Car insurance can be confusing enough when it comes to insuring a vehicle you own. But what happens when you don’t own a car, but may frequently drive one? Whether you’re borrowing a friend’s car, taking over as tonight’s DD, or even driving for work—if you get into some sort of accident, how are you covered? We did some digging and found great answers to all your pressing questions about car insurance for non-owners.
Millennials Without Wheels
When it comes to information on getting insured for folks who don’t own their own whip, millennials in particular may want to lend an ear. Recently, Fast Company reported that “from 2007 to 2011, the number of cars purchased by people aged 18 to 34, fell almost 30%”. It seems that for today’s young people, owning high-quality tech to communicate digitally and more effectively in-person trumps owning your own set of wheels. Being a millennial and car owner myself (don’t get me wrong on this point—I was lucky enough for my parents to help me out), I don’t know that I could survive without my ability to get around whenever and wherever I may need to—however, I am surrounded by a campus full of young people who efficiently utilize the city’s resources to get where they need to go.
So, for my friends without cars, the first question is: why do you need to insure?
The answer: If you end up in a fender-bender—or worse—in a car you don’t own, a non-owner policy is liability insurance that will cover any injuries suffered by others in an accident you caused, in addition to damage you may have caused to others’ vehicle. In other words, it covers your rear in the event of an accident, just like regular car insurance. Still not convinced you need it? Four more compelling reasons:
- Some states require it in their driver’s license-ship process, having a basic insurance coverage prerequisite.
- If you frequently rent or lease cars, rental rates can add up fast. Getting a non-owner policy could be an easier, cheaper solution.
- If you’re in between cars, it would be a wise move to keep hold of an insurance policy until you get your hands behind another wheel. An inexpensive way to do that is via a non-owners policy.
- If you drive for work in a car they’ve provided for you, check with your employers about their insurance policy. If they carry a commercial policy, there is probably some sort of non-owner insurance you can be added to. GEICO tells on their website:
“If you or your employees will ever drive vehicles for your business that aren’t listed on your commercial auto policy, you should carry some combination of the non-owned Vehicle insurance coverages.”
No Need For Non-Owners
So, we know our friends who don’t own a car but often find themselves behind the wheel should look into non-owner insurance. But who shouldn’t buy into this policy? Obviously, car owners will need a more beefy policy. Sometimes if there’s a car in your household at all, you won’t qualify for non-owner insurance, so make sure you find a policy that works for you. In addition, for folks in cities with options like public transportation and ridesharing apps: Keep in mind that these often have their own coverage (like Uber, for example), so you may not necessarily need to have non-owner insurance. However, also remember that every time you are behind the wheel without coverage, you’re taking a risk.
For many millennials and other non-owners alike, getting this specialized policy is a no-brainer. Safe rather than sorry is always a good rule of thumb when it comes to driving, so be sure to look into this kind of liability coverage. Non-owner tends to fly under the radar as far as promotion and advertising goes, so you’ll probably need to ask about it. It also seems to be more difficult to find than other types of insurance, so a little research may be required to track down a policy—but well worth the search, in our opinion.
You can even connected with a licensed insurance agent at The Zebra to find out which companies carry non-owner insurance, and which one might be best for you.