Can you get car insurance without a car?

Getting car insurance without a car is possible with a non-owner car insurance policy. Non-owners insurance is a liability coverage option for those who need car insurance without a car.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Brad Larsen

UPDATED: Apr 15, 2022

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Things to Know

  • Non-owner car insurance is a liability-only policy for drivers who want to be covered if they get into an accident while driving someone else’s car 
  • Non-owner insurance policy protects you against bodily harm and property damage 
  • If you frequently drive or rent someone else’s vehicle, as well as those who desire continuous coverage, non-owner car insurance is ideal

If you don’t own a car, you might not consider the need for car insurance. Non-owner insurance, on the other hand, is a liability coverage alternative for drivers who do not own vehicles. In this article, we’ll answer your questions and doubts regarding getting car insurance without a car as well as why you would need it. 

Can you get car insurance without a car?

Getting car insurance without a car is known as non-owner car insurance, non-owners insurance, or non-drivers insurance and it provides liability coverage for those who don’t own a car but drive someone else’s from time to time. You can get non-owner car insurance if you wish to receive car insurance without a car. In the event of a car accident, liability car insurance pays for the injuries and property damage you cause to others. It does not, however, cover any damage to the vehicle you’ve borrowed or rented, neither does it cover your personal injuries if you cause a collision. 

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What Non-Owner Car Insurance Covers

A non-owner car insurance policy usually just contains the minimal coverage types required by your state, though you can often choose higher limits. These could include, in addition to liability coverage:

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Pays compensation if you’re hurt in a car accident caused by someone who doesn’t have enough or any liability insurance.
  • Medical payments. Often known as personal injury protection insurance, pays for your injuries following a car accident, regardless of who is to blame.
  • Liability insurance for renting a car. If you rent a vehicle and get into an accident, your non-owner auto insurance may protect you. However, don’t expect all non-owner policies to cover rentals.

Non-owner auto insurance policies do not include comprehensive or collision coverage because there is no specific car assigned to the policy. As a result, if you’re in a collision, it won’t cover damage to your vehicle, hospital fees, or other expenditures related to your injuries. The coverage in a conventional auto policy covers the repairs or replacement of the vehicle you own. Non-owner auto insurance often has no deductible.

How does non-owners insurance work?

Non-owner car insurance is bought on a per-person basis, which means that just you, not your spouse or anybody else, will be covered by the policy.

Non-owner plans typically have no car insurance deductible, which means you won’t have to pay anything out of pocket before coverage kicks in. This is because non-owners insurance is usually used as a backup plan if the car owner’s primary coverage isn’t enough to cover all damages.

Who needs non-owner car insurance?

A non-owner insurance policy’s primary function is to cover a vehicle’s property damage liability and bodily injury.

If you don’t own a car, you are not legally required to carry auto insurance. However, there are a few reasons why you might want to go with non-owners insurance:

  • You frequently rent cars 
  • You frequently borrow other people’s cars
  • You need an SR-22 or FR-44
  • Your state requires insurance to obtain or reinstate a driver’s license 
  • You sold your car or won’t be driving it for a long time
  • You want to maintain continuous coverage 

You Frequently Rent Cars

If you rent frequently enough, non-owner insurance may be less expensive than liability coverage at the rental counter. It can also provide reassurance if you’re concerned about being involved in a rental car collision since you’re driving a new car in an unknown location. It won’t usually cover damage to the rental, but you might be able to get it through a credit card or by purchasing a collision damage waiver from the rental car provider.

The rental company’s insurance normally costs at least $20 per day, so if you rent a car for 50 days or more a year, the annual cost of a non-owner auto insurance coverage will likely be more. 

You Frequently Borrow Other People’s Cars

Non-drivers insurance may also be a useful option if you frequently borrow cars from friends or other people. It guarantees a specific level of coverage every time you drive, so you don’t have to worry about the car owner’s insurance policy covering you or the liability limitations being too low.

Just keep in mind that if the car you borrow belongs to someone you live with or if you borrow the same car regularly, you’ll almost certainly need to be added to the owner’s insurance policy for primary coverage. In the event of an accident, even if you have non-owners insurance, the business that issued it may not cover you at all. 

In most cases, the car owner’s insurance will cover the costs of an accident, but if the costs exceed their liability limitations, you’ll be responsible for the rest.

You Need an SR-22 or FR-44

After a major conviction, such as a DUI, your state may demand SR-22 or FR-44 insurance to reinstate your driver’s license. Insurers file these on your behalf to demonstrate that you have at least the state-mandated minimum insurance coverage. 

Non-owners insurance is less expensive, which is one of the main advantages of using it for an SR-22. Premiums will be less expensive than they would be with a typical car insurance coverage. 

Your State Requires Insurance to Obtain or Reinstate a Driver’s License

Some states may need insurance to show “proof of financial responsibility” if you’re applying for a license for the first time or trying to reinstate it after a suspension. 

You  Sold Your Car or Won’t Be Driving It for a Long Time

Almost every insurer increases rates for drivers who have had a “lapse in coverage,” which refers to policyholders who have gone without auto insurance for some time after previously having coverage. Even if you never drove a car without insurance, you would be considered a greater risk and will not be eligible for the best rates.

Because non-owner auto insurance is less expensive than regular coverage, staying protected with a non-owner policy can be a a better choice, especially if you expect to need insurance in the future.

You Want to Maintain Continuous Coverage

Going without car insurance, even between cars, makes you appear hazardous to insurers, resulting in higher rates when purchasing a vehicle. As a result, if you’re going to be without a car for a short length of time, it might be cheaper to purchase non-owner insurance rather than skip coverage.

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How much does non-owner car insurance cost?

When comparing estimates for a non-owner coverage to a standard car insurance policy, it’s more difficult because you have to call each insurer separately. In general, non-owner policies are 5% to 15% less expensive than ordinary policies with equivalent coverage. When comparing a non-owner policy to a full-coverage policy or insuring a high-value vehicle, however, the savings can be significant.

The cost of non-owner insurance varies depending on the following factors:

  • Your insurance policy’s limits
  • Your driver record
  • Where you reside 

Non-Owner Car Insurance Quotes Comparison

CompanyNon-Owner Average Annual Rate
Geico$311
State Farm$408
Farmers$521
Progressive$576
Allstate$638
Nationwide$677
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Purchasing Car Insurance Without a Car

You can get non-owner auto insurance coverage if you wish to receive car insurance but don’t own a car. Instead of being covered by someone else’s policy, non-owner coverage insures you with basic liability on your own policy. Insurance for a rental car can be costly, and if you borrow a friend’s car and cause an accident, you risk raising their insurance rate. There are a variety of reasons why you might need non-owner insurance. One of the most prevalent scenarios is if you don’t own a car but frequently rent or drive cars that aren’t yours and want to be protected. Non-owner auto insurance is less expensive than conventional auto insurance. It may cost between 5% and 15% less than a comparable coverage tied to a car. Depending on your situation, non-owners car insurance may be the best option for you.

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