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Non-Owner Car Insurance

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How Non-Owner Car Insurance Works

A non-owner car insurance policy, sometimes referred to as non-drivers insurance, provides bodily injury and property damage liability coverage when you’re driving a vehicle you don’t own. Unlike a standard car insurance policy, there’s typically no deductible when you file a claim on a non-owner car insurance policy.

If you borrow someone’s car and are involved in an accident, the vehicle owner’s car insurance pays out first. If it’s not enough to cover damages, your non-owner policy will kick in as secondary coverage. That said, non-owner’s insurance doesn’t include collision coverage. So it won’t cover repairs to the vehicle, only the vehicle or piece of property you hit.

Optional coverages normally associated with car insurance, like collision, comprehensive, towing, and rental reimbursement, are not available through non-owner policies. Again, this is because there’s no specific vehicle for the policy to insure.

However, some providers also offer medical payments and uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage as part of their non-owner car insurance policies. If you want this type of coverage, be sure to ask about it when requesting quotes.

Some non-owner policies will also provide liability coverage for rental vehicles. Read the fine print on your non-owner policy if you intend to use it for rental cars, and make sure it actually covers you when you’re driving one.

If you don’t rent cars often, it’s cheaper to use your complimentary credit card rental car insurance or purchase coverage through the car-rental agency.

  • You're required by a court - If you've committed serious traffic violations, a court may require you to file a proof-of-insurance certificate to maintain your driver license, even if you don't own a car.
  • You're without a car temporarily - If you're selling your car and plan to buy one in the near future, it's a good idea to purchase non-owner insurance to prevent a lapse in coverage.
  • You drive others' cars regularly - If you're a caregiver or live with someone whose vehicle you often use, it's a good idea to purchase non-owner auto insurance to supplement their personal policy if you get in an accident.
  • You use a car-sharing service - If you're enrolled in a car-sharing service such as Zipcar or Car2Go, you'll typically get some liability and damage coverage as part of your membership. You'll want to check the fine print because the coverage provided may no be enough.