The Best Guide for Non-Owner Car Insurance 2021
TLTR: This blog explains non owner car insurance, its coverage, requirements, and the costs involved with purchasing it.
Yes, “non owner” car insurance does sound odd. But just as the name says, it’s a type of car insurance for people who don’t own a car. So how is it useful?
For one thing, if you borrow or rent vehicles, non-owner car insurance can provide helpful liability coverage in the event of an accident.
This policy is also known as non owned auto insurance and hired auto insurance. It’s also used by businesses that have employees use their vehicles to transport goods and run errands. The policy provides financial backup if an employee is in a car accident for which the business could be held liable.
This type of insurance is quite important. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 33,244 fatal car crashes in the United States in 2019 due to distracted driving. Anyone can fall victim to distractions while driving if they are renting or using their vehicle for business or any other purposes.
This policy is vital in such scenarios, as personal auto insurance will not provide coverage for personal vehicles used for business errands. Commercial auto insurance will also not be sufficient, since it provides coverage only for business-owned vehicles.
In this blog
What does Non Owner Car Insurance Cover?
Non owner auto insurance is vehicle insurance that protects you legally and financially. This auto policy covers personal, borrowed, rented, or leased vehicles.
It provides the least amount of liability coverage depending upon your state’s requirements. Besides this, it also includes:
- Uninsured motorist coverage: It covers the cost of property damage and bodily injury in an accident if another driver is at fault and doesn’t have insurance.
- Underinsured motorist coverage: It covers the expenses due to an accident in which the driver at fault has car insurance, but their insurance limits are insufficient to cover the damages.
- Personal injury protection: It covers the cost of your medical bills for injuries after an accident regardless of who was at fault.
It’s important to remember that non owned car insurance does not provide coverage for any non owned or rental cars. It provides liability coverage in case of an accident or theft, but it doesn’t cover the damage to your non owned car even if you have business renters insurance. If you’re renting a car, check with your credit card company, as some cards will extend benefits beyond collision and comprehensive coverage for these rentals.
This type of legal protection benefits both employers (or renters) and employees by providing bodily injury liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. For example, you’re hired to drive for your employer and you get into an accident which was the fault of another driver. Here, non owner car insurance protects you from liability by providing legal defense costs, if you aren’t at fault.
What Does Non Owner Car Insurance Not Cover?
Exclusions to this coverage include:
Damage To the Vehicle
The policy will not cover any damage to the car you drive if you’re at fault. Since it doesn’t include collision or comprehensive insurance, it won’t cover damages due to accidents, natural disasters, fire, hail, riots, and vandalism. However, if you aren’t at fault, the vehicle owner’s insurance coverage or the liability of the driver at fault will cover the damages.
If you suffer injuries in an accident while renting a car, you will not be covered. If you need additional coverage, you could add a medical payment policy alongside your non owner policy.
Non owner car insurance will not cover any of your personal belongings if they are damaged, lost, or stolen. If your phone is stolen while you’re driving a car you don’t own, it isn’t covered by your non owner auto policy. If you wish to cover your personal belongings, you might need to add that as part of your homeowners insurance or renters insurance.
When Do You Need Non Owner Coverage?
Auto insurance is only mandatory if you own and drive a car. So, if you don’t have a car, you aren’t legally required to have insurance. But there are instances in which having some form of coverage such as non owner auto insurance is important. These include:
Frequently Borrowing Cars
You could be at fault for an accident when you’re regularly driving a friend’s or a colleagues’ car. Normally, their car insurance would bear the cost of the accident. But there can be instances in which the costs exceed the coverage limits. In such a situation, you could end up paying for the remainder from your own pocket. And that could leave quite a dent in your finances. Non owner car insurance will help you cover the exceeded amount.
Utilize Regular Car Rentals
If you travel frequently and makes use of local car rentals, a non owner policy can be very beneficial. Since you’re driving an unfamiliar car in an unfamiliar location, your chances of a driving mishap may be a bit higher. Having non owner insurance can give you the necessary coverage for any post-accident expenses. Also, if you rent frequently, you could get a non owner insurance policy that costs less than a liability policy. Of course, you would need to check with your insurance provider and the rental company.
You Have a Lapse In Coverage
Say you end up not driving for a significant time due to an injury, or you end up selling your car. This would lead to a “lapse in coverage.” Insurers see this as a risk and could raise your rates because you haven’t operated a vehicle for a while. Since non owner car insurance is cheaper than standard auto insurance, it’s a good substitute coverage while you’re not actively driving a vehicle but plan to get auto insurance in the future. Opting for this would be cheaper than skipping coverage and paying higher rates later on.
How To Get Non Owner Car Insurance?
Insurers usually have different guidelines when issuing non owner car insurance. Generally, to purchase a policy, you have to provide the following information to your insurer:
- A valid driver’s license
- Proof of not owning a vehicle
- In some cases, proof that no one in your household owns a vehicle
In order to provide proof that you or anyone in your household doesn’t own a car, you will need to file a declaration of non-ownership with the DMV. Once you have provided this information, you can purchase the policy according to your budget.
In some cases, you might also need to file an SR-22 or an FR-44 certificate, which verifies that you have the state mandated amount of car insurance. This is usually required if you are labeled as a high-risk driver.
Insurers may consider you as “high-risk” if your driving record includes:
- Driving without a license
- Numerous traffic violations in a set period of time
- Driving under the influence
- Reckless driving
Note: An FR-44 is mandatory in Florida and Virginia for drivers who have had alcohol-related violations.
Is a Non Owner SR-22 or FR-44 Insurance Important?
A non owner SR-22 or FR-44 insurance certificate proves that the insured can pay a certain amount for damages in case of an accident. This certificate proves to authorities that the non owner auto insurance premium has been paid by you and is valid for a particular period. If you are planning to buy non owned auto insurance, make sure that insurance companies accept your SR-22 or FR-44 for non owned auto liability coverage.
This is mandatory by law in certain states. The certificate must be filed with the state department of motor vehicles, otherwise a non owned car can’t be registered under your name.
The minimum requirement for filing an SR 22/FR 44 is one year, but it might differ from state to state. Make sure to check your state requirements and consult with an insurance agent.
How Much Does Non Owner Car Insurance Cost?
As per Wallet Hub, non owner car insurance policies range from around $200 to $500 annually. Given that people with this policy aren’t on the road as much as an average car insurance policyholder, they end up paying less.
According to Bankrate, the average cost for full coverage car insurance in the United States is $1,674 per year. So, this policy is relatively cheap. That is, if you don’t plan on owning a car for the foreseeable future.
Rates are dependent on a few factors such as:
- Driving history
- Coverage amount
If you’re an inexperienced or young driver, high-risk auto insurance might be necessary. That could drive up the cost of your non owner car insurance. Always consult with your local insurance agent if you have any questions regarding the coverage rates.
Note: A non owner insurance policy can help you avoid potential risk while driving as well as a lapse in coverage when you’re regularly driving but do not own a car. Preventing this is a smart move, since insurance companies can charge you more for a policy if you’ve had no insurance in the past.
Non owner car insurance is a cheap and viable coverage option for people who drive vehicles that they do not own. This policy provides the minimum liability coverage and is also applicable for businesses that utilize employee vehicles.
As an individual who doesn’t own a car, this is a cheap and affordable liability coverage to have while driving on a regular basis. it’s also great substitute coverage to have until you get standard car insurance for yourself.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are There Reasons You Wouldn’t Need Non Owner Insurance?
Yes. You wouldn’t need non owner insurance in the following situations:
- You own and drive a car
This is quite straightforward. If you own a car then you will need a normal car insurance instead of a non owners auto policy.
- You borrow a colleague or friend’s car
In this case, your friend or colleague’s insurance will cover you in case you get into an accident which is not your fault. But, if you are at fault for an accident, you would be liable. In this case, your liability insurance would cover you instead.
- You drive a car belonging to someone in your household
If you drive a car that belongs to your parent, spouse, or child, you would be covered by their insurance policy. Keep in mind that you would only have coverage if you are listed on their policy.
If you’re looking for non owner car insurance, then research it online. Even better, feel free to consult with an agent for some expert assistance.
What Happens to My Non Owner Car Insurance If I Decide to Buy a Car?
Your non owner insurance will not cover you if you get a car. You should then buy a standard car insurance policy since your state requires you to have a minimum amount of liability. Having non owner insurance can still be beneficial, as it would serve as proof that you’re a responsible driver and could potentially help you lower your insurance rates.
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