 60-day lapse is 13%, about $190 more a year. In some states a 60-day lapse can be much more — 20% to 48%.

Some insurance companies won’t even take customers who can’t show six months of prior coverage, forcing drivers to shop from high-risk providers for as much as double the price. That said, some states don’t allow insurers to charge more if a lapse was due to overseas military service, hospitalization or job loss.

What is non owner SR 22 insurance?

If you don’t own a car, but your high-risk driver profile requires you to file a proof-of-insurance certificate with your state – such as an SR-22 or FR-44 – a non-owner policy can fulfill the liability coverage requirement you need to keep your driver’s license.

There may even be instances of needing a non-owner policy when you own a vehicle. If you’re happy with your current auto insurance carrier but find yourself in need of a state filing — such as an SR-22 or FR-44 — and your current carrier doesn’t offer them, you can take out an additional policy just to satisfy the state’s requirement. These supplementary policies are generally inexpensive as they don’t cover your vehicle and can be set to your state’s minimum requirements.

What does non owner insurance cover?

Young man in the drivers seat getting the keys to the vehicle from someone standing outside the car.

A non-owner insurance policy focuses mainly on providing you with:

  • bodily injury
  • property damage liability coverage

Some car insurance companies also offer:

Your non-owner auto insurance may cover you when you rent a vehicle and get into an accident. However, not all non-owner policies extend coverage to rental cars, so check the policy’s fine print before buying if you expect to rent cars.

If you borrow someone’s car and crash it, the vehicle owner’s car insurance pays out first. If it’s not enough to cover damages, your non-owner policy would then pay out as secondary coverage – provided your policy’s liability limit is high enough. For the non-owner policy to kick in as secondary coverage, its liability limit has to be higher than the car owner’s liability limit.

For instance, if the car owner’s liability limit is $10,000 for property damage, and you cause $17,000 in property damage in an accident, your non-owner insurance would cover only the last $7,000 – provided your liability limit is at least $17,000.

However, remember that this pays for the car that you hit, not your friend’s car or your rental vehicle. A non-owner policy doesn’t include collision coverage, so it won’t cover repairs to the vehicle you were driving.

What is not covered by non owner insurance?

Optional coverage types, such as comprehensive, collision, towing reimbursement, and rental reimbursement, are not available with non-owner policies since no vehicle is attached to the policy. There are typically no deductibles associated with non-owner car insurance.

How much does non owners insurance cost?

The average cost is $474, based on a rate an rate analysis.

A non-owners policy costs significantly less than a typical insurance policy. That’s because non-owner drivers typically drive less than drivers who own their vehicle, reducing the chances they’ll be in a wreck.

There are substantial cost differences depending on the state. Here are the most expensive and least expensive state averages for non-owner car insurance:

Most expensive

  • New Jersey — $1,090
  • Michigan — $1,073
  • Rhode Island — $972

Least expensive

  • Wisconsin — $171
  • South Dakota — $235
  • Iowa — $246

The costs of a non-owner policy also vary by community. Here are the average differences in California, where the state average is $286.

City Average non-owner car insurance cost in major California cities
Chula Vista$238
Garden Grove$293
Huntington Beach$301
Long Beach$304
Los Angeles$351
San Bernardino$298
San Diego$243
San Francisco$282
San Jose$248
Santa Ana$306
Santa Clarita$305
Santa Rosa$246

Here are the averages by city in Florida, where the state average is $902. 

City Average non-owner car insurance cost in major Florida cities
Boynton Beach$1,099
Daytona Beach$699
Fort Lauderdale$949
Pembroke Pines$1,043
St. Petersburg$909

How can I get car insurance without a car?

To buy non-owner car insurance, you must have a valid driver’s license and not own a car. Most insurers also mandate that you don’t have regular access to a car, for instance, one owned by another member of your household. If someone in your home has a vehicle, you should get listed as a driver on that auto insurance policy if possible.

As with a conventional policy, it’s wise to compare car insurance quotes before buying a non-owner insurance policy. You should compare non-owners car insurance quotes from at least three carriers to see who has the cheapest price for the coverage you want.

Compare non owner car insurance quotes

While non-owner insurance is generally cheaper than conventional policies, there are still significant price variations between carriers, particularly if you have a less-than-perfect driving record. You’ll see below how major carriers compare on costs for non-owner policies.

CompanyNon-owner average annual rate
State Farm$408

In addition to those included in the table above, the following insurance companies also offer non-owner coverage:

  • Dairyland
  • The General
  • Safe Auto
  • Direct
  • Infinity

Non owner car insurance FAQ’s

Do you need insurance to drive someone else’s car?

In general, you do not need insurance to drive someone else’s car, as long as you have permission to drive it and you only drive it occasionally. In such cases, accidents would be covered by the car owner’s policy.

However, if you share a home with someone who has a car that you borrow, you may need to be listed as a driver on the car owner’s policy. The insurance company may not cover an accident you cause while driving a car you borrowed from someone living in the same household.

Do you need insurance if you have a license but no car?

Licensed drivers who don’t own a car and do not drive others do not need car insurance.

If you have a license, do not own a car but regularly drive a car that belongs to someone else, you need non-owners insurance. Also, if you frequently rent cars, you may want to consider buying non-owners insurance to increase the amount of protection you have. Non-owner liability car insurance will kick in if you get into an accident and the damages exceed the amount specified by the owner’s liability coverage.

Can you get car insurance without a license?

No. To qualify for car insurance of any kind, you must have a valid driver’s license.

Where can I get non owners insurance?

No. To qualify for car insurance of any kind, you must have a valid driver’s license.

Many major providers offer non-owner car insurance. Here is a list:

  • State Farm
  • Dairyland
  • The General
  • Safe Auto
  • Direct
  • Infinity
  • Geico
  • Allstate
  • Progressive
  • Nationwide

Who has the cheapest non owners insurance?

In our most recent review, Geico had the lowest average annual rates for non-owner car insurance at $311.