Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for CarInsuranceCompanies.com with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Sep 11, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • You don’t need to own a car to have a valid driver’s license
  •  Many licensed drivers who choose to use public transportation and forego the expense of a car
  • Non-owner’s insurance is not a standard type of coverage that’s offered by every company

When you buy a new car, you know that it must be insured for you to drive on the roadways with it. However, you may not know how to handle situations where the car you’re driving is owned by another group or person.

This includes cars you rent for business or while on vacation and cars that you may borrow on a regular basis.

Start comparing car insurance rates now by using our FREE tool now! Enter your zip code above to get started!

Table of Contents

Non-Owner Situations

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You don’t need to own a car to have a valid driver’s license. There are many licensed drivers who choose to use public transportation and forego the expense of a car.

Even among people who own vehicles, they may regularly borrow cars from friends or drive a company vehicle.

On the flip side, you may have a friend who regularly borrows your vehicle and you want to know who’s responsible in the event of an accident.

As long as the driver is licensed, the auto insurance follows the car.

This means that the coverages on your policy extend to anyone you loan your car to, including:

  • A spouse living in the same household
  • Foster children living in the home
  • Children who are away but college but still use the home address
  • Anyone else you give permission

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Renting a Car? There are Special Considerations

Whether you’re renting for a few weeks while your car is in the shop or you’re planning on renting a vehicle while you’re on vacation, there are some steps you should take to ensure that you have the coverage you need.

While you can pick up rental coverage at the counter when you get the car, there is a better option.

Here are a few of the ways you might already be covered against accidents:

  • Existing insurance plan – If you own a car already, then talk to your insurance company about your coverage. In many cases, the plan you have will apply to a rental car.
  • Pick up the coverage – If your plan doesn’t have this feature, then sign up for rental insurance coverage that will take care of everything from vandalism and theft to simple accidents.
  • Call the credit card – Many credit card companies offer the perk of rental car insurance. It’s secondary to your own car insurance or what the rental company offers, but it can help fill in any gaps. Speak with several companies to determine who has the best rates.

You may have to pay a little more for the appropriate level of coverage, but the peace of mind is well worth the extra expense.

Taking the time to call and check different companies can help you save even more on this purchase.

What Non-Owners Insurance Covers

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This is not a standard type of coverage that’s offered by every company, so you may have to do a little research.

When you find the right insurance plan, you should keep in mind that it is a limited plan that will not cover certain things. When looking at these plans, you should understand that non-owners insurance:

  • Does not include comprehensive and collision because these are handled through the policy that’s already on the car
  • Will not offer towing and rental reimbursement coverage
  • Will cover medical coverage and payments
  • Will also cover uninsured motorists in the event of an accident
  • Provides you with the liability coverage you need in the event that you cause an accident

In short, the non-owners coverage is designed to protect the driver but not the car. This makes it a smart choice if you borrow cars from people who only carry the state minimum and you’re worried about not having the coverage you need.

Protection from At-Fault Accidents

If you’re worried about the high cost associated with an at-fault accident, then non-owner insurance is the right choice for you.

It’s not reasonable to ask the owner of the car to change their coverages to give you peace of mind, but you can purchase this protection for yourself.

It’s more affordable than buying from the rental car company, and you can get the levels you need to safeguard your assets.

It’s the perfect choice for people who:

  • Regularly rent cars
  • Are part of car sharing services
  • Borrow from friends and family members on a regular basis

In addition to protecting your own assets with this coverage, you can also ask someone else to invest in it if you loan out your car on a regular basis.

The premiums are reasonable, although drivers with poor driving records will face higher rates. Additionally, some drivers may not qualify for this coverage at all depending on their records.

If you regularly drive cars that you don’t own, then take the time to shop around for this valuable coverage.

Start comparing car insurance rates now by entering your zip code in our FREE tool below!

References:

  1. https://www.thebalance.com/comprehensive-insurance-coverage-2645753
  2. https://www.allstate.com/tools-and-resources/car-insurance/what-is-full-coverage.aspx
  3. https://www.statefarm.com/simple-insights/saving/these-7-factors-determine-car-insurance-premiums
  4. https://www.statefarm.com/finances/banking/loans/vehicles
  5. https://www.libertymutual.com/auto/car-insurance-coverage/collision-insurance