When Non-Owner Car Insurance is Important to Have

one hand handing car keys to another hand with vehicles in background

You don’t own the car you’re driving. So why should you be shopping for cheap car insurance in California for someone else’s vehicle? Believe it or not, there are sensible reasons to purchase such policies.  

Let’s start with a quick definition. 

Here’s What Non-Owner Insurance is All About 

There could be a very legitimate reason for you to carry an auto insurance policy even if you don’t own a vehicle in the state of California. The situation might be that you regularly—at least for the time being–borrow a car from someone you don’t live with. 

We’re not talking about members of the same household. If you’re a family member or otherwise live in the same household as a policyholder and you’re using their car, it’s a simple procedure to get yourself added to the driver’s policy. The policyholder should simply call his or her insurance agent. 

But if you don’t live in the same home with the person whose car you’re regularly borrowing, that’s when non-owner car insurance should be bought. 

Some people only buy such a policy for brief periods, such as when they’re between owned vehicles. If you’ve sold your car and haven’t yet bought another one, or if your current vehicle is broken down beyond repair and you’re saving up to buy another car, you might use a friend’s car for just a brief period. This might make you an ideal candidate for a non-owner policy for a matter of a few months. 

The Low Cost of Non-Owner Car Insurance Coverage 

Non-owner insurance in California can cost anywhere from about $200 to $500 a year. That can mean less than $20 a month for some drivers. In addition, you might only be required to pay this coverage for a few short months if you’re in between owned vehicles but will soon be buying another. 

The coverage is this cheap because you’re not looking at a full coverage policy with all of its extended benefits. Full coverage plans cover costs associated with damage to your own car as well as to the other driver’s car if you were at fault. 

Non-owner coverage, on the other hand, typically only includes liability coverage. That’s to cover the injuries to the other driver and passengers and to pay for the damage caused to the other vehicle. Liability coverage in the state of California includes the following: 

  1. $15,000 for bodily injury or death, per person 
  1. $30,000 for bodily injury or death to more than one person 
  1. $5,000 in total property damage, per accident 

As to the damage inflicted to the vehicle you were driving with a non-owner policy, it’s assumed that the driver’s more extensive insurance policy will cover that cost. 

caucasian male driving car with one hand on wheel

When to Consider Full Coverage 

Minimum coverage auto insurance can be the smart decision for many drivers, not just those looking for a non-owner policy. After all, it fulfills California’s minimum legal requirements for coverage and the cost is almost $1,300 less than the cost of obtaining a full coverage policy. 

Therefore, Golden State drivers who can’t afford full coverage might find the less expensive policy fits them fine. That’s also true of drivers who are considered high risk and either can’t get full coverage or find the cost to be much more than they can afford to pay. 

However, a full coverage policy offers much more financial security and is less likely to leave you without transportation because you’re unable to afford the repairs necessary after an accident. 

Furthermore, some lenders require full coverage before they will finance your new car purchase. In cases like that, you don’t have much choice except to obtain the more expensive policy. 

In addition to liability protection, a full-coverage plan for California drivers contains at least the following: 

Collision — This feature pays for your vehicle’s damage as the result of an accident with another vehicle. Collision also covers single-car accidents that involve your vehicle, such as a rollover or collision with inanimate objects like trees or fences. 

Comprehensive — This feature includes coverage for loss or damage not as the result of a collision with another vehicle. This can include auto theft, vandalism, fire, and even the damage that occurs as the result of hitting a deer or other animal. 

If you’re considering a full coverage auto insurance policy, keep in mind that you can reduce the cost by assuming a higher deductible for your coverage. Your deductible is what you’ll pay for the covered damage before your policy begins to pay. A $1,000 deductible will cost you considerably less than if you request a $500 deductible plan. Be sure to discuss this with your insurance agent. 

Reach Out to Cost-U-Less for the Insurance You Need 

Which policy is the most appropriate one for you? If you’re looking for a non-owner policy at minimum coverage and rates, you can depend on Cost-U-Less Insurance to help you get the right policy at the most affordable price. 

Find out all you can about your car insurance options and the California requirements. Then get a quote online, visit us or call us at (877) 994-9601 for a quick quote by phone. We’ll offer you financial protection and keep you legal as a driver regardless of whose car you’re driving.