If you already have a non owner policy with Surround, upgrading is easy. If you don't get in touch and we'll get you sorted!
We’re non owner auto specialists here are Surround, so it makes sense that many of our customers come to us for non owner coverage. For some, the car-free lifestyle is for life. For others, though, buying a car is part of the plan. Here are answers to the questions we get most often about upgrading from non owner auto to an owned auto policy.
Can I just keep my non owner policy once I buy a car?
Sadly, no, or at least, not without adding your car to it, making it an owned auto policy. The reason is that nonowner policies provide the same liability coverage as owned auto insurance if you’re at fault in an accident, EXCEPT if you’re driving a car you own (or have regular use of, like a leased car or even a car you borrow to regularly commute). So, if you get in an accident in a car you own, you’ll have no coverage under a non owner auto policy.
Also, you’ll probably want to insure your car against damage (and if you have a car loan, or you leased the car, your bank or the dealer definitely want the car covered!). This coverage isn’t available on a non owned policy but is on an owned auto policy. More on that below.
Will I pay more for insurance once I buy a car?
Yes, unfortunately. There are two reasons for this.
First, people who own a car typically drive a lot more miles than people who don’t own a car. That risk is built into the pricing difference between non owner auto and owned auto.
Second, car owners do typically buy coverage to cover their car in case of an accident, regardless of who is at fault. These coverages can be pretty pricey for an expensive brand new car but are usually more reasonable for older cars.
How much more will it cost you? You should plan to pay two to four times what you would for non owner auto. We’ll work with you to find the best price for your situation.
What bill plans do you have?
This one depends on the state you’re in and which insurance partner we place you with. There’s pretty much always a paid in full option with a sometimes significant discount. There’s also usually an installment plan, with a down payment then monthly payments afterwards. We’ll work to find a payment plan that works for you.
Does having a non owner policy make a difference when I add a car to my insurance?
It sure does! Most auto insurance companies give a discount to new customers who have been continuously insured. The time frame is usually the past six months, and yes, non owner policies count. And the discount can be as high as 30% and can persist renewal after renewal. Since owned auto insurance is significantly more expensive than non owned auto, you may get all the money you spent on your current policy back in the form of discounts once you add your car.
Why do insurance companies do this? Well, we go into some of the reasons in our blog post on continuous insurance discounts.
What’s the process for adding a car to my non owner policy?
To add your car to a named non owner policy, we’ll need the year, make, and model of the car you’re buying or long term leasing, or the VIN number. We’ll set up a quote and work through your coverage options with you. As always, you can call, text, or email. We’re here. (This one’s easy if you’re a Surround customer!)
If you’re not a Surround customer already, we’re happy to get to know you and to serve you. Just reach out, even if you just have questions. We adore talking insurance.
What if I leased the vehicle or have a car loan?
If you have a car loan, adding the lessee or the lender to your auto insurance policy is no big deal and doesn't cost anything.
What insurance coverages are available to protect my car?
The two significant coverages that protect your car are collision and comprehensive coverage. You can add these to the liability coverages you already have, which protect you if you're responsible for an accident, but don't cover the car you're driving.
Collision coverage is just what it sounds like. It’ll pay to fix your car after a crash with another car or an object. There’s usually a deductible that you’ll have to pay before the insurance pays. If someone else is at fault you’ll often get your deductible back. We usually can offer you a choice of deductibles, and most people choose $250, $500, or $1000.
Comprehensive coverage is strangely named, but it’s coverage against unexpected damage that’s not from a collision. That includes risks like a flash flood, a tree falling on your car, or, weirdly, animal damage like hitting a deer. A deductible also applies to comprehensive.
If you’re going to cover your car, you should get both collision and comprehensive. Pricing depends on the type of car you have, its age, where you park it, and what deductible you choose.
There are some other optional coverages that are nice to have. They vary by state and by insurer, but here are a few of the most common:
Substitute transportation – aka, rental car coverage. If your car is being repaired because of damage that’s covered under your collision or comprehensive coverage, this pays for a rental car so you can still get to work or school.
Roadside assistance – This pays for a tow, or flat tire repair, or a battery jump start or all the other miserable standing-by-the-side-of-the-highway-in-the-rain sorts of things that happen.
Loan/lease gap coverage – Cars depreciate, or lose value, really fast once you drive them off the lot. Your car loan, by contrast, drops more slowly. If your car is totaled and your loan balance is for more than your car is worth, you still owe that money (which sucks). This coverage will pay off that difference.
Congrats on the new car!
Super exciting! We’re happy for you, and we’re happy to help you.