Can I buy auto insurance without owning a car?

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Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Dec 9, 2018

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Here's what you need to know...

  • If you are a frequent borrower of another’s vehicle, you should consider buying a non-owner car insurance policy
  • Non-owner insurance policies add coverage to help cover any damages you may incur in an accident while driving
  • Even if you do not own your own car, you may need to file for a non-owner SR-22 which shows you can be financially responsible for any auto accidents

Is it possible to purchase auto insurance without owning a car? Well, in order to drive a vehicle you need auto insurance.

Typically, people insure their cars and the insurance automatically transfers to any driver using it, as long as you have permission to use the car. However, there are many situations in which you may want to have your own auto insurance policy, even though you don’t actually own a car.

Read the rest of this common auto insurance FAQ  and make sure to enter your ZIP code above to start comparing car insurance today!

Knowing When to Get Auto Insurance if You Don’t Own A Car

If you frequently borrow a car from a family member or friend, you may want to invest in a non-owner car insurance policy. Such a policy is not specific to any one vehicle; therefore, it can be used when you are driving any car.

Non-owner insurance provides you coverage that goes above and beyond the coverage carried by the car owner so that if you are involved in an at-fault car accident, your assets are protected.

If you are concerned about the amount of liability coverage carried by the owners of the cars you are driving, having your own non-owner insurance policy can alleviate such concerns.

Many car owners opt to carry only the minimum required liability insurance limits as mandated by their state in order to save money.

However, if you are driving a borrowed vehicle and are at-fault in an accident, the other party can sue you personally for any losses not covered by the insurer of the vehicle you were driving. If you have personal assets that you want to protect, a non-owner policy may be a good choice for you.

How Does Non-Owner Auto Insurance Work?

Driving car on empty streets

Non-owner auto insurance policies work like supplemental insurance. If an accident occurs, the car owner’s policy kicks in first. If the limits are insufficient to cover the damages and/or injuries involved in the accident, your non-owner auto insurance policy takes care of the rest up to the limit of your own policy.

This type of coverage can provide you with peace of mind regarding your own liability in regards to being at fault in an accident. These types of policy do not, however, cover the costs of damage to the vehicle you are driving.

Before taking out any insurance policy, be sure you understand exactly what you are getting and what is excluded.

There is really no point in having liability insurance without owning a car.

Check with your car insurance company and see if you can buy car insurance without owning a vehicle.

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The Importance of Non-Owner SR-22 Coverage

SR-22 coverage is a liability insurance policy that is certified by the insurance company. It provides proof to the department of motor vehicles in your state that you do indeed have liability car insurance coverage.

Those who have received certain types of citations, such as a DUI, or have not complied with certain contracts like paying insurance premiums on time, are required to have SR-22 insurance for a certain period of time.

Non-owner SR-22 coverage is even available for those with a driver’s license who do not own a vehicle.

This coverage allows you to maintain insurance coverage so that you can prove to the DMV that you have had uninterrupted coverage for the period you are required to have it.

Even if you cannot afford to have a car right now, having the non-owner SR-22 coverage will allow you to maintain your ability to be insured so that when you can afford a car again, your rates will be more reasonable.

In addition, if you are to borrow or rent a car, a non-owner SR-22 insurance policy might be the only way for you to be covered, especially if you are named as an excluded driver on a policy.

Finding the Right Non-Owner Auto Insurance


When you are ready to invest in non-owner auto insurance, you should expect to spend some time doing a little research. There are differing guidelines in different states about this type of insurance.

You should know the laws in the state where you reside and will drive.

In addition, you need to shop around for coverage. Not all insurance companies provide non-owner auto insurance so it may take some time to locate the ones that do.

Free Non-Owner Car Insurance Quotes Online

In order to quickly find quotes from companies offering non-owner auto insurance, put our online quote tool to work for you.

Simply answer questions about yourself and your driving record, as well as the limits you desire and the quote tool will submit your information to a variety of insurers offering coverage where you live.

Enter your ZIP code into the box at the bottom of this page to get started now!

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