Author Topic: Car insurance for non-owners?  (Read 4607 times)

yoyalia

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Car insurance for non-owners?
« on: August 05, 2014, 07:22:53 PM »
Hi all! I thought I'd ask the group about this topic hoping some one is in the same situation and can offer some advice :)

My husband and I don't own a car and primarily bike/walk/bus everywhere, with the occasional zipcar. We'd like to start taking more road trips and recently moved driving distance to both our families (6 hours), so we think we'll probably be renting cars once every 2 months or so.

In the past we've usually denied coverage and used our AmEx for protection, never really sure what that covered (I know, I know). But digging deeper, no CC offers any liability insurance and I'm thinking we should make sure we're fully covered from here on out. Does anyone have any experience with purchasing car insurance for non-owners? I know liability coverage is sometimes tied in with other insurances (i.e., renters, homeowners), is this the way to go? I know I need to do more research on this, but would love to hear if anyone else has gone down this path before. Thank you!

beltim

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Re: Car insurance for non-owners?
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2014, 07:26:33 PM »
You can get something called a non-owners policy to cover you in cases like this.  You can definitely call and see how expensive it would be compared to the coverage when you rent.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Car insurance for non-owners?
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2014, 07:30:46 PM »
I held a non-owner policy through GEICO for a brief amount of time, there's not much to it, you simply select the amount of coverage just like you would for a "normal" policy. You are correct in that your usual credit card insurance only covers damage to the car, not liability. Depending on how often you rent a car, it may be cheaper than using their liability insurance. Get some quotes and run the numbers!

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Car insurance for non-owners?
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2014, 10:46:50 PM »
I'm also looking into this. As others have said, there are non-owners policies out there. My initial research has ours costing about 50% of what we paid for coverage for ourselves plus our car.

You may want to call an independent brokerage who sells policies from multiple carriers. When I called our "single name" insurance company they acted like no such coverage existed. I believe they were playing dumb because they don't offer that particular type of insurance.



gotw3a1th

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Re: Car insurance for non-owners?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2014, 11:35:14 PM »
I did it a month ago. It is so simple, don't over-think it. You just have to call up your insurance provider(s) and ask for a quote for non-owners insurance. Then compare prices (you should shop around, right?). I pay ~33% what I did with a car connected to the policy, but I also had collision/comprehensive on an expensive car (tisk, tisk).

Non-owners policies are fairly rare, so maybe not every insurance rep is familiar with it like in @shortInSeattle's case. But, every major provider I contacted gave me a quote.

Eric

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Re: Car insurance for non-owners?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2014, 11:40:01 PM »
The Loss Damage Waiver when renting a car is only like $9/day.  (especially if you buy before you get to the rental counter, offered through sites like Kayak or Hotwire)  Most policies with full coverage have to be at least $400/yr.  That means you'd have to rent for 45 days in a year to come out ahead.  Of course do your own math, but I've found that paying the daily LDW is a better deal.

SnackDog

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Re: Car insurance for non-owners?
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2014, 01:54:16 AM »
I have a non-owner policy with USAA which covers both of us for $25/yr. We probably drive about 30 days a year.

dodojojo

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Re: Car insurance for non-owners?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2014, 07:32:36 AM »
I have a non-owner policy with USAA which covers both of us for $25/yr. We probably drive about 30 days a year.

Seriously?  That's an awesome deal.  Aside from calling USAA, is there any additional detail you can provide.

I've been car-less for over 10 years and have looked into this matter a couple of times.  My experience is that this type of insurance is very rare.  I called a handful of companies and they basically blew me off.  The last time I checked was a few years ago so perhaps things have changed.

I rent about 15-20 days total annually (for personal use) and I just pay the daily rate for liability. 

frugaliknowit

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Re: Car insurance for non-owners?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2014, 08:06:14 AM »
I received a quote for non-owner liability insurance a while back and it was about $500 per year (depending on coverage).  At $15 per day, your break even is about 33 rentals.  This is good to know if you rent a lot.  For collision, your credit card should do the trick.

beltim

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Re: Car insurance for non-owners?
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2014, 08:31:28 AM »
I have a non-owner policy with USAA which covers both of us for $25/yr. We probably drive about 30 days a year.

Seriously?  That's an awesome deal.  Aside from calling USAA, is there any additional detail you can provide.

I've been car-less for over 10 years and have looked into this matter a couple of times.  My experience is that this type of insurance is very rare.  I called a handful of companies and they basically blew me off.  The last time I checked was a few years ago so perhaps things have changed.

I rent about 15-20 days total annually (for personal use) and I just pay the daily rate for liability.

This varies hugely by state.  My quote from USAA was more than 10 times higher.  Your best bet is to just call.

SnackDog

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Re: Car insurance for non-owners?
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2014, 08:49:45 AM »
I have a non-owner policy with USAA which covers both of us for $25/yr. We probably drive about 30 days a year.

Seriously?  That's an awesome deal.  Aside from calling USAA, is there any additional detail you can provide.

I've been car-less for over 10 years and have looked into this matter a couple of times.  My experience is that this type of insurance is very rare.  I called a handful of companies and they basically blew me off.  The last time I checked was a few years ago so perhaps things have changed.

I rent about 15-20 days total annually (for personal use) and I just pay the daily rate for liability.

This varies hugely by state.  My quote from USAA was more than 10 times higher.  Your best bet is to just call.

The first year, about 2010, it was only $5/yr so it has gone up a lot.  (Generally USAA insurance coverage and service has plunged while rates have risen the last several years.) 

Ours is cheap as we live outside the US:

"This policy provides coverage within the policy territory of the U.S., its
territories and possessions, Puerto Rico and Canada. See Part E - General
Provisions. It is designed for members who live outside the policy
territory and occasionally rent or borrow a vehicle for use in the policy
territory. No coverage is provided for persons who reside primarily in the
policy territory. If you move to a location within the policy territory,
please contact us so we may ensure you have appropriate coverage."
« Last Edit: August 06, 2014, 08:56:16 AM by SnackDog »

beltim

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Re: Car insurance for non-owners?
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2014, 08:51:27 AM »
I'm not aware that I'm restricted to driving in any particular state.  We are Californians. The first year, about 2010, it was only $5/yr so it has gone up a lot.

No, sorry, I meant the state where you live has a huge impact on costs.

yoyalia

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Re: Car insurance for non-owners?
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2014, 02:24:13 PM »
Thanks for all the helpful responses! I called around and it hovers around $300/year. I think we will go with the liability coverage the rental car agencies provide unless we start renting more frequently and it starts getting really outrageous.