The easy and short answer to this question is if you don’t own a car but drive at times, then non-owner car insurance is, in fact, for you. However, there are some more in-depth stipulations on whether non-owner car insurance will truly be worth it for you or a strain on your wallet. This post takes a deep dive into those specifics, along with breaking down non-owner car insurance for an easy understanding of it.
Non-Owner Car Insurance in General
Car insurance isn’t required for every vehicle on the road; rather, it’s every driver –and that includes those that are licensed to drive but don’t own a car for whatever reason. So, you don’t need to have a car in order to get car insurance. Non-owner car insurance includes the following coverages:
- Liability coverage – As normal car insurance would, non-owner car insurance includes basic liability coverages for damages and injuries that you cause to another driver in an accident. These coverage limits are based on the minimum limits of the state you reside in. This is the coverage that people generally refer to when they talk about car insurance.
- Medical payment coverage – Also called personal injury protection (PIP), this will cover you for any injuries you personally sustain in an at-fault accident. Since full coverage isn’t available for non-owners, coverages such as these are highly recommended.
- Uninsured motorist coverage – Driving without car insurance is illegal in most parts, yet some drivers decide to forgo any car insurance at all. This is where uninsured motorist coverage would come in. If an uninsured driver were to cause you injuries or damage to your car, this coverage will step in and cover it.
- Rental car liability coverage – Several non-owners of cars rent them. Rental companies often offer their own car insurance, sometimes as an add-on to existing non-owner car insurance. Your credit card can even be used to get rental car liability insurance. This coverage is great for cars you are expected to keep in a certain condition.
What Non-Owner Car Insurance Doesn’t Have
As previously mentioned, non-owner car insurance doesn’t include full coverage. This is both collision and comprehensive insurance. Collision, which covers any damage to your car after an at-fault accident, isn’t available because the car isn’t technically yours as a non-owner. Comprehensive coverage, which covers damage to the car while it is parked or in storage, isn’t included for the same reason.
Who Gets Non-Owner Car Insurance
Non-owners are actually a bit of a broad category of drivers. There are a couple of circumstances that may lead someone to drive but not own a car of their own:
- Rent cars regularly – As previously mentioned, car renters make up a large percentage of non-owners. These drivers regularly use rental car companies for all their driving needs. These companies may offer their own coverage for customers when they pay with a credit card. At the same time, a non-owners policy is also ideal for rental cars.
- Borrow others’ cars regularly – If you borrow a car every once in a while with the owner’s permission, their liability insurance should cover you. If you borrow on a much more regular basis, you will need a non-owners policy.
- Don’t have access to your car for a period of time – You can get around when you don’t have access to your car for a period of time, whether you sold it and looking for a new one or are temporarily away from it, non-owners car insurance will cover you during this time. This is to avoid what is known as a lapse in coverage which can negatively affect your insurance rates.
Who Shouldn’t Get Non-Owner Car Insurance
Obviously, if you own a car, then non-owner car insurance isn’t for you. If you rarely borrow cars, then it also won’t be necessary. Borrowing a car regularly from a person that lives with you is also unnecessary to carry because you would be covered by their liability coverage as a member of the household. If you use the company car from work, then your employer’s commercial car insurance should cover you.