Think of car insurance as your body armor. It’s there to protect you. Not all policies are equal so it’s vital to be sure you’re adequately insured. Accidents happen. You don’t want to end up as the defendant on an episode of ‘Judge Judy.’
If you don’t own a car but like to borrow a vehicle very occasionally then you should consider taking out a non-owner car insurance policy. Here’s why it’s essential.
What is Non-Owner Car Insurance?
This kind of policy provides liability coverage if you don’t have a car and if you drive one that isn’t yours. Liability coverage will pay toward the injuries and property damage you cause to others in a car accident.
This type of auto insurance policy doesn’t cover any damage to the car you’ve borrowed or rented.
Non-owner car insurance policies usually only include the required coverage types in your state. You can though choose limits higher than the minimums.
Non-owner insurance is not a substitute for collision or comprehensive insurance. Those come under an owner’s standard auto policy. It is that policy which will pay for repairs to or replacement of the vehicle they own.
A non-owner policy is designed for motorists who have a valid driver’s license but who don’t own a vehicle or have regular access to a car.
Examples of What’s Normally Included
Your non-owner policy will normally cover you for damage to property and injuries you cause to others. This excludes your passengers, however.
Your policy will also give you protection against a motorist who is uninsured or underinsured. You’d be covered if you’re injured in an accident caused by a driver without any or sufficient liability insurance.
You could also be given personal injury protection. That would mean you’d be covered for your own medical bills after an accident regardless of who is at fault.
You’re Asked to Drive a Friend’s Car
Let’s say it’s the weekend and you’re at a friend’s party. Unlike you, they’ve had one too many beers but need to go to the store to buy more refreshments. You could well find yourself being asked to drive their car instead of them.
Accidents can happen no matter how short the journey. One of the most dangerous times to drive is on a Saturday night in the Summer. That’s even more reason to be sure that you’re covered properly.
Your friend’s car may well be covered. However, many policies often only cover the vehicle rather than the driver. You should always check first to find out what sort of coverage the person who owns the car has before sitting behind the wheel.
If you’re a listed driver on their policy, or if the policy covers any driver, that’s great. No matter how tempting, do not step into the driving seat unless you’re sure you are going to be properly covered.
Advantages of an Additional Policy
In the scenario above, if you have an additional insurance policy it will increase your liability limits.
Let’s say you have an at-fault accident in your friend’s car, you could exhaust the insurance coverage on their policy. Your own non-owner policy would help to pay any remaining damages you owe.
If you don’t have your own liability coverage and you’re the driver then you could be creating problems for yourself.
Any gaps in your car insurance history even if you don’t have a vehicle registered to you can be a red flag to a potential insurer. Depending on the company you choose, you could be denied any coverage or be charged a higher rate.
Having no continuous coverage, even if you’re between cars, can make you look risky in the eyes of an insurer. Keep your coverage going by always having a non-owner car insurance policy.
An SR-22 Certificate
This states that you are carrying the state’s minimum liability insurance. You could need an SR-22 if your license is reinstated after a suspension. You may also need this certificate if you’ve been cited following an accident or violation.
The SR-22 is not the insurance policy itself. It’s a piece of paper that states you have liability coverage. If you don’t own a vehicle but need to show proof of insurance, you could well need a non-owner policy.
You can purchase different liability limits with a non-owner policy. If the state has demanded that you file an SR-22, it may require you to have a particular level of liability coverage.
Let’s say you rent a car regularly. You might find you’re often asked at the rental desk if you’d like to take out further liability insurance. Your own non-owner insurance could work out far cheaper and provide as good, if not better, coverage.
This won’t cover damage to the rental vehicle itself. You might be able to get that kind of coverage through a credit card or by buying the collision-damage waiver from the rental car company.
If you use a car-sharing service, a non-owner policy will add to the liability coverage provided by the car-sharing service. They may well only offer the minimum-required amount in your state.
If you’re at fault after an accident and cause a serious wreck, the costs could exceed their limits. You’d be responsible for them. Having non-owner insurance covers you in this scenario.
Buying Your Policy
A non-owner car insurance policy often costs less than you’d pay for a similar level of liability coverage for a car you own. If you need your insurer to file an SR-22, the price will likely be higher until you no longer need the certificate.
Other dependencies will be your age, driving record and how often you plan to drive. These can all affect the cost of the policy.
We’ve Got You Covered
If you have a driver’s license, it’s vital to be sure you have adequate insurance even if you don’t own a car. Accidents are notorious for being legal minefields. That’s a good enough reason to ensure you have the best liability coverage possible.
Purchasing a non-owner car insurance policy is very straightforward. Get in touch with us and we’ll gladly help you through the process.