Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Feb 4, 2020

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Non-owners car insurance is possible for drivers who wish to obtain auto insurance coverage without owning a vehicle. Why would you need auto insurance if you don’t own a vehicle?

Auto insurance is not just coverage for damage to your property but also liability protection anytime you operate a vehicle.

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Some of the most common reasons for buying a non-owners car insurance policy are:

Frequent Use of Someone Else’s Car

While most random authorized uses of a vehicle are usually covered under the car owners policy there are instances where car insurance companies may deny a claim if it’s found you frequently use the car and are not a named person on the auto insurance policy.

Think about living with a roommate, and both of you share a vehicle, but only he has insurance coverage, and you are not listed as an additional driver. Any person considered to be using a vehicle on a frequent basis must be listed on a car insurance policy as their use is not just limited to random times, but they are in fact a primary driver.

Having Coverage That Extends to All Vehicles

Non-owner car insurance policies have set levels of insurance coverage as long as the policyholder is operating a vehicle regardless of who owns the car. This can help you save money on having to buy rental car insurance or worrying about the insurance details of any car you randomly use.

Consistent Levels of Insurance

When you operate somebody else’s vehicle do you really know how much insurance they have? What if your friend only has a policy that complies with state minimum liability requirements and you get in an accident?

You may be on the hook for personal liability if your friend did not have the right coverage in place. Some insurance policies also only automatically extend state minimum requirement levels to unnamed drivers operating a vehicle.

Odds are your friend doesn’t even know how much you are covered for but just assumes his insurance policy will cover you in the same way — this is not always the case.

Car insurance is required by law, but having the right type of coverage is up to individuals to buy. As long as you comply with state laws, you certainly will not get ticketed, but this does not mean you have a free pass against personal liability. Anyone who has a driver’s license and operates vehicles owned by others should consider purchasing a non-owner auto insurance policy.

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How much insurance coverage do I have driving someone else’s car?

This really depends on the insurance policy details of the owner and many times the same coverage which the insured policyholder has does not automatically extend to un-named drivers. Anytime you drive somebody else’s car without understanding how their auto insurance works you risk great personal liability.

A non-owners auto insurance policy can reduce your exposure to liability.

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How does non-owner auto insurance work?

Non-owners auto insurance works much like a supplemental insurance policy. Any damage from a car accident will be first claimed through the primary policies (coverage belonging to the vehicle owners). Any damages above and beyond these limits or expenses not covered by the vehicle owner’s auto insurance policy will then be claimed against your non-owners insurance policy.

It does get a little complicated, but with the right type of non-owners auto insurance coverage, you at least know for sure how much protection you have.

What car insurance companies offer non-owners iuto Insurance?

Most car insurance companies offer non-owner auto insurance policies, and they are very popular in cities such as New York and Chicago where residents use the metro and only randomly use a vehicle for weekend trips, errands, and other random events.

While it’s a little more difficult to find information on non-owners auto insurance coverage online, many car insurance companies offer coverage, and all it takes is a phone call to start comparing rates.

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Related Links:

  1. Auto Insurance Companies
  2. Auto Insurance Requirements
  3. What is supplemental car insurance?