Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

  • If you’re licensed to drive but you don’t own a vehicle, you still might have a need for auto insurance
  • Auto insurance is a financial product that’s available for purchase to safeguard the policyholder if they’re involved in an accident or if the other party in the accident sues them for their negligence
  • You need auto insurance if you borrow vehicles from your friends, if you’re a partner in a car-sharing program, or if you rent cars regularly
  • You can’t buy a standard auto insurance policy when you don’t own a car
  • While you can’t get standard quotes, you can get quotes for a specialty insurance policy that’s called nonowner’s car insurance

You might assume that you have to own a car to get a car insurance policy. While owning a car is a requirement to get a standard policy, there are scenarios where individuals who’ve made the choice not to buy a car still need their own insurance.

Being licensed to drive a car doesn’t mean that you have to own one. If you apply for a license, borrow a car to take your test, and are issued a driver’s license, you’ll face some of the same risks on the road as someone who legally owns their own car.

To find the best coverage for your situation, compare car insurance companies today!

If you’re interested in finding out how you can get the protection that you need without a car, here’s what you need to know about your options:

Why can’t you buy a standard auto policy without a car?

A standard personal auto policy is a form of property insurance.

Since it’s designed to indemnify someone who owns a private passenger vehicle when they have a loss, one of the requirements written into the indemnity contract is that you must have an insurable interest in a car to insure it.

Insurable interest means that you must be the owner to insure the car.

Whenever you get behind the wheel of a car, you’re at risk of having an accident. If you’re borrowing a car from a responsible friend that you trust, the owner’s car insurance may cover you, but there are no guarantees.

If you’re excluded from the policy, or the owner’s policy only covers listed drivers, you could have a lawsuit on your hands.

If you’re sued for damages or pain and suffering after an accident, your insurance coverage can save the day. You’ll still have to deal with the claim, but you won’t have to pay for the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Repairs
  • Other monetary settlements

Many claimants who are uninsured have their wages garnished and lose their assets after a single loss.

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How do you get protection without a car?

If you want coverage that will pay for third-party damages, court costs, and court settlements, you need to buy yourself a specialty insurance product called a nonowner’s policy.

Nonowner’s auto insurance policies offer licensed drivers protection when they’re in cars that they don’t own. This includes vehicles that are being borrowed or rented.

Non-owner’s insurance doesn’t afford as much protection as a standard policy. When you buy your own personal car insurance, you have a car to protect.

Since you don’t own a car that you’re borrowing, you don’t need any first-party physical damage coverage. When you’re building a quote for protection without a car, you’ll be able to select the following:

What factors will have an effect on your auto insurance premiums?


Insurance companies use rating factors when they are assessing an insurance application. The rating factors will determine if someone is eligible for coverage. When someone is highly likely to file a claim, they are too much of a risk and will be turned away.

If the applicant is qualified for coverage, the factors help assign a rate to the policy.

The guidelines for getting nonowner’s insurance will vary from carrier to carrier. Some providers want high-risk business and others would prefer safe drivers with clean records and years of experience.

Some of the factors that can impact your personal rates include:

  • Your age (in states where the demographic can be used)
  • How many years you’ve been driving in the US
  • Your driving record
  • Your claims history (drivers with at-fault accidents will be surcharged)
  • How you use non-owned vehicles
  • Zip code

You can get quotes without the intentions of buying a car. If you don’t want to drive around oblivious to the risks that you pass by daily, you should get a nonowner’s insurance policy.

Make sure to compare the premiums from several of the respected carriers by using an online tool. Once you compare premiums, activate coverage before you borrow another car.

Compare premiums now to find the nonowner policy that’s right for you!