Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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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 (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that exis...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Apr 21, 2020

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Things to Remember...

  • You may still be partially liable for medical expenses or other damages if you have an accident while driving another person’s car
  • Nonowner’s car insurance insures you if you are between cars
  • Persons convicted of DUI’s are required to show proof of insurance to drive if they don’t own a car

One question people often ask when looking for insurance quotes is whether or not they can get insurance if they do not have a car.

Another question that comes to mind is why they even need insurance if they don’t have a car. We will attempt to answer both of those questions.

You don’t want to find yourself without insurance when you need it. Start by comparison shopping.

You can enter your zip code into our FREE comparison tool above to make sure you get the right coverage at the right price!

About Nonowner Auto Insurance

Non-owner car insurance is insurance purchased for anyone who does not own their car. There could be several circumstances which could create the need for this kind of insurance, such as DUI’s and frequent car rentals.

Non-owner car insurance also fills in the gaps of the car owner’s insurance if you are driving another person’s car and have an accident that causes severe injury to another.

Many situations exist where you might need car insurance, even if you do not presently own a car.

Frequently Rent Cars

You still have legal liability when you drive someone else’s car such as driving a rental car. Also, you need to know that when you take the wheel of a rental in most states, the insurance goes with the car. In other words, you are not under your insurance

In other words, you are not under your insurance without additional coverage.

The problem is the basic car insurance such as liability, personal injury, and property damage fall under the insurance carried by the car’s owner.

However, the extra liabilities such as medical expenses and other expenses a victim of an accident incurs may be delegated to you.

If you have insurance, this would start at this point and cover the rest of the damages. It is important to know what the specific laws are in your state.

Convicted of a DUI with Restrictions on Your License

If your license is limited due to a DUI or other reason, you will need non-owner car insurance while you are working to get your full driving privileges back.

Most states allow you to drive after filing a form with the DMV that states you have non-owner car insurance until you can again own a car.

Between Cars but You Might Drive Other Cars in the Interim

Anytime you drive another car, whether it be commercial or personal, you still need insurance to cover whatever the friend or business’s insurance does not cover.

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Another Reason for Purchasing Nonowner Car Insurance

If you rent cars from a car-sharing service such as Zipcar, a non-owner car insurance policy covers and supplements the liability coverage that the car-sharing service providers.

As stated before, you will have their basic insurance for minor damages or fender-benders.

But, if the damage or injuries are more serious, you could be held liable if the accident was deemed your fault. If you’re at-fault, your cost could be thousands of dollars.

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Avoiding Legal Action

Insurance is the main factor that keeps people from being sued in the event of an accident that injures someone or takes the life of a passenger. Remember that, when you cause an accident and someone dies, you are guilty of manslaughter.

Families of the victim could sue you, if they chose, for a wrongful death suit. You were negligent in some way in the situation and that your actions caused the death of the victim.

If you have no insurance in this situation, you are still liable, and all of the debt would go to you. You would have no cushion that would pay the damages the court requires. This kind of ruling could create a dire situation for you legally and financially.

By having nonowner car insurance, your insurance would pay the difference if the insurance on the car rental or car-sharing vehicle was not enough to cover it.

When you frequently drive someone else’s car, this coverage is similar to supplemental insurance.

It is also similar to an insurance settlement in the sense that it kicks in more money for the expenses when it is necessary to cover the costs.

How to Find Nonowner’s Car Insurance

When you are shopping and comparing car insurance plans, you will want to look for nonowner’s car insurance to cover you in a rental car or when driving anyone else’s car.

Many companies offer nonowner’s policy. But it isn’t as popular as other forms of car insurance, so you may have to ask specifically for the coverage.

When shopping for car insurance, here are some great questions to ask about nonowner’s car insurance to make sure you are getting what you need:

  • Does the non-owner car insurance cover all medical costs if I cause an accident while driving someone else’s car
  • Are there any expenses it does not cover that I might be held liable for?
  • What is the maximum amount of non-owner car insurance that I can get with this policy?
  • What is the monthly premium?

All of these questions get at the heart of whether the nonowner’s insurance will be worth the price you are paying each month. You want to make sure it truly covers these expenses so that you will be taken care of if the rental car insurance is not enough.

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Tips on Talking to an Agent

Insurance agents are trained to sell their product and make their pitch. They may only include specific details about the policy that they think you will find amenable.

Let’s face it,  they want to sell the policy. They are required to be honest, which is why you still have a right to ask questions if there is anything you do not understand.

Breakdown of Questions

There are a few questions you should ask yourself when comparing auto insurance policies between companies. These questions include:

– What are the exclusions or limitations of this specific policy?

This question digs deeper into the limitations of the policy. When you ask this question, the agent will tell you what it will not cover, as well as if there are any limits on maximum amounts of insurance you can carry under certain circumstances.

For example, in some states, there could be some limits on how much insurance you can get if you were previously convicted of a DUI. You will need to research this information on a reliable site first to find out if this applies to you.

What is the exact amount of liability that this policy covers?

In this question, you will know exactly how much liability it offers so you can see if it meets the requirements and if it would be enough in the event of a bad accident.

What are the cancellation rules of the policy?

This question tells you how long you have to cancel (in case you decide on another policy after you start it), as well as when the policy goes into effect.

When does the policy begin and end?

Knowing the begin and ending dates of a policy is important because you may decide later to switch companies. You will need to know if you are covered before switching so that there is no gap in coverage.

Comparing Car Insurance

Information is the key to finding the best nonowner’s car insurance. Shop around and compare the exact coverage, including any limitations and exclusions to make sure you know what you are getting.

Keep in mind that the lowest rate may not be the best rate for you. There are many factors that can affect your premiums, so it’s best to compare at least three quotes from different insurance carriers.

Asking questions is important to ensure you are completely informed. Missing details could cost you money in the long run.

By asking the right questions and comparing, you will be able to find the right insurance if you are a non-owner. Enter your zip code into our FREE comparison tool below to get started!

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_liability
  2. http://www.naic.org/state_web_map.htm
  3. https://www.progressivecommercial.com/coverages/non-owned-vehicle/
  4. https://www.thebalance.com/questions-to-ask-before-buying-a-commercial-auto-policy-462415
  5. http://www.zipcar.com/
  6. http://www.naic.org/documents/committees_c_trans_read_wg_related_shopping_tool_auto_singles.pdf
  7. http://www.insurance-research.org/
  8. https://www.progressivecommercial.com/coverages/liability/
  9. http://www.insureuonline.org/consumer_auto_ten_tips.htm