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What is non owner auto insurance?

Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella...

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Reviewed byDaniel Walker
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UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Basically, non owner auto insurance covers any damage you may cause to another person or property when you have an accident and you are driving a car you don’t own.

It covers liability charges over whatever the existing policy’s limit is. This kind of insurance will cover cars you borrow as well as those you rent.

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You may live in a major city like Boston or New York City where you don’t necessarily want or need to own a car because there are good public transportation options, or because it is simply too expensive to find a place to park your car.

Renting a safe parking spot in a garage can cost several hundred dollars a month, or it can cost tens of thousands of dollars just to buy a designated parking spot. In this case you may simply rent or borrow a car as needed.

Sometimes you may opt to just purchase the temporary insurance that is offered through the car rental agency. Other times you may be able to get a discount on this type of insurance through a credit company. Just know this can be expensive, and will cover only that car that one time.

If the only time you drive a car involves the infrequent use of a rental car, then purchasing the insurance from that agency or through a special offered by your credit card company is most likely the smartest idea. You can get full and comprehensive insurance that covers liability, and to cover any instance when you or a passenger is hurt or, if any of your personal belongings are damaged. Sometimes this can even be good to get even if you do have full insurance, because your own insurance company may not ever have to be notified.

You can pay $30 or more a day for insurance through the car rental company; although this may totally be worth it if you don’t drive that often. However, things can get incredibly expensive if you rent cars quite frequently. Getting customers to agree to purchase rental insurance through them, or to upgrade what they may have already purchased, is the probably the largest fee the car rental companies use to increase the bill.

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But then what happens when you are driving someone else’s car?

Who covers you then? While the insurance of the person who owns the car will take care of the charges of any accident, it covers only up to the policy’s limit. You will be required to pay for anything that goes over those limits. Also, the owner of the car or that owner’s insurance may take you to court to help recoup the money they had to pay out because of your accident.

In almost all states it is illegal to drive at all without insurance. In other states, the insurance policy follows the car and not the insured (this, however, is not the norm). Whether or not you are required by law to have car insurance in your state, the truth is that you always want to have it. You do not want to go bankrupt because you were at fault in a major car accident.

If you frequently borrow or rent someone else’s car then purchasing non owner’s car insurance is probably a pretty perfect idea for you. Non owner’s insurance will cover any liability you may be responsible for.

Are there limitations on non owner’s auto insurance?

There are limitations to non owner’s car insurance, however. For one, it obviously won’t cover anything that you own or that is registered in your name. It also will not cover non-private vehicles or cars you drive that belong to people who are members of your household. You will also not be covered for cars that you rent or borrow every single day.

You will also want to do some research on the actual costs of this kind of policy and see how it varies from company to company. You may have other options, too. If you borrow another car often (but not so often that you’re not eligible to purchase non owner’s insurance at all) then you might want to see if you can just be added to the existing policy. You’ll also want to make sure that what you’re using the car for would even be covered by your non owner’s insurance policy in the case of an accident. Many work related situations wouldn’t be covered.

The important thing is to be responsible and proactive, because the bottom line is that it’s crucial for you to be covered. If you’re going to be driving someone else’s car on a frequent basis, you’ll want to make sure that you can do your part to take care of costs should an accident occur. Get a few auto insurance rate quotes and compare the costs of non owners car insurance policies before making a final decision.

To compare non owner car insurance quotes along with regular car insurance quotes just enter your zip above!

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