Very few people are aware of insurance for drivers who do not own the car they are driving. The sad fact is that even those who get this type of insurance don’t understand all the details of their non-owners insurance coverage.
For anyone who borrows a friend’s or neighbor’s car now and then, a non-owners insurance policy is a very good idea. But it’s also crucial to understand how the policy works.
Here are a few important facts that to understand the extent of the coverage:
- Bodily Injury Liability. When driving a neighbor’s car, you get into an accident with another vehicle. The police investigation concludes the accident was all your fault. The non-owners insurance will help pay for the medical expenses of the other people in the crash, for which you are held liable.
- Uninsured Motorist. What if the accident is not your fault? What if you’re the one who’s hurt? Typically, the insurance policy of the driver at fault will pay the medical expenses. However, there’s always a chance the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance coverage, or they may even have no insurance at all. If that’s the case, then the non-owners insurance will pay your medical expenses.
- Medical payments. Some policies include this coverage that pays for your own medical expenses for injuries sustained in the collision. It will also help pay for the medical expenses of any passengers who were injured as well. This coverage comes into play regardless of who is held liable for the car crash.
- Property Damage Liability. This isn’t a common part of non-owners insurance, though some companies offer it. It’s for a car accident where you’re at fault. This coverage will help pay for damage to the other car involved in the accident.
- No Collision Coverage. Collision coverage pays for the expenses to fix damage to the car you were driving when involved in the accident. It normally doesn’t matter who’s deemed at fault for the accident. However, the non-owner’s insurance policy doesn’t cover the damage to the car.
- No Comprehensive Insurance. In general, comprehensive insurance covers damage to the car that’s caused by other incidents instead of car collisions. So this type of coverage would include damage caused by people who have stolen or vandalized the borrowed car. It also covers freak accidents like falling objects hitting the car you were driving. Usually, the policy spells out what types of incidents are covered.A non-owner’s insurance policy doesn’t cover these other types of incidents. If someone steals the neighbor’s car while you were in charge of it, the insurance doesn’t cover that.
- No Rental Reimbursement. Some insurance companies can cover the cost of car rentals while the car is in the shop getting repairs. But non-owners insurance policies don’t have this type of benefit.
- No Roadside Assistance. Other types of insurance policies cover the fees generated when the car breaks down while on the road. This usually includes covering the cost of towing. But again the non-owners insurance won’t help in this case.
Still, on the whole it still makes sense to have car insurance, even if the car isn’t yours. Car accidents happen every day, and some help from insurance is better than none.