Not every insurance policy is straightforward. What happens if you don't own a vehicle, but still want to be safe when driving regularly? When you borrow a car, for example, you might want to make sure that you're still covered for major liabilities in the case of an accident.

Fortunately, insurance policies for these scenarios are actually pretty common. Known as non-owner car insurance options, they allow you to cover yourself and the owner of the car you drive should the unthinkable happen.

But what, exactly, is non-owners car insurance? How does it work, and how can you make sure to get a cheap and reliable policy at insurance companies like Progressive and others? Let's dive in.

What is Non-Owner Car Insurance?

As its name suggests, non-owner car insurance is designed for drivers who don't own their own vehicle, but still want to make sure they're covered when driving in a rented, borrowed, or leased car. It doesn't cover the car itself, but any liability for the damage you may cause to someone else or someone else's property.

In other words, it protects you from the simple scenario in which you're in an accident, in a car that's not yours, that is your fault. Because it's not specifically connected to any vehicle, it cannot cover any damage incurred to the vehicle you're driving at the time of the accident. 

What's Covered in Non-Owner Auto Insurance Policies?

Generally speaking, non-owner vehicle insurance policies cover three core areas:

  • Bodily injury liability, including medical bills and lost wages for anyone who might have been negatively impacted by an accident of your fault in a car you do not own.
  • Property damage liability, covering the cost of the damage an accident that was your fault might have caused to another person's property or vehicle.
  • Any legal fees incurred by a vehicle accident that may have been your fault.

It does not cover the damage to the car you are driving or even to your own body. Policies differ on what exact vehicles are part of the claim. Some do not cover rented vehicles, which come with their own insurance.

Finally, non-owner car insurance policies typically count as continuous coverage. In other words, when you do decide to purchase a vehicle, the car insurance premium for that vehicle will not come with higher fees but seen as a continuation of your existing or previous non-owner insurance.

How to Get Cheap Non-Owner Car Insurance at Progressive

According to most independent reviews, Progressive non-owner car insurance is the best choice for a policy in many cases. The company offers perhaps the most comprehensive range of car policies in the industry, so it's no surprise that its non-owner policies are both reasonably priced and comprehensive.

Progressive offers non-owner car insurance to anyone in the market for it, but does recommend making sure that it's the right policy for your needs. That starts with an online quiz, which gives you an idea of the type of policy that might be right for you. 

The average Progressive non-owner car insurance rate is $723 annually, though we should mention that it varies widely by state. For example, in Maine, the average annual rate of a non-owner policy is only $199.

Progressive also shines with policy options for drivers who have recently been convicted of a DUI and need proof of insurance to regain their license. The average annual premium in this case only rises by about $200, to $953, making it an affordable option as you look to get your documents back and in the right shape.

Getting an online quote for non-owner car insurance is difficult. But Progressive offers a 24/7 hotline where you can get your questions answered as well as a free quote. Call 888-671-4405 to get started.

5 Other Auto Insurance Companies Offering Non-Owner Policies

While Progressive is a great option for this type of policy, it's far from the only alternative. Not all insurance companies offer non-owner insurance options, but those that do tend to be competitive. These are our favorite insurance agencies to look into:

GEICO

GEICO

At an average annual premium of only $455 for its non-owners vehicle insurance policy, GEICO's price is nearly unbeatable. In fact, it's the cheapest average option in 31 out of the 50 U.S. states, with that average premium dropping to under $120 in Virginia.

GEICO, of course, is known for more than just its low prices or its famous gecko mascot. In addition to the low rates, this insurance company largely services customers online, offering convenience on the go once you've closed on your policy. It also offers bundling opportunities for other lines of insurance.

At the same time, GEICO's online-first approach gets complex when it comes to non-owner car insurance specifically, because you need to call to get a more custom quote. Its prices also go up faster than some of its competition should you have an accident or following a DUI. Still, it's a good alternative to pursue if you're shopping around. 

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Allstate

Allstate

The average cost of an Allstate non-owner car policy comes in around $600 a year. However, as with other policies, it should be noted that the exact cost varies drastically based on your driving history and experience, as well as your liability coverage limits.

In many ways, Allstate is a happy medium between many of the other options discussed here. It offers relatively high customer service, straightforward ease of use, and reasonable increases in case of accidents. 

In other words, this policy is very much the "jack of all trades, master of none" option among the alternatives discussed in this guide. Depending on your region, you might get the best premium deal, in which case it's well worth the policy.

State Farm

State Farm

Coming in at an average annual cost of $560, State Farm is among the cheapest options in several states. That's not a bad result for a company as well-renowned for its customer service and comprehensive coverage abilities, allowing you to bundle pretty much all of your insurance needs for what could become significant discounts.

State Farm also shines with reasonable increases after accidents or DUI convictions. In fact, average premiums increased only $100 after a driver DUI, reducing the risk for policyholders who want to keep their premiums affordable no matter what happens.

USAA

USAA

Those familiar with USAA will not be surprised to hear that this is the lowest price non-owner car insurance options around. That's at least partially due to all of the available discounts, from family to loyalty to good student and military installation.

The downside, of course, is just as obvious: USAA is only available to military members or those who have family members with a USAA account. But, as long as you qualify, this is a sure bet to be among your best options if you need coverage without owning a car.

Nationwide

Nationwide

Nationwide's $930 average annual rate for non-owner policy is on the high end of these insurance options, but it's important to remember that this is an average not taking any of the factors influencing costs in mind. In fact, it is actually the cheapest of all available insurance options in Michigan, North Carolina, and Vermont.

This higher cost is part of a larger trend with Nationwide, which has invested in higher service at the expense of some premiums. In fact, it's regularly ranked near or at the top of insurance customer service options, making it a great option if you can afford it.

Why Should You Buy Non-Owner Vehicle Insurance?

This type of insurance policy is designed to be a niche policy. If you own a car, chances are you don't need this kind of coverage. There are, however, a few scenarios in which non-owner vehicle insurance is especially beneficial:

  • You regularly drive cars rented through rental companies
  • You regularly borrow the cars of family members or close friends.
  • You need a period of continuous coverage while not owning a car but when planning to own one again, such as when moving abroad for a limited time or during overseas deployment. In this case, non-owners insurance avoids any lapses in premiums that could cause future rate hikes.

Keep in mind, of course, that this type of policy is limited in its coverage by nature. If you own a car, or have the option to find a reasonably priced "regular" car insurance policy, that tends to be a better choice for your needs.

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Find the Right Policy to Decrease Your Liability

Ultimately, non-owner vehicle insurance has become popular enough that most major insurance providers offer at least some version of it. That provides you with two basic options:

  • Inquire at your current insurance company whether they offer this type of policy. If they do, bundling options and discounts may automatically make it your cheapest choice.
  • Shop around. Use the above six providers as a guide for who to ask, then look for quotes. Note all quotes that are affordable to you, then research the "finalists" in more detail to find the one that suits you best.

As with any type of insurance policy, non-owner vehicle insurance comes down to what works best for your specific situation and budget. With the help of this guide, you can find a policy (and premium) suited to your needs.

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