Wait, what? What’s non-owned auto? Aka named non-owner coverage?
It’s driving insurance for people who don’t own a car. And it includes a bunch of coverages that are hidden in your car insurance policy too! And, if your son or daughter doesn’t own a car but sometimes drives when they’re away at college, and they're not listed on your policy, you should consider non-owned auto. You can think of it as insurance that follows the driver rather than the vehicle.
The good news is that this coverage is much cheaper than regular car insurance. People who don’t own cars tend to drive much less, so makes sense. The best benefit of non-owned auto coverage is peace of mind. In case you need them, here are four more good reasons why a driver who doesn’t own a car should seriously consider a policy.
Keep your kid safe.
Top 4 Reasons Your College Student Should Have A Non-Owned Insurance Policy
1. Rental cars
We all hate the hard sell for overpriced insurance at the rental car counter. Buy it all? Reject it all? When your kid has their own auto insurance, including non-owned auto, you can reject the rental car company's liability insurance with confidence. And many common credit cards provide coverage for damage to the car if you use them to pay for the rental. That lets you reject the renter car company’s physical damage insurance too. Check with your credit card first, of course! No hard sell, no overpriced insurance. That’s the start of a good trip.
2. Borrowing a car
If your college student occasionally borrows a friend's car, have they asked their friend them about their car insurance? If your son or daughter gets in a crash and injures someone or damages the car they hit, they’re responsible for the cost of those injuries and that damage. If that friend doesn't have insurance or doesn't have very much, they’re potentially facing a big bill. Save them an uncomfortable conversation and protect them with a named non-owner policy.
3. Carshare platforms
Does your son or daughter sometimes drive a shared car for personal errands, or to take a road trip? Do you know how much insurance is included? It's often the very minimum the state requires, which isn't going to be enough if they are responsible for a crash that injures someone else. They can buy up the insurance on some platforms, but that adds up. A named non-owner policy means they’re covered whenever they drive a car share vehicle for personal use.
Note that if your son or daughter drives for a rideshare company to make some extra cash, their needs are different. Personal auto insurance policies do not cover driving for income. Your kid needs a commercial auto policy, and should ask their rideshare platform what's available to drivers.
Did you know that your own driving insurance can protect you on a bike? One of the biggest causes of bike injuries is crashes with cars. And if the driver is at fault, their insurance should pay for injuries and lost wages. But as many as 1 in 7 drivers aren't insured at all, and almost half have the minimum amount of coverage the state will allow them to drive with. And what if it's a hit and run? If your college student has a car and car insurance, they’re covered by their own insurance. But if they don’t, a named non-owner policy will cover them in the event they are hit by a car while walking or biking.
So, there you have it, four great reasons to buy an insurance product you’ve never heard of before. For more information about insurance for the college set, see our guide to insurance for college students.