Can I Get Auto Insurance Without a Car?


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ByMark Fitzpatrick
Edited byJonathan Ramos
ByMark Fitzpatrick
Edited byJonathan Ramos

Updated: May 20, 2024

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

Non-owner car insurance is a cost-effective option for licensed drivers who regularly drive but don't own a vehicle. Unlike personal auto insurance, which covers a specific vehicle, non-owner policies cover the driver, regardless of the car they're in. This kind of insurance primarily offers liability coverage, protecting against damage to other cars, not your own. It's also a suitable choice for drivers who:

  • often rent or borrow cars
  • frequently rent cars
  • need to provide proof of insurance, such as with an SR-22 requirement
  • want to maintain continuous coverage

But if you regularly borrow a family member or roommate's car, it might be better to add your name to a family policy. And if you rarely borrow cars, you might not need to get your own policy at all.

Key Takeaways

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Non-owner car insurance can give you liability coverage even if you don’t own a car.

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If you regularly drive the same car, adding yourself to the owner’s policy is better.

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If you rarely drive, you can still drive with coverage through the permissive use clause.

Why Trust MoneyGeek? We ensure that MoneyGeek's content meets our highest editorial standards by carefully scrutinizing it. Throughout each stage, our team writes, checks facts, edits and reviews the content produced to generate accurate information.

How To Get Car Insurance Without a Car

Non-owner car insurance, sometimes called non-drivers insurance, offers coverage for licensed drivers who don't own a car. Unlike traditional auto insurance that's tied to a specific vehicle, non-owner insurance is all about the driver. So, even without a car listed on your policy, you're protected as you navigate the roads. Think of it this way: while personal auto insurance sticks to the vehicle, non-owner insurance sticks to you, the driver.

Non-owner car insurance is tailor-made for individuals who frequently rent cars or borrow vehicles from friends and family but don't have a car of their own. It's also a go-to choice for those who mainly rely on public transport but occasionally find themselves behind the wheel. If you're someone looking to reinstate a suspended license and need to show proof of insurance — or you're in a transition phase between selling and buying cars — this insurance can be a lifesaver.

What Does Non-Owner Car Insurance Cover?

This policy primarily offers liability coverage, safeguarding you against damages to other people's property or potential injuries you might cause while driving. Some policies might also include uninsured/underinsured motorist protection, guaranteeing you're covered if another driver lacks adequate insurance.

  • Bodily Injury Liability This covers medical expenses, lost wages and other costs associated with injuries you cause to other people while driving a borrowed or rented car.
  • Property Damage Liability This covers the repair or replacement costs of another person's property (like their car) if you are at fault in an accident.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Protection (optional in some states) This provides coverage if you're in an accident with a driver who doesn't have insurance or doesn't have enough insurance to cover the damages. It can cover both bodily injury and property damage.
  • Personal Injury Protection (optional in some states) Also known as "no-fault" insurance, this covers your own medical expenses and, in some cases, lost wages, regardless of who was at fault in the accident.

In certain states, you can even opt for personal injury protection, covering your medical expenses irrespective of who's at fault in an accident. However, remember that non-owner insurance typically won't cover damages to the vehicle you're driving and comprehensive or collision coverage is usually off the table. Align your coverage with your unique driving habits and requirements.

What Non-Owner Car Insurance Does Not Cover

Non-owner car insurance policies typically don't cover damages to the car you're driving, whether from accidents, theft or other causes. They also won't cover personal items stolen or damaged in the car or reimburse for rental cars if the borrowed vehicle is in the shop.

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    Damage to the Vehicle You’re Driving

    Non-owner policies typically don't include collision or comprehensive coverage, so they won't pay for damages to the car you're driving, whether those damages are due to an accident, theft, vandalism or natural disasters.

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    Your Personal Property

    If your personal items are stolen from the car you're driving or are damaged in an accident, a non-owner policy won't cover those losses.

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    Rental Car Reimbursement

    If the car you're borrowing is in the shop due to an accident, a non-owner policy won't pay for a rental car for you to use in the meantime.

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    Regular Access to a Vehicle

    If you borrow a specific car regularly, like a family member's car, the car's primary insurance policy should list you as a driver. Non-owner insurance is not designed for regular or daily use of the same vehicle.

The coverage scope of non-owner car insurance is limited compared to standard car insurance policies. If you frequently use a specific car, such as a family member's, it's best to be listed on that car's primary insurance, as non-owner policies aren't meant for regular use of the same vehicle.

Average Cost of Non-Owner Car Insurance

MoneyGeek found that, on average, a non-owner car insurance policy may cost you:

  • Minimum Liability: Auto-Owners Insurance Co ($285 per year)
  • Full Coverage with $500 deductible: Auto-Owners Insurance Co ($546 per year)
  • Full Coverage with $1,000 deductible: Auto-Owners Insurance Co ($546)

GEICO is a close second for all types of coverage.

While USAA offers affordable premiums — eligibility is limited to military members, veterans and their families.

Farmers offers the most expensive policies across the board.

Change the filters on the table below to find the best coverage and best price that suits your insurance needs.

Average Non-Owner Car Insurance
Data filtered by:Results filtered by:
Coverage:
Coverage:100/300/100 Full Cov. w/$1,000 Ded.
USAAAnnual Premium$575Monthly Premium$48
Auto-Owners Insurance CoAnnual Premium$578Monthly Premium$48
GEICOAnnual Premium$867Monthly Premium$72
TravelersAnnual Premium$885Monthly Premium$74
State FarmAnnual Premium$923Monthly Premium$77
AlliedAnnual Premium$1,043Monthly Premium$87
UnitrinAnnual Premium$1,065Monthly Premium$89
NationwideAnnual Premium$1,146Monthly Premium$96
KemperAnnual Premium$1,156Monthly Premium$96
AllstateAnnual Premium$1,156Monthly Premium$96
ProgressiveAnnual Premium$1,159Monthly Premium$97
FarmersAnnual Premium$1,328Monthly Premium$111
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Why Would You Get Car Insurance Without Owning a Car?

Non-owner car insurance is a versatile solution for various driving scenarios. Whether you're a frequent renter or borrower seeking extra protection, in a transition period without a car, needing to reinstate a suspended license or looking for coverage beyond basic rental insurance, non-owner car insurance can provide the coverage you need.

Scenario
Explanation

You frequently rent or borrow cars

Not everyone owns a car, but that doesn't mean they don't drive. Non-owner car insurance acts as a safety net for those who frequently rent vehicles for vacations or business trips or perhaps often borrow a friend's or family member's car for errands. It provides an added layer of protection, ensuring that if something goes wrong, you're covered.

You don’t currently own a car but want continuous coverage

Maybe you've sold your old car and are saving up for a new one, or perhaps you've moved to a city temporarily and left your vehicle behind. During these gaps, it's wise to maintain continuous insurance coverage. Why? Insurance companies often offer better rates to individuals who've consistently been insured, even if they haven't owned a car during that period.

You need to reinstate your license

Some individuals might be required to show proof of insurance to get back behind the wheel legally, irrespective of whether they own a car. Non-owner insurance can be the ticket to reinstating one's driving privileges.

You need protection beyond basic rental insurance

Non-owner insurance often provides more comprehensive coverage than what's offered at the rental counter, ensuring you're well-protected on your journeys.

What Are Other Ways You Can Get Car Insurance Coverage Without a Car?

Sometimes, it might be better to add your name to a family policy or include yourself as a listed driver in your roommate’s car insurance policy. And in other cases, you might not need to get your own policy at all and still legally drive with coverage.

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    Adding Yourself to an Existing Policy

    If you frequently drive a specific car, like a vehicle owned by a family member or close friend, it might be more practical to be added to their existing insurance policy as an occasional driver. This ensures that you're covered whenever you use that particular vehicle.

    It might be a good idea when:

    • You live with the car owner
    • If you're living with someone (like a roommate or partner) and occasionally use their car, it's wise to be added to their policy.
    • You're visiting for an extended period
    • If you're visiting family for an extended period and will be using their car regularly during your stay, being added temporarily can offer peace of mind.
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    Driving Under Permissive Use

    Many car insurance policies have what's called a "permissive use" clause. If you have a valid driver's license and borrow someone's car with their permission for infrequent, short trips, you might be covered under their policy without being explicitly listed.

    It might be a good idea when:

    • You're running personal errands
    • Imagine you're at a friend's house, and you both decide to cook dinner. You realize you're missing an ingredient, so your friend lets you borrow their car for a quick trip to the grocery store.
    • You're driving for an emergency
    • If you're with a colleague who suddenly falls ill, requiring you to drive them to the nearest medical facility using their car, the permissive use clause might cover you.

However, it's essential to note that the extent of coverage under the permissive use clause can vary between insurance companies and policies. Some offer full coverage, while others only provide limited protection. It's always a good idea to check with the car owner's insurance provider to understand the specifics.

What’s the Difference Between Personal Auto Insurance and Non-Owner Car Insurance?

Personal auto insurance covers your car and often includes extra protections, making it more expensive. In contrast, non-owner car insurance focuses on protecting the driver from damages to others and is typically cheaper.

Criteria
Non-Owner Car Insurance
Personal Auto Insurance

Coverage

Primarily provides liability coverage. Covers damages to other people's property or injuries to others.

Offers comprehensive coverage, including liability, collision and more. Covers you and your own vehicle.

Car Ownership

Designed for individuals who don't own a car but drive occasionally.

Tailored for individuals who own or lease a vehicle.

Coverage Limitations

Doesn't cover damages to the car you're driving or personal items inside the car.

Typically covers damages to your own car and may also cover personal items.

Cost

Generally less expensive due to limited coverage.

Can be more expensive due to broader coverage.

While non-owner car insurance is a valuable tool for many drivers without cars, there are other ways to ensure you're protected on the road. Always assess your driving habits, frequency, how much car insurance you need and the vehicles you'll be using to determine the best coverage option for your situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get insurance without a car?
Who should get non-owner car insurance?
Can I insure a car that I don’t own?

About Mark Fitzpatrick


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Mark Fitzpatrick has analyzed the property and casualty insurance market for over five years, conducting original research and creating personalized content for every kind of buyer. Currently, he leads P&C insurance content production at MoneyGeek. Fitzpatrick has been quoted in several insurance-related publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Fitzpatrick earned a master’s degree in economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his knowledge of economics and insurance to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.