When you shouldn't buy non owner auto insurance

Personal non owner auto insurance is not right for: long term rentals, car rental subscriptions, coverage for a specific car, or driving for a delivery service or another commercial purpose.

When you shouldn't buy non owner auto insurance

You should not buy a personal non owned car insurance policy in these situations:

  • long term car rental
  • a car rental subscription
  • coverage for a specific car you frequently drive
  • coverage for a roommates's car
  • long term housguest
  • driving for a delivery service or another commercial purpose.

Why isn't non owner car insurance right for a long term rental car?

A personal non owner insurance is not the right kind of policy for long term rental cars because car insurance policies don't cover specific vehicles you regularly drive if they're not listed on the policy. You usually can't list a vehicle on a non owner policy (there are some specialty insurance companies that will do this, but it's not usual).

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Why isn't non owner car insurance right for a car rental subscription?

When you subscribe to a service that provides you with a specific vehicle on a  subscription basis, non owner auto insurance policies won't generally cover you. This is because any specific car driven regularly needs to be listed on an auto insurance policy to be covered by that policy, regardless of whether you own the car or not.

Interestingly, car subscription services that let you unlock a car parked in a public place just when you need one can be covered by non owner auto policies. Your non owner policy will cover your financial responsibility in an accident, though the car itself will need to be protected by the subscription service company.  

Why shouldn't you buy non owner auto to borrow a car regularly?

If you borrow a car regularly, you'll need to be listed on the policy covering the car for you to be covered. So, if you drive your mom's car to work a couple of days a week, you need to be on her policy, which will give you same coverage she selected. This may cause the overall price of the policy to go up a bit, though unless you are newly licensed or have a lot of driving violations, it should be a modest increase.

"Regularly" includes visiting for an extended period of time (say, over four weeks) or repeatedly visiting and borrowing the car occasionally. Because you have regular access to the car, you need to be on the policy.

Can I get a non owner auto policy to cover me when I drive my roommate's car?

Despite terrible advice on the internet, no, you should not get a non owner policy to cover you when you drive your roommate's car. Non owner policies do not cover cars you regularly drive. They also do not provide coverage for damage to the vehicle you are driving - that's covered on the car owner's policy. Usually, all household members who drive a car (ever) need to be listed on the car owner's policy, so that's you too if you drive your roommate's car.

Wait, so when is a non owner auto policy right for me?

Non owner auto provides liability coverage if you are driving a car you don't usually use and are responsible for an accident. That means non owner auto is the best fit for people who don't own a car but frequently rent, borrow, or pick up a carshare for personal use.  

If you'd like to read more about non owned car insurance, check out our guide to everything you need to know about non owner auto insurance.

This is general information based on questions our customers ask us. It may not be right for your specific situation. You should get some advice from a licensed insurance agent (like us!) before you make a decision on your own insurance.