Non-Owner Car Insurance: What Is It And Who Needs It?

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com

Simply put, non-owners car insurance is for drivers who don’t own a car. Should an accident happen, the insurance would help cover any damages you may be responsible for, and non-owners car insurance only costs an average of $300 to $700 a year, depending on a variety of factors. We used our in-house methodology system, SimpleScore, to rate the insurers on coverage options, customer service, accessibility, support and affordability.

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In this article

The 6 best non-owner car insurance providers of 2020

  • Geico: Best for low-cost coverage
  • State Farm: Best customer service agents
  • Nationwide: Best for poor credit
  • Farmers: Best for safe drivers
  • Allstate: Best for discounts
  • Progressive: Best online resources

Non-owner car insurers at a glance

Lender Average price Discounts* Customer satisfaction**
Geico $311 Multi-policy, good driver, defensive driving, driver’s educational course, good student, military, federal employee 3/5
State Farm $408 Multi-policy, accident-free, defensive driving, good driving, driver training, good student 3/5
Nationwide $677 Multi-policy, safe driver, autopay, affinity member, accident free, good student, defensive driving 3/5
Farmers $521 Multi-policy, autopay, good student, 55 and older, claim free, driver training, good driver 3/5
Allstate $638 Multi-policy, smart student, autopay, responsible payer, safe driving, early signing, paperless 3/5
Progressive $576 Multi-policy, continuous insurance, good student, homeowner, online quote, sign online, paperless, autopay, safe driving 3/5

*Some discounts may only apply to full auto coverage and vary by state. Data accurate as of June 23, 2020.

Best for low-cost coverage

Geico

Geico’s customer service is responsive and they pair it with low premiums.

J.D. Power Score
3/5
AM Best Rating
A++
BBB Rating
A+
SimpleScore
3.8 / 5.0
close
SimpleScore
Geico
3.8
  • Discounts
    4
  • Coverage Options
    4
  • Customer Satisfaction
    3
  • Support
    4
  • Accessibility
    5
Geico’s commercials aren’t making empty claims. They really do offer affordable auto insurance and their car insurance for non-owner drivers is no exception. When we called to ask for quotes, Geico had the easiest phone tree to navigate and had us speaking with a friendly, helpful person the fastest.
Full review

Our Two Cents — It’s easy to get affordable coverage with Geico and they offer robust customer service and a user-friendly app and website, too.

Best customer service agents

State Farm

State Farm combines low premiums with high customer satisfaction rankings.

J.D. Power Score
3/5
AM Best Rating
A++
BBB Rating
A
SimpleScore
4.4 / 5.0
close
SimpleScore
State Farm
4.4
  • Discounts
    3
  • Coverage Options
    5
  • Customer Satisfaction
    3
  • Support
    5
  • Accessibility
    5
State Farm is the biggest auto insurer in the country, which means they have agents conveniently located in each state. Find one near you to figure out how much a policy would cost with them. In our comparisons, we found that State Farm offered one of the best non-owner car insurance policies as far as price is concerned. And with a J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction score of 4 out of 5, you can rest easy knowing they’ll take good care of you.
Full review

Our Two Cents — The largest auto insurer in the game offers low-cost non-owner insurance alongside reputable customer service.

Best for poor credit

Nationwide

Nationwide’s customer service is lacking, but they’re worth a look if you have a lower credit score or a rocky driving history.

J.D. Power Score
3/5
AM Best Rating
A
BBB Rating
A
SimpleScore
4.5 / 5.0
close
SimpleScore
Nationwide
4.5
  • Discounts
    4
  • Coverage Options
    5
  • Customer Satisfaction
    3
  • Support
    5
  • Accessibility
    4
Nationwide doesn’t score particularly well in the J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction study, a notable red flag. But they earn some points back for offering lower rates to drivers with poor credit than other auto insurance providers. If you’re not proud of your credit score, it’s worth contacting Nationwide to see what they’d charge you for non-owner insurance.
Full review

Our Two Cents — Skip getting a quote from Nationwide unless you have a lower credit score.

Best for safe drivers

Farmers

Farmers offers a good driving app that discounts your policy just for using it.

J.D. Power Score
3/5
AM Best Rating
A+
BBB Rating
A+
SimpleScore
3.2 / 5.0
close
SimpleScore
Farmers
3.2
  • Discounts
    4
  • Coverage Options
    3
  • Customer Satisfaction
    3
  • Support
    5
  • Accessibility
    4
Farmers caters a lot of its discounts to safe drivers. You’ll receive a lower rate for having a clean driving record. If you sign up for the Signal program and download the app, you can earn a discount based on the actual quality of your driving, and a 5% discount just for using the program. The exact discounts available to you will depend on your state and not everything may apply to a non-owners policy.

If you ever want to upgrade to a comprehensive auto policy, Farmers has plenty of unique additional coverage options. You can add customized equipment coverage for any customizations you’ve made aftermarket. There’s also original equipment coverage that will ensure your parts are replaced with factory originals.

Full review

Our Two Cents — If you’re the kind of driver who can always see the tires of the car in front of you, Farmers will probably give you a good discount.

Best for discounts

Allstate

Allstate scores decently for customer service, cost of coverage and other key indicators.

J.D. Power Score
3/5
AM Best Rating
A+
BBB Rating
A+
SimpleScore
4.2 / 5.0
close
SimpleScore
Allstate
4.2
  • Discounts
    3
  • Coverage Options
    5
  • 3Customer Satisfaction
    3
  • Support
    5
  • Accessibility
    5
Allstate doesn’t knock our socks off in any given category. They score slightly above average in the J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction study, they premium costs are in the middle of the road and their coverage and discount options are comparable to other insurers. While they may not look very different from their competitors, that’s as much a pro as a con. With no major red flags, Allstate is definitely worth contacting to get a quote. If their coverage is more affordable than other insurers, you can rest easy knowing they’re a solid option to choose.
Full review

Our Two Cents — Since they perform decently in all the major categories, it’s worth getting a quote from Allstate.

Best online resources

Progressive

Progressive provides easy-to-access info about their non-owner insurance.

J.D. Power Score
3/5
AM Best Rating
A+
BBB Rating
A+
SimpleScore
4.2 / 5.0
close
SimpleScore
Progressive
4.2
  • Discounts
    4
  • Coverage Options
    5
  • Customer Satisfaction
    3
  • Support
    5
  • Accessibility
    4
While the other five insurers on our list do offer non-owner coverage, we had to call to check. Progressive, on the other hand, offers easy-to-find, easy-to-understand information about non-owner car coverage. Head to that page and you’ll find a handy quiz at the top. You can take it to find out if this coverage is right for you.
Full review

Our Two Cents — At least head to Progressive’s website to learn about non-owner car insurance.

Understanding non-owner car insurance

What is non-owner car insurance?

Non-owner car insurance is for drivers who don’t own a car. It supplements the car insurance already on the vehicle (provided by the owner) and acts as extra coverage in case of a crash or other automotive accident.

A non-owner car insurance policy, sometimes also called non-drivers insurance or liability coverage, usually only provides minimum coverage. There’s typically no deductible when you make a claim.

These policies include:

  • Bodily injury: coverage if someone else gets hurt in an accident you cause
  • Property damage liability: coverage if you damage someone else’s car or property

When you are involved in a car accident, there are several scenarios in which your non-owners car insurance applies:

  • If you borrow someone’s car and are involved in an accident, the vehicle owner’s car insurance pays out first. If it’s not enough to cover damages, your non-owner policy will kick in as secondary coverage.
  • If you cause an accident and the other person is injured, the bodily injury liability portion of your insurance will help cover their medical expenses, lost wages and some of your legal fees.
  • The property damage portion helps you pay for the damage to someone’s vehicle or property if you were at fault for the accident.
  • Some insurers also offer medical payments coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage and/or rental reimbursement as part of a non-owners policy.

How does non-owner car insurance work?

You buy non-owner insurance just like you would a standard auto insurance policy: get in touch with an insurer, get a quote, sign up for coverage and then pay your premiums to keep the policy in place. The only difference is you’ll have to call to purchase a policy.

Non-owner car insurance applies to you, specifically. It doesn’t travel with the car for which you bought the policy, nor does it extend to any other members of your household.

Who needs non-owner car insurance?

Technically, you’re not legally obligated to have car insurance (including non-owner) if you don’t have a car. If you frequently find yourself driving anyways, it’s probably a good idea.

Non-owner car insurance is beneficial for individuals who drive vehicles they don’t own. If you’re borrowing a car, a non-owners insurance policy will pay for injuries and damage in the case of an accident. If you drive a car for work, borrow a car regularly or are mandated by the courts, you may want to carry the extra coverage.

Here are some scenarios where it might make sense to have non-owners car insurance:

  • You rent cars regularly: A non-owner policy that offers liability coverage on rental vehicles can be a cost-effective option for people who frequently rent cars. Read the fine print on your non-owner policy if you intend to use it for rental cars, and make sure it covers you when you’re driving one.
  • You borrow cars regularly: If you’re a caregiver or work with someone whose vehicle you often use, consider having non-owner insurance to supplement their personal policy if you get in an accident. If you’re borrowing a car from someone in your household, you should be listed on their policy –– not on a non-owner policy.
  • You use a car-sharing service: If you’re enrolled in a car-sharing service like Car2Go, Zipcar or Maven, you’ll typically get some liability and damage coverage as part of your membership. But check the fine print to find out how much protection you have. In some cases, it might be wise to get some additional coverage.
  • You’re without a car temporarily: If you’re selling your car but plan to buy a new one soon, it’s usually a good idea to get non-owners insurance to prevent a lapse in insurance coverage. Otherwise, you may end up paying a higher rate for regular insurance when you get a new car.
  • You’re required by a court: If you’ve committed serious traffic violations, a court may require you to file a proof-of-insurance certificate to maintain your driver’s license, even if you don’t own a car. Specifically, this can happen if you’ve been convicted of a DUI, caused an accident as an uninsured driver or been ticketed for reckless driving. If this happens, you may need non-owner SR-22 insurance (or FR-22 insurance if you live in Florida and Virginia).

Non-owners car insurance probably doesn’t make sense if you own a car, don’t rent cars very often or the car you drive has sufficient insurance (whether via a friend, family member or company.)

What does non-owner car insurance not cover?

What this coverage includes depends on which company you get insurance from. Non-owner car insurance typically does not cover:

  • Collision insurance
  • Comprehensive insurance
  • Towing insurance
  • Rental reimbursement

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The cost of non-owner coverage

The average cost of a non-owners policy is $474. This rate is much lower than a standard car insurance policy. Non-owners insurance will also count as continuous coverage, so you won’t be penalized with a higher premium if you decide to get your own vehicle again.

We received quotes over the phone from the top insurers and broke them down to determine some average rates.

Average cost of non-owner car insurance

Annual cost Monthly cost
Geico $311 $25.92
State Farm $408 $34
Farmers $521 $43.42
Progressive $576 $48
Allstate $638 $53.17
Nationwide $677 $56.42

Non-owners car insurance FAQ

What will affect my non-owner car insurance premium?

With a traditional car insurance policy, a primary factor that determines how much you pay in premiums is the value of the car being insured. For example, a $200,000 sports car costs a lot more to insure than an $18,000 minivan.

With non-owner car insurance, there’s no car to insure, so you are the main factor determining the rate. Specifically, insurance companies will look at how likely it is that you’ll cause an accident. They do this by checking your driving record and your credit-based insurance score. Other factors are also assessed – such as your age, marital status and where you live.

Someone who has a clean driving record and excellent credit will get a lower rate than someone with a lot of citations, accidents and less-than-perfect credit. Don’t take this personally – just clean up your credit and keep a good driving record, and you’ll be able to get a lower rate over time.

Is a non-owners policy available in my state?

Yes, non-owners policies are available in every state in the US. Depending on where you live, the rate will vary, but most policies include the same type of coverage. You might also need to file an SR-22 depending on the reason you need a non-owners policy and the laws in your state.

What is non-owners SR-22 insurance?

If you have a driving offense on your record, like a DUI or a suspended license, you may need to file an SR-22. This document isn’t an insurance policy, but it is issued by your insurance company to indicate to the state that you are carrying an appropriate form of car insurance.

Too long, didn’t read?

Whether you’re renting a car or looking to avoid a gap in your insurance history, it’s helpful to purchase non-owner car insurance to protect yourself in case of an accident.

Not all providers offer non-owner insurance. You’ll have to call providers for quotes in order to compare. In addition to comparing rates, we also recommend you look at the exact coverage provided to get the policy that will give you the most value.

Keep reading

Methodology

The SimpleScore is our proprietary scoring metric to compare products and services at The Simple Dollar in a transparent, evidence-based way. Our editorial team identifies five quantifiable aspects to compare for every brand, determines the rating criteria for each aspect score, then averages the five aspect scores to produce a single SimpleScore. For non-owner car insurance, we compared coverage options, customer service, accessibility, support and affordability for every major provider. Our ratings are meant to be a directional tool to help you in the process of choosing a car insurance provider. Be sure to continue your research and shop around for the best non-owner car insurance that fits your specific needs.

We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the non-owner car insurers we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

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Danika Miller
Danika Miller
Personal Finance Reporter

Danika Miller is a writer at The Simple Dollar. Her work can be found on Reviews.com, Freshome.com, Her Campus, and Jeopardy Magazine. She holds a bachelor’s degree in creative and technical writing from Western Washington University.

Reviewed by

  • Courtney Mihocik is an editor at The Simple Dollar who specializes in insurance, personal finance, and loans. Previously, she wrote and edited for Interest.com, PersonalLoans.org, Ballantyne Magazine, Thread Magazine, The Post, ACRN, The New Political, Columbus Alive and the Institute for International Journalism.