How do I get car insurance without a car?

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Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Nov 11, 2016

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Here's what you need to know...
  • If you own a vehicle, you will not need to purchase a non-owner policy for a vehicle that you use but don’t own
  • If you don’t own a vehicle but rent cars often, you may wish to purchase a non-owner policy as it will be cheaper than continually purchasing rental car policies
  • In some cases, the insurance carried by the owner of the car you’re borrowing will cover the car if you cause an accident, but you should make sure of this, and consider purchasing a non-owner policy as backup

If you don’t own a car, you can still purchase car insurance from an auto insurance company simply by purchasing what is called a non-owner policy.

A non-owner policy is a policy that covers you no matter what vehicle that you drive. This type of coverage is useful for a couple of reasons.

Keep in mind: If you own your own vehicle, then you won’t need to purchase a non-owner policy for vehicles that you don’t own.

You can purchase a non-owner policy from any insurance company. Even if you travel a lot, you will want to purchase the policy in your state of residence.

It will be applicable in any state that you travel. You will be required to purchase your state’s minimums but, like with any insurance policy, you will want to consider your assets and what you can afford to pay out of pocket if an accident occurs.

Read on to see the circumstances under which a non-owner policy might be valuable to you and then enter your zip above for free online car insurance rates!

You Might Need a Non-Owner Policy if You Travel a Lot

Modern car fast drive on asphalt road at sunset

If you are a frequent traveler who rents vehicles wherever you go then you may want to purchase a non-owner policy rather than buying a rental insurance policy from the car rental company. If you only rent every once in a while, then you may not want to pay for a regular policy.

When you own your own vehicle, your existing insurance will cover you when you use a rental vehicle, but if you don’t own your own vehicle, you have to have insurance coverage to legally drive in any state.

Every car rental company offers rental car coverage; however, this coverage is nearly twice as much as purchasing coverage from an auto insurance company. Buying insurance coverage from a rental car company can become cost prohibitive very quickly.

You will find that purchasing a non-owner policy directly from an insurance company is very affordable and will be comparable in price to a regular auto insurance policy.

It will be a little more expensive simply because you will be driving different vehicle types under the policy, but it won’t be too much more.

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You Might Need a Non-Owner Policy if You Borrow Other Vehicles

Some people don’t own a vehicle of their own and they will borrow other people’s vehicles to run errands, get around, etc. If this applies to you, the responsible thing to do would be to purchase a non-owner policy to cover you if you have an accident.

In many cases, the owner of the vehicle whose car you borrow will have insurance that will cover any accident that occurs no matter who is driving.

Not all policies offer this coverage, however, and many require the car owner to add any people who drive their vehicles to the policy. Having a non-owner policy protects your friend if an accident occurs.

If the policy covers any drivers on the vehicle and you have an accident, the car owner’s policy will offer the primary coverage for the accident. The non-owner policy kicks in if the costs of the accident exceed the owner’s coverage amount.

If, however, the owner’s policy doesn’t cover additional drivers then the non-owner policy will become the primary policy and cover the accident. That is why it is important to ensure that you have enough coverage for a serious accident in case it should occur.

If you are driving someone else’s vehicle, you should:

  • drive responsibly
  • pay any deductibles that they have if you cause an accident
  • pay the difference in premium for the duration of time it is increased

It is simply the right thing to do.

Buying a Non-Owner Policy


Buying a non-owner policy is easy. All you have to do is purchase one from any auto insurance company. Like any auto insurance policy, you want to get the best rate that you can from your non-owner auto insurance policy. To do this, you need to get auto insurance quotes.

Insurance quotes can be found at individual auto insurance company sites, or you can save time by using a free quote tool. The comparison quote tool above offers you the opportunity to view rates between several reputable companies in one place.

You can see what you can expect to pay for your non-owner policy and get started on the process of purchasing the insurance that you need. Give the free rate tool a try today!

Free Car Insurance Comparison

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