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Understanding Non Owners Auto Insurance

Although it may seem counterintuitive on the surface, it makes a lot of sense in many situations for people who do not own an automobile to purchase a car insurance policy. Non owners auto insurance is a specialty niche of the overall auto insurance market, one designed to meet the needs of a specific set of drivers. If you do not own a vehicle but have a need for auto insurance for any reason, non owners auto insurance may be your most affordable coverage option.

What is Non Owners Insurance?

The simplest and most general way to define non owners auto insurance is simply to call it an insurance policy for someone who does not own a car. It is a specific type of auto liability insurance that covers you in situations when you cause damage to property to an individual while driving a car you do not own. The need for non owners may not seem all that widespread, but the group of drivers who could benefit from carrying this coverage is larger than many of us realize. You may even be a candidate for non-owners coverage and not even know it.

Non Owner Drivers Need Insurance

As a general rule, anyone who has to borrow or otherwise obtain a car they do not own for temporary use might consider taking on non owners auto insurance to help protect them from liability issues that could come up in the event of an accident. If you have to frequently borrow cars, for example, you might be a prime candidate for a non owners policy. It must be pointed out that if you drive a fully insured vehicle with the permission of the owner, the insurance policy on that vehicle will in most cases be in force in the event of a liability accident. However, there are still a few reasons why borrowers should think about this kind of coverage.

First of all, not very many of us have any kind of conversation about the insurance status on a vehicle before borrowing it from an owner. They only time this conversation ever happens is if and when an accident ever occurs or you get pulled over and are unable to find a proof of insurance in the car. If you borrow a lot having a non owners policy can save you from the potential embarrassment of having to start this conversation.

Second, in some situations the liability policy on a vehicle you borrow may not be sufficient to cover the costs associated with the aftereffects of a serious car accident. As the at fault driver, you may be held responsible for the remaining costs once the liability coverage on the car you were borrowing is exhausted. If you have no car but have reason to borrow cars from time to time it is very smart to look into this type of coverage simply for the protection it gives you in this type of situation.

Aside from those of us who need to borrow cars for different reasons, business travelers who rent frequently are another great match for non owners insurance coverage. When you rent a car, you have the option of taking out special renters coverage that goes above and beyond any protection your own auto policy might provide for rentals. As a renter, you need to familiarize yourself with the terms of your existing auto policy if you do own a car back home. You may find that your own coverage does not provide the kind of protection you need as a renter. If this is the case and you rent more than once in a while, you will probably find that a non owners policy is much cheaper than paying for extra renters coverage every time you pick up a car when you are out of town. Those who do have an existing policy on cars they own back home can opt to add this type of non owners coverage as an endorsement on their current policy, usually for a fairly reasonable cost.

A third group commonly in need of non owners auto insurance coverage needs this kind of policy for a much different reason than the first two. Drivers who have had their licenses suspended or revoked for DUI/DWI convictions or other offenses are often required to file an SR-22 insurance form with their home state. As part of their responsibilities during the period of the SR-22 filing (often three years or longer in some cases), these drivers are obligated to maintain adequate auto liability insurance at all times. The SR-22 form itself can only be obtained through certain insurers authorized by the state, and each insurer in these cases is required to notify the state if insurance coverage has lapsed or there has been a cancellation or non-renewal for any reason.

Many drivers who have to file an SR-22 do not own a car during the period covered by the form, since they are working to regain their driving privileges. Still, they must show financial responsibility by keeping auto liability insurance until the form expires. In many cases, a non owners auto insurance liability policy is the easiest and most effective way these drivers can come up with to fulfill their obligations and follow the law in their home state. Once they get their licenses back, a lot of these drivers do buy vehicles once again, but during the SR-22 filing period, non owners auto insurance is a great option for keeping themselves on track to earn back their driving privileges.

Buying a Non Owners Plan

No matter the reason why they are in need of non owners car insurance, drivers can usually get this type of coverage from any auto insurance provider. If you have been informed you need to file an SR-22, you might find that you need to work directly with a high risk auto insurance specialist for your non owners policy needs. It may sound strange, but working with a high risk insurer can often save you money versus dealing with a company focusing on standard coverage. High risk providers often make it more of a point to try to find creative ways to save you money on your coverage. Their strategy is to do this as a way to wrest customers away from other providers.

Business people and others who do own a car (or more than one car) but frequently find themselves renting vehicles can work with their current providers in most cases to simply add non owners coverage to their stable of auto insurance coverage. Whether you are a frequent business traveler, or you fit into any other group of drivers who have a need for insurance on vehicles they do not own, you can find a non owners policy that suits your needs and completes your auto insurance coverage. Non owners coverage is usually rather inexpensive for most drivers, and it can be a lot more convenient than other coverage options for renters and for other drivers. In a lot of different situations, it is a wise choice for drivers to educate themselves on the option of obtaining a non owners auto insurance policy.


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