What Is Non-Owner Car Insurance?

Non-Owner Insurance Explained

Definition

Non-owner car insurance is a type of coverage that offers financial protection when you drive another person’s automobile. This type of coverage does not provide the comprehensive protection of a full-coverage auto policy, but it does help pay costs when you’re at fault in an accident.

Driver and passenger in a car smile at each other
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What Is Non-Owner Car Insurance?

Standard auto insurance covers a specific vehicle. If you purchase a new car, you need a policy that provides coverage when you or a member of your household gets behind the wheel. For instance, if you’re driving your automobile and cause an accident, your policy’s property liability coverage would help pay to repair the other driver’s vehicle.

Note

Typically, non-owner auto insurance is affordable, but it’s not offered everywhere or by all insurance companies. Not all drivers need non-owner policies. However, if you don’t own a car, but often borrow a vehicle from a family member or friend, you may want this type of protection.

Non-owner auto insurance does not cover a specific automobile, but a particular person. Let’s say you carry a non-owner car insurance policy because you often borrow your friend’s car. If you’re liable for an accident while driving it, your policy can help cover the cost of repairing the other driver’s vehicle.

Non-owner car insurance is tied to the policyholder, so if you borrow cars from multiple people, you’re covered, regardless of which vehicle you drive.

How Does Non-Owner Car Insurance Work?

Non-owner car insurance policies provide liability coverages, typically with no deductible. This type of auto insurance provides secondary coverage. If you’re involved in a crash, the automobile owner’s car insurance policy must pay first, and if it doesn’t cover all costs, your non-owner policy kicks in.

However, non-owner auto insurance only provides liability protections. So if you total someone’s vehicle and the owner does not carry collision coverage, you could be liable for replacing their car. Non-owner policies also do not offer optional coverages such as rental reimbursement and towing, because they cover a person, not a specific automobile.

Non-owner car insurance policies must meet mandated minimum requirements. For example, Missouri automobile owners must carry at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident, and $10,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident. So if you purchase a Missouri non-owner policy, it must meet or exceed those minimum coverage levels.

Note

Some non-owner car insurance policies feature liability protection when renting a car.

What Does Non-Owner Car Insurance Cover?

Non-owner car insurance only provides bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverages. If you’re at fault in an accident, your policy’s property damage liability coverage would help pay to repair the other driver’s automobile. Likewise, if the other driver sustains injuries, your non-owner bodily injury liability coverage could help pay their medical expenses.

Some insurers also offer medical payments and uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverages when writing non-owner auto insurance policies.

What Isn’t Covered by Non-Owner Car Insurance?

Non-owner auto insurance does not include collision, comprehensive, or medical payments coverages, so it does not protect the car you borrow, you, or your passengers.

Note

If you cause an accident that damages the other driver’s vehicle and the car you borrowed, non-owner insurance would only pay to repair the other driver’s vehicle. And if you or one of your passengers sustains injuries in the crash, your non-owner policy will not cover your medical bills.

Also, if your car is stolen while it’s in your possession, your non-owner policy will not pay to replace it.

Who Needs Non-Owner Car Insurance?

Not all drivers need non-owner auto insurance. Those who do may include:

  • People who often borrow cars, but don’t own one.
  • Drivers who frequently rent cars and want liability protection that exceeds coverage offered by the rental company.
  • People who frequently rent vehicles but do not want to purchase liability coverage offered by the rental company.

Business owners who require employees to use their personal automobiles for work activities may also benefit from carrying a non-owner car insurance policy, in case a worker has an accident while on the job. Business owners should also include all employee-owned cars on their commercial auto insurance policy.

Who Doesn’t Need Non-Owner Car Insurance?

Motorists who own a vehicle, carry all required insurance coverages, and rarely borrow or rent vehicles do not need non-owner auto insurance. 

How To Get Non-Owner Car Insurance

Some, but not all, auto insurance companies offer non-owner policies. Check with your agent to find out if your provider offers the coverage.

The process for getting non-owner car insurance is similar to getting any type of insurance. You enroll with the insurance company either online or via phone. You provide key information and receive a quote. If you agree to the terms, you can accept the policy. You then begin making regular premium payments and receive the protection.

How Much Does Non-Owner Car Insurance Cost?

Non-owner auto insurance policies usually cost less than the liability coverage offered in standard policies. Rates can vary depending on a driver’s driving history, coverage levels, and location. However, as with standard policies, high-risk drivers pay higher non-owner premiums than lower-risk motorists. Typically, non-owner policies do not have deductibles.

What Is SR22 Insurance?

An SR22, also called a certificate of financial responsibility or FR44, is not a type of insurance. It’s a form that declares you meet a state’s minimum auto liability coverage requirements. Courts order some drivers to submit an SR22 in certain situations. Typically, a court will inform you that you must attend a hearing, at which time a judge will order an SR22 filing.

Reasons a court might demand you file an SR22 can include:

  • Driving without sufficient insurance coverage
  • DUI conviction
  • Excessive at-fault accidents
  • Excessive driving citations in a short amount of time
  • Failure to pay child support
  • Holding a hardship license following the revocation or suspension of your driver’s license

Typically, your insurance company can file an SR22 on your behalf and add the endorsement to your policy. If your carrier does not offer an SR22 endorsement, you must purchase a new policy from an insurer that does. SR22 filing costs vary, but typically run around $25. Usually, drivers who are required to submit an SR22 must maintain coverage for a specified period.

Drivers who are required to submit an SR22 and fail to comply may face suspension of their driver’s license and automobile registration.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much is non-owner car insurance?

Typically, non-owner auto insurance policies cost less than the comparable liability coverages of standard car insurance policies. Insurers base rates on factors such as a driver’s coverage limits, driving history, and location. Most non-owner car insurance policies do not require paying a deductible. As with standard auto insurance policies, high-risk drivers pay higher policy rates.

Where can I get non-owner car insurance?

Non-owner car insurance is provided by insurance companies. However, not all insurers offer non-owner auto insurance. Check with your insurance agent to find out if your provider offers the coverage.

Which is cheaper, non-owner, or non-drivable car insurance?

You cannot insure a non-drivable vehicle that carries a salvage title. However, if you repair the car to a state of roadworthiness, it may qualify for a rebuilt title. Often, insurers charge higher rates for cars with rebuilt titles, or refuse to insure them because they pose higher risk. On the other hand, non-owner car insurance rates are typically lower than comparable coverage offered in standard auto policies. Usually, a non-owner auto insurance policy costs less than a policy for a rebuilt vehicle.

Key Takeaways

  • Non-owner car insurance provides bodily injury liability and personal property liability coverages.
  • A non-owner policy kicks in after an owner’s insurance policy reaches its limits.
  • Non-owner auto insurance is tied to a specific policyholder, not a particular vehicle.

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Sources
The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Missouri Department of Social Services. “Non-Owner Insurance Policy.”

  2. Texas Department of Insurance. “Automobile Insurance Guide.”

  3. Texas Department of Public Safety. “Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22).”

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