WHAT IS A NON-OWNER INSURANCE POLICY

5 Instances you may consider a Non-Owner Auto Insurance Policy

  1. You frequently Rent cars;
  2. You have past driving infractions or license revocation;
  3. You frequently Borrow someone else’s car; 
  4. There has been a gap in your insurance coverage;
  5. You use Using car-sharing services.

What is non-owner car insurance

Non-owner car insurance is exactly what it sounds like.   It is a type of auto insurance that you can purchase which provides liability only insurance coverage for injuries and property damage for a vehicle or person that you hit when you are driving a vehicle that you don’t personally own. If you get into an automobile accident with another driver and you are found to be at fault for the accident, your non-owners insurance policy will cover the other drivers property damage just as an insurance policy of your own would cover.

Coverages under a Non-owned Policy.

Much like an owners insurance automobile liability policy, some non-owner car insurance policies do provide the option for different coverages. Again, this is an automobile insurance policy that you would purchase on any vehicle that you may drive when you do not on your own vehicle. You can often purchase medical payments coverage, under insured or uninsured motorist coverage, and rental car coverage on your non-owner policy. For more information on those type of coverages, see our previous blogs where I provide a great deal of detail regarding those coverages.

 As a brief overview,  medical payments coverage is an additional coverage that you would purchase on your non-owner policy that would pay your medical bills up to a certain amount if you are injured in an accident. Underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage would be coverage that you would purchase on the non-owner  liability policy which would provide bodily injury coverage for your own injuries if you are in an accident in which you were not at fault and the other driver did not have any or enough insurance. Rental car coverage would allow you to be in a rental car for a certain period of time if you were driving a non-owned vehicle that was damaged in the accident while that vehicle was undergoing repairs.

How Non-owners Insurance Coverage Works.

I know this seems somewhat confusing and I’ve only seen a non-owners policy on a very few occasions in many years of practice. Non-owners coverage is insurance which is purchased for a person and it will not cover anyone else. Typically, if you purchase an automobile liability insurance policy it covers everyone in your household that drives a vehicle. However, a  non-owners policy is basically a person to person policy meaning it covers only a specific driver and not a specific vehicle.

What is the Standard Deductible for a Non-owned Policy?

 Generally there is not a deductible for a non-owned insurance policy because it’s usually a liability policy that is paying someone else’s damages that the person who owns the policy is liable for causing.

Who Needs a Non-owners Insurance Policy?

That is a good question because generally speaking people drive their own vehicles or live in the household where the vehicle is kept and  you are not legally required to maintain auto insurance coverage if you do not own a car. However,  there are several reasons that people purchase these policies when they don’t have their own vehicle. For example, people who rent cars frequently and the cost of the daily insurance becomes more than a non-owners policy, you regularly borrow friends and families car to drive or you sold your vehicle and are going to be working overseas and may only be driving occasionally when a vehicle becomes available. In addition, sometimes people who have an SR 22 because of a serious traffic offense or a loss of license for some reason purchase non-owner insurance policies.

People who Regularly Rent Cars may Buy a Non-Owner Policy

If you are a business traveler, a non-owner policy could actually be less expensive in the long run then repeatedly buying the coverage that is offered by the rental car company on the vehicle you rent. Generally, the rental car companies charge between $15 and $20 a day. If you are someone who rents a car more than 50 days a year,  those costs will likely be in excess of what you could purchase a non-owner policy for. However,  it is important to point out that if you own a vehicle and you rent a vehicle while you were on vacation or on business you are covered on your current automobile liability policy for any damages that arise. The only thing you would save is the deductible you would have to pay if a claim was made on your own policy and generally that is pretty much the same as the cost of the non-owner policy and there would not be a great deal of benefit for you to purchase another policy. It would probably be a better option to lower your deductible and pay slightly higher premiums on your current auto insurance policy than to purchase another one.

You Regularly Borrow Cars From Your Friends

If you’re a person who does not own a vehicle but frequently borrows cars from friends,  a non-owner policy may be a good option for you.   I think the most frequent time this would arise is perhaps a college kid who goes away to school, doesn’t own a car, but drives his friend’s car frequently. There are a lot of different scenarios to purchase a non-owner policy. Having a non-owner policy insurance that you have enough coverage in place when you drive that you don’t have to worry about the owners policy. It is important to point out that if the car belongs to someone you live with or you borrow the same car consistently you will probably be added to that vehicles policy as a covered driver.

You Will Not be Driving for an Extended Period of Time

Sadly,  insurance companies look for reason to raise your rates and if you’re a person who will not be driving for an extended period of time for any reason such as going overseas for a job, you may want to purchase a non-owner policy so that you have insurance coverage during that time. They are generally inexpensive policies and that way you do not have what is known in the industry is a lapse in coverage. A  lapse in coverage means a period of time in which you did not have auto insurance. If this occurs sometimes insurance companies charge you more when you purchase insurance coverage again because they consider you a risk since you did not insurance immediately prior.  It seems an unfair penalty for many people, but the insurance companies base  rates on statistics and have determined that if someone has a lapse in coverage they are a higher risk to underwrite.

Do you need an SR 22 or some other form because of a previous violation or driving incident

If you committed a serious traffic violation you may be required by your state law to get what is called an SR 22 or an FR 44 which is an insurance form in order to get your license reinstated in your state. Sometimes requiring those forms requires you to have higher insurance limits than the state minimum because you have been deemed to be an at risk driver. Those forms cannot be filed by you; they are filed by your insurance company. A non-owner insurance company can file those forms on your behalf. The benefit of using a non-owner Policy for those forms is that the premiums will be less expensive.   You’ll probably still sees higher rates than others but they will be less expensive than your primary insurance and it may be in your benefit to actually have two policies– one the non-owner and one your standard automobile liability coverage so that the SR 22 does not have to be filed by your regular car insurance company.

Instances When you Would Not Purchase a Non-owner Policy

A non-owner insurance policy is not a benefit to most drivers. If you own a car, if you borrowed a car from someone you live with, like a family member,  rarely borrow anyone’s car or you use a company car, you would not need a non-owner insurance policy. It is really a very specialized form of coverage for a very specific type of user.

You Drive a Company vehicle

You would not generally need a non-owner policy on a company vehicle because that vehicle is covered by your employer. Typically, when the car is being used for business purposes at the request of your employer,  the companies insurance will cover you. However,  if your company car is used for personal activities and your company prohibits such personal use it may be an option for you , if you do not have coverage on a private vehicle, to purchase a non-owned vehicle policy. It depends upon if your employer allows you to use the vehicle for personal use and knows that you are or if you would rather not involve your company if you are on your own time.   Generally, the company policy will cover you when you are using the company vehicle for personal use although a commercial policy may have exclusions.  Check with your employer. 

Costs

It may seem obvious, but a non-own policy is generally much less expensive than an owner policy because it is anticipating that it will be used infrequently. That is why it is really only useful for the limited reasons above. Not all carriers offer non-own policies but many major carriers such a State Farm, GEICO,  Progressive,  Nationwide, Dairyland and Titan do offer non-owned policies. It is difficult to advise rates because rates vary greatly depending on the coverage limits you select, your driving history, where you live and how often you expect to drive and whether you need special insurance forms for previous driving incidents. It is really only a policy for someone who does not own a vehicle.

If you have questions regarding a non-owner policy, please feel free to call our office.     At TheOneLawyer.com, we are here to serve our community and provide legal services in the Henderson and Las Vegas area. We are a boutique law firm providing experienced and personal representation to injured clients.  At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer.com we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients on various legal matters and have over 15 years of experience in reviewing insurance policies and in Nevada insurance law.   If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers.  She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve.  Please call our office if you or a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence. 

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.  

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com, Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices.  TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.