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What Is Non Owner Car Insurance And Do You Need It?

Published February 16, 2021

4 minute read

Cora Walker

By Cora Walker

Non owner car insurance is pretty much what it says on the tin. It’s a particular kind of car insurance designed specifically for people who do not own the cars they drive. It covers basic liability in the event of an accident where you are at-fault. That means it protects you from needing to pay for the car repairs or medical bills of the other involved parties.

With some exceptions, you should seriously consider getting non owner car insurance if you usually borrow or rent a car to get around. In some states and situations, it may even be mandatory.

You can think of it as a kind of extra insurance. Non owner car insurance is meant to provide financial protection for drivers in very particular situations. However, if you find yourself in one of those situations, it can be a cost-effective way to make sure you have the coverage you need.

What Does Non Owner Car Insurance Cover?

In a couple words, not very much.

As with many kinds of insurance, non owner insurance is meant to help cover you financially in a circumstance where you would otherwise incur a steep cost. It will prevent you from needing to shoulder this burden yourself. In this case, we’re referring to a car accident.

It’s important to remember that non owner insurance is strictly intended to pay for other party’s bills following a collision you caused. That means it won’t cover your own injuries or repairs. An exception to this is when you are in an accident and an uninsured motorist is at fault.

As with all forms of insurance, you hope never to need it. However having it can protect you in important ways, money-wise. An at-fault accident will still likely be an expensive event. If you have non owner car insurance, though, the costs can be cut significantly.

How Expensive is Non Owner Car Insurance?

The price of a non owner insurance plan is usually about $474 per year. This makes it much cheaper than standard auto insurance, which costs an average of $2338 per year in the United States. Non owner insurance is less expensive because it covers you without needing to cover your vehicle. However, it also doesn’t come with any of the extra things that can accompany other forms of car insurance, such as roadside assistance. As stated, it also doesn’t cover your own medical bills. Nor does it cover the cost to repair the vehicle you were driving.

Like all insurance policies, the exact price of your plan will depend on a number of factors. The price will vary based on when you sign up, your age, gender, and marital status. Your credit score and driving history will also be evaluated. Those last two are actually the most important. If you’re an experienced driver in good standing, with a decent credit score, you could end up having a pretty cheap policy.

Where Can You Get It?

First, you have to make sure you can get it. In order to get non owner car insurance, you must be a licensed driver. On top of that, your license must be in good standing. That means not expired or suspended for any reason.

After that, you can purchase this form of car insurance from most major insurance companies. However, it’s not quite as easy as purchasing other, more common kinds of insurance. Since it’s for specialty situations, you’re going to have to call and talk to a person in order to sign up. Awful, we know. But you probably won’t find an easy to complete online form for non owner car insurance

Who Is It For?

Non owner car insurance isn’t for everyone. If you own your own car, you’ll need to make it’s covered via normal auto insurance. The primary situation where you should consider getting it is when you don’t own a car but are still regularly driving one. Whether this means you borrow from a friend, rent, or participate in some kind of car share service, it’s important to protect your liability in the event of an at-fault collision. You should also consider it if you drive a company vehicle for work. At the very least, check into what kind of insurance your employer has for you while driving their cars. Make sure you won’t be out of pocket if an accident does happen.

If you are required by court order to have car insurance but do not own a car, non owner insurance could be your only option for getting back on the road. You might also need it if you are an employer and your employees regularly drive their own cars for business purposes.

One last important thing to note. Non owner car insurance typically doesn’t apply to situations where you are driving someone else’s car on a long-term basis. For example, if you regularly use your roommate’s car to get to work. Or if you borrow your mom’s car to take your kids to school every day. This is considered regular and consistent use, not a random one-off (like borrowing your buddy’s truck for weekend to help you move). In these cases, you should talk to the car owner about being added to their insurance policy as an occasional driver. Some states even legally mandate this.

non owner car insurance


Cora Walker


Cora is a Northwest-based writer and editor who wants to make information as accessible as possible in the internet age. Video games are this writer’s primary vice. With a degree from the University of Washington as well as 5+ years of experience in web writing and publishing, Cora is here to share financial tips from experts and talk about good habits.

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