You may not own a vehicle for many reasons, such as living in an area offering easy access to public transportation, or you simply might not want the expenses associated with vehicle ownership. Even if you don't own a car, you may still want or need to drive one on occasion. If so, a non-owner's auto insurance policy can cover some of your insurance needs at a relatively low cost.
A non-owner's policy provides liability coverage, which pays for damages and injuries occurring if the policyholder is at fault in an accident. It may also provide some medical and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which helps cover the cost of the policyholder's injuries. It does not provide physical damage coverage for the vehicle. If the driver wants this coverage, he may need to purchase it separately, such as from a car rental company if he is renting a vehicle.
While a non-owner's policy can serve as the primary source of liability coverage, it can also serve as secondary or backup coverage. For instance, if the policyholder borrows a vehicle from a friend, the friend's policy typically would provide the primary liability coverage. However, if the friend carries low liability limits, her policy may not provide adequate coverage in the event of a loss. In this situation, the policyholder could then use her non-owner's coverage to provide additional benefits.
A non-owner's policy is relatively inexpensive. According to CarInsurance.com, the cost generally ranges from $200 to $300 per year. Premiums can vary greatly from one insurance company to another, so it can be beneficial to obtain quotes from several carriers. In addition to cost, another factor to consider is the quality and reputation of the insurer. Resources such as JDPower.com provide ratings for auto insurers in a number of different categories, including overall customer satisfaction.
In addition to which company a non-owner's policy is purchased from, a number of other factors will determine the premium. As with coverage for owned vehicles, the insurer will consider factors such as your driving record, age, gender and marital status. The insurer will also take into account the fact that you probably won't be driving as frequently as you would if you owned a vehicle, so the company's exposure to risk is lower.