UPDATED: Aug 13, 2020
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Yes, it is possible to purchase an auto insurance policy even when you don’t own your own vehicle. This auto insurance coverage option is known as non-owner car insurance, and you’d be surprised how many people can benefit from owning such a policy.
But even though there are some drivers who might find it beneficial to carry a non-owner car insurance policy, there are other drivers who may not need the extra coverage.
Keep reading to learn all about non-owner car insurance, and whether or not it can apply to your unique situation.
What Is a Non-owner Car Insurance Policy?
For starters, you should know that non-owner car insurance only pertains to liability coverage.
This means two very important things: one, you won’t have the option to purchase most other coverages that you would if you owned your own vehicle, such as collision and comprehensive coverage.
Therefore, the policy only pays if you get into an accident with another person or vehicle, and you are held responsible for paying damages to restore their property or cover their medical expenses.
If you are not deemed to be at fault for the accident, then the at-fault driver’s insurance will cover most or all of your expenses.
The only way you can get your medical expenses covered if you are found at fault with a non-owner policy is if you purchase medical payments/PIP coverage beforehand (or if you have good health insurance in the first place).
Without either of these optional medical coverages and without your own independent health insurance policy, you’ll be stuck with a substantial amount of medical expenses.
Who Should Buy A Non-owner Car Insurance Policy?
There are specific situations in which it may be more beneficial to purchase your own non-owner car insurance coverage instead of just putting yourself on another person’s policy.
If you don’t plan on moving to an area with good public transportation, it’s highly recommended that you don’t go without either of these options, seeing as how a lapse of insurance coverage can make finding a new policy difficult and more expensive once you get ready to buy one.
To protect yourself in the meantime, drivers who need a non-owner car insurance policy include:
- If you don’t own a vehicle and don’t plan on driving at all. This is one of the most common situations in which a coverage lapse comes into play. Even if you refrain from driving illegally during this time, you’re still going to be financially penalized once you do start shopping around for a new insurance policy. This happens most often with military personnel who get deployed overseas, but there are many more situations in which someone may not own their own vehicle and plan to get around by other means. If/when their circumstances change, it can save money in the long run by purchasing a non-owner car insurance policy in the meantime.
- If you don’t own your own vehicle, but borrow often from friends and family. Of course, this assumes that you are not also listed on a family or partner’s auto insurance policy. The fact is, you’re still on the road. You’re still driving, and there are still situations in which a collision, whether or not you are at fault, can leave you with financial responsibilities that you won’t be able to pay for without some form of insurance coverage. It’s best not to risk it.
- You rent vehicles regularly. Whether or not you actually have your own vehicle and a proper insurance policy on that car, you can still benefit financially from investing in a non-owner policy. Rental car insurance from your credit card isn’t as comprehensive as you might think, and purchasing coverage from the rental car company can get very expensive very quickly. Furthermore, seeing as how most of the coverages on your regular car insurance policy (if you have one) follow your vehicle, not necessarily you, any accidents that happen in the rental car may leave you open to serious financial liability.
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