What is a Non-Owners’ Auto Insurance Policy?

Sunday, July 30, 2017

You wanted to head to the gym one evening, but you don’t have a car. Your best friend usually goes to the gym with you, but he isn’t feeling good. So, you ask to borrow his car. He agrees, and you head off to the gym.


A great workout follows and soon after you hop behind the wheel, again. You’re amped from the workout and not as focused on driving as you should be. Then it happens. You crash into oncoming traffic. It’s a huge three car wreck.


You get out and quickly realize you’re fine. However, the others in the wreck aren’t so lucky. The three cars look awful and two other drivers need to be taken to the hospital. While you think insurance will cover it all, your roommate only had minimum coverage. You don’t own a car, so you never thought to get car insurance.


The minimum coverage doesn’t come close to covering the costs of the medical bills and car repairs. Guess who ends up footing the bill for the rest of the costs? Your best friend, the owner of the car, and the insurance policy. Even though you were driving, you could be considered a “Permissive Driver” but still found partially negligent, and will have to share in financially. This type of driver is someone that was given permission to drive someone’s vehicle, but is not on the auto policy. If you don’t have non-owners’ auto insurance, then you will be paying too.


What is Non-Owners’ Auto Insurance?


Non-owners’ auto insurance is an important policy for people who have a driver’s license, but do not own a car. The coverage offers liability protection when you rent a car or borrow an auto from a friend or family member. These policies will pay for injuries and any property damage that you cause to other drivers and their passengers.


Who Needs Non-Owners’ Coverage?


From the example above, you can see the value of  a non-owners’ policy. Any individual who has a driver’s license, but doesn’t own a car could benefit from carrying this policy. Here are a few situations where non-owners’ coverage is absolutely vital:


  • For people who borrow a car from friends or family members on a consistent basis, but are not listed on their auto insurance policy. This is especially important if the individual you borrow from only carries low liability coverage.


  • If you end up renting a car often, you may want to get non-owners,’ as well. These policies will typically reduce the rate you pay for mandated renter’s insurance from car rental companies.


  • If your state requires you to have proof of financial responsibility to get a license, but you don’t own a car.


  • If you are between buying cars, but still want to retain the benefits of being a loyal customer to your insurance company, you can buy non-owners’ insurance, too.


Understanding Non-Owners’ Auto Insurance Coverage


Non-owners’ auto insurance is quite different from a typical car insurance policy. Whether you have comprehensive or collision, non-owners’ is not too similar. Personal auto insurance coverage can offer both first-party and third-party coverage options. Non-owners’ is only a third-party coverage.


Another difference between the types of coverage is who can be listed. On typical car insurance policies, you can list a number of people that will be covered. With non-owners’ insurance, there can only be one person on the policy.


To further understand how non-owners’ coverage works, here are the four available coverage options found within these policies:


  • Property Damage Liability: If you’re in an at-fault accident, then non-owners’ will cover any property damages to the other individual’s vehicle or property. Anything you are liable for can be covered.


  • Bodily Injury Liability: If you cause a wreck and people have medical bills, this coverage will ensure you don’t have to pay them out of pocket. This is typically mandatory in a non-owners’ policy.


  • Medical Payments: You can add medical coverage to your non-owners’ policy. This will pay for any third-party medical bills – no matter who is at fault for an accident.


  • Uninsured Motorist: This coverage protects from hit-and-run accidents, uninsured motorists, and underinsured motorists. You can get repairs and medical bills paid after an accident that you are not at-fault for.


It’s important to note that non-owners’ coverage will not provide physical damage coverage. You cannot get collision or comprehensive coverage if you do not own an auto. However, in many of these instances, the person who lets you drive their auto, will have an auto policy that will kick in at this stage.


When Do You Not Need Non-Owners’ Coverage?


Not everyone needs to pay for non-owners’ auto insurance. The coverage is typically only beneficial in certain situations. Here are a few times when non-owners’ insurance would be a waste of money:


  • You never, ever drive. If you never get behind the wheel and don’t own a car, then non-owners’ isn’t an insurance policy you need to carry. Unless you own a car or drive, auto insurance isn’t important for you.


  • You live with your parents and they have put you on their auto insurance policy because you have permission to drive their cars when you want to. For many younger individuals, non-owners’ isn’t an important coverage.


  • If you borrow a friend or family member’s car often and they have included you in their auto insurance policy, then non-owners’ coverage is a moot point.


How Much Does Non-Owners’ Car Insurance Cost?


If you’re interested in non-owners’ coverage, it’s important to note that policies range in price. The main factors that play into how much you’ll pay include:



  • Your age
  • Your driving record
  • Where you live
  • How often you’ll drive
  • What type of car you’ll be driving



Typically, you’ll pay significantly less for non-owners’ coverage than you would a standard auto insurance policy. This is because you won’t be driving as often because you presumably don’t have regular access to a car.


Finding the Perfect Non Owners’ Auto Insurance Policy


If you fit the criteria for non-owners’ auto insurance, then it’s a good idea to start searching for coverage and get insurance before disaster strikes. You don’t want to be on the bill for damages and medical bills after a crash.


Call your local insurance agent or start a quick search online. You’ll be able to grab quotes fairly quickly and find out if non-owners’ auto insurance is right for you.