Car Insurance Without a Car:
How to Get the Best One
TLTR: This article tells you how you can get car insurance without a car, and explains why it makes sense to do so in some circumstances. Also, learn which carriers will provide your best options.
“Can I Get Car Insurance Without a Car?”
This is one of the most common insurance questions that people ask. The answer is a very definite “yes.”
In fact, getting car insurance without owning a car can be essential at times. Why? For one thing, you might get into an accident while driving a car that you don’t own.
Non-owner car insurance provides coverage in such situations. It’s a form of liability coverage specifically for drivers who don’t currently own vehicles.
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What Does It Cover?
In addition to liability coverage, the form of vehicle insurance that is usually mandatory in most states, the policy also provides personal injury protection and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Non-owner insurance also covers drivers who rent cars on a short-term basis, such as for a business trip or a vacation.
Car rental companies will have you purchase their own liability coverage if you do not have your own car insurance policy. If something happens while you’re traveling to another state, for example if you collide with another driver, having an out-of-state non-owner auto insurance policy could keep you from paying an accident bill out of your own pocket.
It’s important to note that that, in some areas, it’s possible to get non-driver coverage for vehicles that aren’t currently active. You would get the policy if you intend to use your vehicle in the future, perhaps after it’s been repaired following an accident. Some auto owners buy this kind of “future use” temporary non-ownership liability policy so they will be covered if they ever need to borrow their own or someone else’s car in the future.
Here are some things that non-owner auto insurance does not cover:
- Personal belongings
- Driving any of your vehicles yourself without adding them to your policy first
- Car accidents you’re personally involved in when you don’t have an active vehicle registered
Note: For coverage in case you get in an accident through no fault of your own with a vehicle registered under your name, you should look into getting personal injury protection (PIP).
Keep in mind that there are several different kinds of non-owner insurance plans designed for drivers with these types of needs. The plans can differ according to which insurer you approach. Look into what kind is right for you before making a purchase decision.
How Do I Get Non-Owner Car Insurance?
You might think that getting non-owner car insurance is as simple as going down to your local insurance office and getting a quote on a premium. But insurance companies tend to have certain requirements when it comes to issuing customers car insurance without a car. These are:
- A valid driver’s license
- Proof in the form of a legal document that you don’t own a vehicle
- Legal Proof that no one in your household owns a vehicle
Note: Insureds can establish this proof by claiming a declaration of non-ownership from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
At a minimum, car owners need to at least have liability coverage on their policy, but buying additional coverage for theft protection, medical bills, or comprehensive repairs may be more important to some than others.
So when you’re not a car owner you have to think about which type of coverage you would need when you’re driving a car you don’t own.
How Much Does Car Insurance Without a Car Cost?
As per Bankrate, the average cost for full coverage car insurance is $1,674 per year. Compared to this, the cost of non-owner auto insurance is far less. WalletHub, puts the national average cost at a relatively affordable $200 to $500 per year.
But please note that the cost depends on the insurer you approach as well as factors such as your:
- Coverage amount
- Driving history
Furthermore, the cost difference between each state is quite significant. According to Insure.com, the three most expensive states for getting car insurance without a car are New Jersey ($1,090), Michigan ($1,073), and Rhode Island ($972). The cheapest three states are Wisconsin ($171), South Dakota ($235), and Iowa ($246).
Note: The costs for non-owner insurance can differ even within each state’s cities and communities. Make sure to check with your local insurance agent for details.
Where Can You Get Car Insurance Without a Car?
Even if getting car insurance without owning a car is cheap, it isn’t always easy. Some insurers don’t provide this coverage. But, the well-known ones such as Geico, Progressive, and State Farm do provide non-owner insurance. Let’s look at Value Penguin’s assessment of what some of the insurers offer for this coverage.
State Farm offers its customers non-owner insurance at an annual rate of $976. Customers can get the benefits of standard liability coverage and underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. While their rates are higher than average, they do have a variety of discount criteria, such as safe driver discounts, student driver discounts, and safe vehicle, to name a few. They also provide some beneficial policy add-ons such as ride share insurance and rental car/travel expenses coverage.
Overall, State Farm provides adequate value for its higher-than-average rates. Their discounts can help bring down the cost depending on the type of coverage you have selected. They’re a good choice for anyone looking for convenience and a personalized insurance experience.
Geico is probably the cheapest provider for non-owner car insurance. With an average annual rate of $621, it definitely stands out among any other insurance companies. In addition to cheaper rates, Geico also offers top-notch customer service and good discounts. The coverage options they provide are standard and include bodily injuries, medical payments, and uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance.
Geico also provides coverage options to drivers with a history of accidents. But this coverage is only available if you file an SR-22 or FR-44.
The discounts that Geico offers are tied closely to safe driving and the customer’s association to certain organizations such as the military.
Insurance rates for Progressive are generally higher than average for all lines of insurance. This is true even for their non-owner insurance, with average annual rates of $976. Although folks with an extensive driving history will find Progressive’s rates to be fairly reasonable.
The coverage that customers receive from them includes standard liability, medical payments, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Despite higher-than-average rates, they do offer attractive discounts through their Snapshot program. The program consists of various different types of discounts such as safe driver, teen driver, and continuous insurance, to name a few, which you can get if you meet their specific requirements. These include having a clean traffic record for three years without any accidents.
How To Get Car Insurance Without a Car?
There are certain things you need to keep in mind while getting non-owner insurance.
For one thing, you can get cheaper rates by researching and comparing quotes from multiple insurers. Make sure to compare quotes from three to four carriers and cross reference what they offer with what you need. If you drive a car owned by a company, you could try to get your non-owner insurance from the insurer that provides them with any other commercial insurance.
If you already have additional insurance policies from an insurer, such as homeowners insurance or rental insurance, you can opt for insurance bundling. Insurers typically bundle home insurance and auto insurance, so there is a chance you might be able to bundle your home insurance with non-owner insurance. Make sure to check with your insurer to see if you qualify for it.
Consulting with a local car insurance agent is also an easy alternative to finding the right type of insurance if you don’t have a car.
Car insurance without a car does sound odd but it is something to consider. Especially if you frequently rent a car or drive one that you do not own. You can get into an accident at any time. As per Statista, in 2019, around 6.6 million passenger vehicles were involved in car crashes in the U.S. Even, if you are careful while driving, you could have a moment of distraction on the road which could lead to a car crash.
If you don’t own a car, non-owner insurance is essential.
Are you looking for car insurance without a car? Find an agent today and explore your non-owner insurance options!
Can Insurers Decline My Application for Car Insurance Without a Car?
Possibly, if you’re a high-risk driver. Insurers can label you as one if you:
- Drive without a license
- Have multiple traffic violations in a given time frame
- Drive recklessly
- Operate your vehicle under the influence
In some cases, you can get non-owner coverage if you file an SR-22 or an FR-44 certificate. This helps to verify that you have adequate car insurance as mandated by the state.
Is It Possible to Insure a Car That You Don’t Own?
Generally, that isn’t possible. But if you frequently drive a vehicle you don’t own, non-owner car insurance is something you would need. It includes liability coverage for any damage to others who are involved in an accident caused by your negligence.
Are Rentals Covered by Non-Owner Car Insurance?
Yes. Car rental companies require that their renters purchase a liability policy of at least $100,000 before renting a car. For some people this can seem like an extra expense when they’re travelling, so they opt out of buying the coverage They may not realize that if something were to happen while they rented a car, even if they weren’t at fault, they would have to pay for all of the vehicle repairs using their own funds.
If you frequently utilize rental vehicles, getting non-owner insurance will benefit you.
Can You Get Car Insurance Without a Driver’s License?
No. Every state requires individuals to hold a valid driver’s license to purchase any type of car insurance. Even if you’re looking to get car insurance without a car, a driver’s license is mandatory.
Is It Necessary to Have Insurance to Drive a Car I Don’t Own?
There’s no law that specifically mandates individuals to have insurance to drive someone else’s car with permission. However, from a practical point of view, some form of insurance is essential in case you get into an accident and cause significant damage to another person’s vehicle or property.
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