If you don’t own a vehicle, you may believe that acquiring your own car insurance coverage is unnecessary. However, for certain occasional drivers, a policy referred to as non-owners auto insurance can be a wise decision.
Let’s examine what non-owners car insurance policies entail, the type of coverage they offer, and how to select the appropriate policy for you and your requirements.
What is non-owners car insurance?
Non-owners insurance is a form of auto insurance coverage designed for drivers who utilize a vehicle they do not own. These policies are intended for individuals who lack their own vehicle and thereby are not obligated to acquire separate coverage.
Unlike regular car insurance policies, obtaining auto insurance without owning a car entails certain limitations. While a typical full coverage auto policy includes liability insurance, collision coverage, and comprehensive insurance, non-owners insurance only provides basic liability protection. This means that in the event of an accident, it does not cover damage to the vehicle you are driving or your personal injuries.
Similar to standard policies, you may have the option to purchase supplementary medical payments coverage, personal injury protection (PIP), and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage with your non-owners policy. The specific coverage options and features available will vary depending on your state and the insurer you choose.
Why would I need it?
In any state, if you do not own a vehicle, you are not legally obligated to purchase an auto insurance policy. In fact, you cannot acquire a standard policy if you do not own a vehicle to attach it to. Nevertheless, if you drive occasionally, a non-owners auto insurance policy offers a solid layer of protection.
You may want to contemplate acquiring a non-owners policy if:
– You frequently rent or borrow vehicles from others.
– You drive on a regular basis but do not have consistent access to a particular car.
– You wish to maintain continuous coverage (to avoid a coverage gap), even when you do not own a car.
– You are in a transitional period, such as relocating to a new area or waiting for a vehicle you have ordered.
So, is insurance necessary to drive someone else’s car? No, it is not. The owner’s policy will cover their vehicle, and in most cases, the coverage will also protect you from liability while you are driving, as long as they have granted you permission to do so.
However, even with someone else’s coverage, you may not have sufficient protection.
What kind of liability does it cover?
Non-owner auto insurance offers drivers their own liability coverage while operating another person’s vehicle, whether it is borrowed or rented. It encompasses coverage for bodily injury liability and property damage liability, ensuring that other drivers’ losses are compensated if you are at fault in an accident.
Depending on the state and the coverage options chosen by the vehicle owner, a non-owner policy may serve as secondary coverage. This means that it would only come into play if the owner’s policy doesn’t cover the bodily injuries or property damage in an at-fault accident. In that scenario, your non-owner policy will step in to cover damages exceeding the vehicle owner’s coverage limits.
Additionally, you have the option to include underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage in your non-owner insurance policy. This discretionary coverage safeguards you personally in the event of an accident where you are not at fault. If the other driver lacks insurance or their policy’s liability limits are insufficient to cover your expenses and medical bills, this coverage will bridge the gap.
Moreover, certain non-owner insurance policies allow you to add many of the same features and options found in standard policies, such as rental car insurance or roadside assistance. Even if you do not own a vehicle, this coverage can provide an alternative vehicle if your rental car or the car you usually borrow is damaged, or it can dispatch assistance if you find yourself stranded on the side of the road.
How much does it cost?
Non-owner policies typically cost less than standard liability policies. While the actual cost varies based on your driving history, state of residence, and other factors, most individuals can obtain a non-owner policy for a few hundred dollars annually. However, high-risk drivers and those with numerous driving violations may incur higher costs.
Numerous prominent car insurance companies offer non-owner policies. To secure the best price, you can obtain quotes directly from various carriers, compare insurance rates, contact an insurance agent to shop around on your behalf, or utilize an online tool.
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