General Question

occ's avatar

Buying driver's insurance if I don't own a car?

Asked by occ (4176points) May 21st, 2008

I grew up in NYC and then moved to San Francisco – two cities with excellent public transit – and so I have never owned a car. However, if I borrow friends’ cars, and I don’t have a car of my own (and hence no insurance), is that a problem, or would my friends’ insurance cover me from potential liability? Is it a good idea to buy driver’s insurance even though I don’t own my own car? I think it would also cover me for the times that I rented a car. Does anyone have experience with this, or know more about it? I am generally a very risk-averse person and it makes me nervous to drive knowing that I might not be fully covered. Also, if anyone has experience with this, how much does it cost to buy driver’s insurance for a non-car-owner?

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7 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Automobile insurance insures the car. You cannot purchase it without owning a car. Your friends’ policies in all likelihood cover other drivers. If you are not sure, ask.

andrew's avatar

@marina: I’ve always thought that insurance covered the driver, not the vehicle.

marinelife's avatar

Well, learn something new every day. According to, it goes like this:

Insurance can cover a vehicle and/or a person. For example if you own a vehicle it will be listed on your policy and insurance would follow the vehicle for when you loan your car to others. Or if you do not own a vehicle you can have non-owners auto insurance in which case that insurance would cover you, but normally as secondary insurance on a vehicle. The insurance of the owner of the car, the one you borrowed since as a non-owner you would not have one of your own, would be primary.

@occ I stand corrected. They do have those policies for non-owners, but that would be secondary insurance if there was an incident. If it is cheap enough, it might give you peace of mind—and your car-owning friends too!

NVOldGuy's avatar

If not too costly I would buy it.

marinelife's avatar

@andrew On rereading my last post here, I see it could have a double meaning. To clarify, I meant me when I said learn something new every day, because by looking into it further after what you said, I read that it is possible to get non-owners auto insurance.

Response moderated
ShanEnri's avatar

My niece had to get insurance on herself to drive my car. This was for the driving test so she didn’t worry about it. All she did though was ask an insurance agent about it and they said it was no problem. From what I understand about insurance, you have to be named on the policy to be covered. If you don’t borrow your friends cars often, I’d save my money. Honestly though I’d talk to my friends about it and see what they say!

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