Non-owner car insurance guide
You might buy non-owner car insurance because:
- You need to get a driver’s license (in certain states)
- You want to have your driver’s license reinstated after a suspension
Only a few car insurance companies write non-owner auto insurance policies (also known as named non-owner policies. The purchase process requires you to speak with an insurance agent. Nonetheless, it is possible to buy auto insurance without a car.
If a non-owner car insurance policy is what you need to get back behind the wheel, give Insurance.com a call at 844-520-1574. One of our licensed agents can help you obtain quotes and buy coverage. Our agents can also help if you need a typical auto insurance policy. You can compare car insurance quotes online as well.
Learn more about what a non-owner policy can and can’t do.
How much does non-owner car insurance cost?
Non-owner auto insurance costs vary, but this coverage is usually less expensive than policies covering a vehicle. (Sample rates are below.) Insurers view those who don’t own cars as less risky because they don’t have regular access to a car. Factors influencing cost include:
- The amount of liability insurance coverage you want
- Your driving history
- Your geographical location
- How often you plan to use a car
Depending on your record, high-risk auto insurance may be necessary. If this is the case, your non-owner policy is likely to cost you more than it would for someone with a clean record.
Drivers may be considered “high-risk” if their record includes:
- A DUI conviction
- Reckless driving
- Multiple traffic offenses within a short timeframe
- Driving without insurance
If you’re seeking license reinstatement, your state may require higher liability limits than it does for others. Higher limits will cost a little more.
In some cases, it may be necessary to file an SR-22 form with your state. Filing an SR-22 won’t add to your car insurance policy cost, but the insurer may charge a one-time filing fee of up to $25. The following table provides example auto-insurance rates for drivers in Southern California. It compares liability coverage quotes for both a car owner and a non-owner.
What does a non-owner auto insurance policy cover?
Non-owner auto insurance policies generally cover liability (bodily injury and property damage only). Liability insurance covers injuries or property damage that you’re legally liable for as a result of an auto accident. It does not cover your rented or borrowed vehicle if it gets damaged or stolen while you’re using it.
With a non-owner policy, you can purchase different liability limits. If your state has demanded that you file an SR-22 or FR-44 financial responsibility form, the state may dictate what liability coverage amount you should obtain.
In certain states, non-owner auto insurance can provide medical or uninsured motorist coverage. Non-owner insurance does not include the following types of coverages:
- Towing reimbursement
- Rental reimbursement
Your non-owner liability coverage can be used as secondary coverage if you borrow someone’s car and are in an auto accident; the car owner’s auto insurance serves as the primary insurance.
Some insurers offer non-owner auto policies that extend coverage to rental cars. If you buy non-owner auto insurance to cover you when renting vehicles, you should check with your insurer to confirm your policy includes rental cars. Keep in mind that rental car companies usually are required, by law, to provide the state minimum liability coverage for their cars.
Is non-owner car insurance for you?
Typically a non-owner policy is available to motorists who:
- Have a valid driver’s license (or can get one by obtaining a car insurance policy)
- Don’t own a vehicle
- Don’t have regular access to a car
If you plan on having a gap in owning a car, obtaining a non-owner insurance policy to maintain continuous insurance coverage is a wise idea. Continuous coverage can make you eligible for discounted rates–and keeps you from rate hikes typically given to those who have a gap in coverage.
Insurers define “regular access to a car” in various ways, with some viewing it as using a vehicle as little as once per week or four times per month.
In certain cases, you may even opt for a non-owner policy when you own a vehicle. If you’re required to file a certificate, such as an SR-22 or FR-44, and your current carrier does not offer them, you can take out a supplementary non-owner policy with another company to meet this obligation. Because your vehicle won’t be covered by this secondary policy, the extra costs involved in this strategy are usually low.
Who should not buy personal non-owner auto insurance?
The following scenarios indicate that non-owner auto insurance isn’t the right fit for you.
- You own a car. If you own a car, you can shop for auto insurance using our quote comparison tool that allows you to compare car insurance quotes side-by-side from top insurance companies. It’s free and people have saved an average of $555 when purchasing using this online tool.
- You’re listed as a primary driver of a vehicle. Some car insurance companies won’t allow you to buy a non-owner policy if there are too many primary drivers and vehicles listed on a policy. If a policy lists three drivers and three cars, and you’re one of the drivers, you will be listed as the primary driver on the third vehicle and won’t be able to buy non-owner car insurance.
- You are using a vehicle for business purposes. A commercial non-owner policy is better suited for this situation.
- You cannot get a valid license within 30 days. If you are currently without a valid license and will not be able to get one shortly, you cannot obtain a non-owner policy.
How to buy non-owner car insurance
To purchase a non-owner auto insurance policy, you need only your driver’s license number and a credit or debit card. You can get proof of insurance almost immediately by e-mail, and the car insurance company you choose can file an SR-22 or other required state form on your behalf, if you need it.
You must speak with an agent to obtain non-owner car insurance quotes.
Follow these steps to buy non-owner insurance
- Call Insurance.com (844-520-1574) and inform the agent that you need a non-owners policy.
- If an SR-22 is required, provide the agent with your state notification number (if applicable–not all states require this).
- Supply basic driving history.
- Receive information on available companies and insurance rate quotes.
- Choose the company and quote that best meets your needs.
- Supply a down payment to begin coverage. The amount required varies greatly by company and state.
- The agent completes the purchase. In most cases, the insurance company files an SR-22 directly with your state, if necessary.
Non-owner car insurance companies
For non-owner policies, the carriers we work with include:
** Companies offer SR-22 and FR-44
Not all companies do business in all states.
Why auto insurers want your name on the title
Question: I’ve been told that a vehicle’s title needs to be in your name to insure the car. Is this true? If so, why do auto insurance companies care if the vehicle’s title is in my name or someone else’s name?
Answer: Yes, car insurance companies normally require you to own the car (have your name on the title) to insure it. Why do auto insurers care who holds the title to a car? Because the person insuring the car has a reason to protect it.
Having insurable interest in something, such as an automobile, means you would suffer a financial loss if the item were damaged or destroyed. You have insurable interest in any property that you own. Car insurance companies want a policyholder to have insurable interest in the insured vehicle so that you are motivated to protect it.
If you don’t have a financial stake in a car, auto insurers fear you may not take efforts to keep it from being in an accident or causing a total loss because you wouldn’t really be losing anything. You instead may be enticed to damage the vehicle if the real owner gets on your bad side because it would be their loss and not yours.
While it’s preferable for your name to be on the title and registration of the vehicle you want to insure, there are some car insurance carriers that will allow you to buy a policy for a car you don’t own but have care, custody and control of.
You will have to compare car insurance rates to find such an insurer in your area. Be upfront with car insurance companies that you don’t own the car but that you have possession of it, and explain why you want to insure it. Keep in mind; most insurance companies will required you to list the actual car owner on the policy as such since that titleholder may need to be included in claim discussions if the car is totaled out.
Even though there are some auto insurance companies that permit you to insure a car you don’t own, not all states allow it.
For example, New York requires the owner of a car to register and insure it. The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles states that if an insurance policy is changed to a different name than that of the registrant, the state will consider there to be a lapse in insurance coverage on the vehicle. The DMV would then suspend both the registration on the car and the driver’s license of the registrant.
If you are driving a relative or friend’s car on a regular basis, first see if the owner can have you added to their policy as a driver to be properly covered. (See “Who can drive your car?”) This may be an easier solution than you finding your own policy for the vehicle and you could pay your portion of the insurance bill to the car owner.
If that is not possible, and you have possession of the car at all times, then comparison shop with several car insurance companies to find the one that will offer you the policy you need at the best rates. This may mean calling agents to discuss the complexity of your situation.
3 Simple Ways to Insure a Vehicle Not in Your Name
You can jump directly to the section that best fits your situation by clicking one of these options:
How does one purchase auto insurance on a car that is registered to someone else?
Well, car insurance is just one of those things that you can’t do without if you own a vehicle.
If you ever have an auto accident, you will quickly learn to appreciate what your auto insurance has to offer you.
While everyone who owns a vehicle has to have auto insurance, the question does come up from time to time as to whether it is possible to get auto insurance for a vehicle that you don’t own.
The simple answer to this question is yes, it is not only possible, but it happens very often.
There are three ways that this type of coverage is possible. Read on and you can learn which option is best for you and then also be sure and enter your ZIP code to start comparing free quotes for car insurance today!
#1 – Add to an Existing Policy
When you already have your own auto insurance for a car that you own, you may be able to add another vehicle to your policy.
There are some things that you need to prepare for, however, that prevent total strangers from insuring a vehicle for nefarious reasons.
If you want to insure the vehicle for your driving purposes only, then you will not need to add other drivers to your policy.
#2 – Non-Owner Coverage
There is also a policy option for people who want to have the option of driving someone else’s vehicle from time to time when that person’s insurance does not cover other drivers.
Non-owner insurance is a very limited policy that allows you to drive someone else’s vehicle.
It provides liability coverage, but generally no protection for the vehicle you’re driving. If you cause an accident or drive into a tree or the vehicle is hit by an animal while you are driving, this type of insurance will not cover those situations.
You will not qualify for this type of coverage if the following is true:
The expectation is that if you are a regular driver of a vehicle, the vehicle owner will add your name to their policy, thereby providing you with complete coverage that their policy has to offer.
If that person doesn’t want to add you to their policy, you do have one more option to consider.
Free Car Insurance Comparison
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#3 – A Regular Insurance Policy
If you don’t meet the criteria for non-owner insurance and the owner of the car you want to drive doesn’t want to add you to their policy, you can purchase a separate policy for that vehicle.
This option provides you with the same coverage that you would expect from any other policy that you would buy if you owned the car for yourself.
In order to be allowed by your insurer to purchase this coverage, you’ll need to prove insurable interest. Basically, you will have to prove that you would suffer a financial loss should the vehicle you’re insuring be damaged.
In this situation, you are able to purchase any amount of coverage that you want for the vehicle, including comprehensive coverage for those odd things that might happen when the vehicle is in your care.
If you drive a vehicle regularly then it is up to you to be responsible for getting the proper coverage for when you drive it.
Choosing the Correct Insurance
Now that you understand what your options are, it is time for you to pick the right auto insurance for your situation. This part of the process can become quite overwhelming if you have never bought auto insurance before.
The easiest method for you to try is to use a free quote tool like the one that is available at the top of this page.
Quote tools are quite valuable for those individuals who are looking for a deal when it comes to their auto insurance purchase. Here are some ways quote tools are beneficial:
- While it is easy enough for you to get a quote from individual websites, you can’t get quotes from every company that provides insurance in the state that you live in unless you have a great deal of time.
- Filling out the same forms over and over can get quite tiring.
- They don’t require you to put in your social security number or give us your other personal information to get a quote like insurance sites do.
Your information is yours to keep until you make your final decision about your insurance company.
You will also need to decide whether or not you want collision and comprehensive coverage types on the vehicle that you are driving.
Because you are driving someone else’s vehicle, you need to be considerate of their needs and desires regarding this part.
If their vehicle is still being paid for, you must purchase a full coverage plan to satisfy their agreement with their lender. If you don’t, you could risk them losing their vehicle or facing a fine from the lending company.
You may also want to read other articles like this one that discuss the benefits of different types of coverage. This will give you a clear and comprehensive idea of what type of insurance is right for you.
In addition, it will help you understand why there are different rates for different cities and states and even different zip codes. The more you know the more informed your decision will be.
While getting auto insurance isn’t as cheap as most people would like it to be, it is a necessity if you are going to drive someone’s car or truck.
Get the coverage that you need to ensure that your friend’s vehicle has the protection necessary to protect them from financial trouble if you should get into an accident while driving their vehicle.
If you want free quotes fast with no obligation, take ten minutes to use our free quote tool. Just click on the tool at the bottom of the page to enter your ZIP code below and find the best insurance you can find at the best rates possible for FREE!
How to Estimate Car Insurance Before Buying a Car
Even the savviest car shoppers can forget to estimate car insurance costs before buying.
The type of car you drive is just one variable car insurance companies plug into their formulas to determine how much to charge you. Depending on the vehicle and insurance company, the cost of car insurance can vary by hundreds of dollars a year for the same driver.
The type of car you drive is one variable car insurance companies use to determine your rate.
That’s why it pays to get some initial car insurance quotes for models you’re thinking about buying. Along with gas mileage and maintenance costs, car insurance premiums are an important consideration when calculating the total cost of owning a car.
If you want to see average rates for drivers in your state, try this car insurance cost estimator.
Why some cars cost more (or less) to insure than others
Certain cars cost more to insure than others because carriers use crash and theft statistics to help set rates for each model separately. So if the car you choose tends to be stolen or crashed more, chances are you’ll pay more for insurance. The reason sports cars cost more to cover, for example, is because they’re more likely to be driven fast and crashed hard by their owners.
Here are some specific characteristics that affect the cost of auto insurance:
- Retail price: Generally, the pricier the car, the more expensive it will be to insure. Assuming you buy comprehensive and collision coverage, the insurance company will be on the hook to pay out the car’s market value if the vehicle is stolen or wrecked beyond repair.
- Cost of parts: High-end models often use parts made from carbon fiber and other specialized materials that are expensive to repair, which drives up the cost of damage claims.
- Safety: Over time, cars that do a good job of protecting drivers and their passengers bring down insurance costs. Fewer injuries mean fewer claims for medical payments and personal injury protection.
How to get car insurance estimates
In your search for a car, follow these steps for estimating the cost of car insurance.
- Narrow down your top choices for vehicles. Find tips for picking a car here.
- Decide how much coverage you need. If you’re buying a new car, include collision and comprehensive, which cover damage or loss of the vehicle. If you get a car loan for a used car, you’ll need this coverage because the lender will require it.
- Get quotes for the same amount of coverage for the vehicles you’re thinking about buying. NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool can help you get started. You don’t have to provide personal information to get initial estimates.
Now you can factor in the cost of car insurance to help you make a final choice.
Shop around for coverage
When you shop for car insurance, remember to compare quotes for the same levels of coverage.
Do some comparison shopping when you’re ready to buy insurance. Look at car insurance quotes and for a company with a good reputation for customer service.
When you shop for car insurance, remember to compare quotes for the same levels of coverage. A company that offers a particular discount might still be more expensive than an insurer that offers low-cost coverage overall.