The Complete Guide to Non-Owner Car Insurance in Washington State

Non-owner car insurance provides liability coverage for drivers who don’t own a car. While designed for those without vehicles, this type of insurance policy can benefit many Washington drivers.

This comprehensive guide will explain everything you need to know about non-owner car insurance in Washington, including:

  • What is Non-Owner Car Insurance?
  • Who Needs It?
  • What Does it Cover?
  • How Much Does it Cost?
  • How to Get a Policy
  • Top Providers in Washington
  • Laws & Requirements
  • Is it Worth it?

What is Non-Owner Car Insurance?

Non-owner insurance, also called named operator policies, provides liability protection for drivers when operating a vehicle they don’t own.

It covers damages and injuries you cause to others in an accident while driving another person’s car. Unlike regular car insurance, it does not provide coverage for vehicles themselves.

With a non-owner policy, you are the insured party, not a specific car. It moves with you when driving any car rather than staying with one vehicle.

Who Needs Non-Owner Car Insurance?

You may want to consider non-owner insurance if you:

  • Regularly drive rental cars
  • Frequently borrow vehicles from friends or family
  • Have a driver’s license but no car
  • Have your car taken away due to driving violations
  • Want to reinstate a suspended license
  • Own a car but drive additional vehicles
  • Need proof of insurance to restore driving privileges

It provides affordable coverage for those who don’t own cars but drive regularly. It can also supplement existing auto policies.

What Does Non-Owner Car Insurance Cover?

Non-owner policies provide liability protection, which covers injuries or damage you cause to others.

They do not cover the vehicles themselves. Collision, comprehensive, and uninsured/underinsured coverage are generally not included.

Typical non-owner policies include:

  • Bodily Injury Liability: Pays for injuries to others caused by an at-fault accident.

  • Property Damage Liability: Covers damage to another person’s car or property after an at-fault crash.

  • Medical Payments (MedPay): Provides coverage for injuries to passengers in the insured vehicle.

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Pays for medical expenses after an accident, regardless of fault.

  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: Protects against damages from a hit-and-run or uninsured driver.

policies provide the minimum mandatory liability limits required in your state. In Washington, this is:

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury per accident
  • $10,000 property damage

However, you can increase limits for more protection. Adding MedPay, PIP, or uninsured motorist coverage is also an option with most insurers.

How Much Does Non-Owner Car Insurance Cost in Washington?

Non-owner insurance is quite affordable, with average rates of just $200 to $300 per year. It costs significantly less than regular car insurance since there is no vehicle to cover.

Exact premiums vary based on factors like:

  • Age: Rates are highest for drivers under 25. Premiums decrease as you get older.

  • Driving Record: Speeding tickets, accidents, DUIs, and other violations raise rates substantially.

  • Credit Score: Drivers with poor credit pay more for coverage. Good credit equals lower premiums.

  • Location: Insurance costs more in urban areas than rural ones.

  • Coverage Limits: Higher liability limits are pricier but provide more protection.

Getting quotes from multiple insurers is the best way to find cheap non-owner insurance. Rates can vary dramatically between different carriers.

How to Get Non-Owner Car Insurance in Washington

Purchasing a non-owner policy is different than regular car insurance. Most companies do not offer online quotes or applications.

You’ll need to speak with an agent directly over the phone or in person. Here are the steps to getting a non-owner policy in Washington:

  1. Contact insurers: Get rate estimates from companies like Geico, Progressive, State Farm, etc. Provide details on your age, driving history, desired coverage, and more.

  2. Compare quotes: Find the cheapest rate with adequate coverage limits and optional protection like MedPay or uninsured motorist.

  3. Apply for coverage: Call the insurer back and complete an application over the phone. Provide your valid driver’s license number and Social Security number.

  4. Make a down payment: Most insurers require an initial payment via credit card to activate coverage. This binds the policy.

  5. Get proof of insurance: Your insurer will provide an insurance card and proof of liability coverage shortly after purchase.

The entire process can usually be completed in a single day. Coverage starts immediately after your application and down payment are processed.

Top Non-Owner Car Insurers in Washington

Most major insurers provide non-owner policies, but some top names in Washington include:

  • Geico: Geico offers very affordable premiums and good customer service. Bundling discounts are available.

  • State Farm: The largest car insurer in the U.S., State Farm features competitive pricing and many local agents.

  • Progressive: Known for low rates and easy quotes, Progressive sells non-owner policies to existing customers.

  • Allstate: Allstate is a reputable brand with many discounts and money-saving options.

  • Farmers: Farmers offers broad coverage and has agents across Washington to provide personalized service.

Shopping around is wise, as rates between carriers vary. Comparing at least three quotes yields the best price.

Laws and Requirements for Non-Owner Policies in Washington

Non-owner insurance follows the standard laws and regulations in Washington. Key requirements include:

  • Meeting state minimum liability limits

  • Providing valid proof of insurance when driving

  • Following financial responsibility laws

  • Adhering to insurance verification program rules

  • Maintaining coverage continuously with no gaps

Non-owner policies satisfy Washington’s mandatory insurance laws. They also meet license reinstatement requirements after a DUI/DWI conviction or driving without insurance suspension.

Suspended drivers must file an SR-22 or FR-44 form from their insurer as proof of coverage. Non-owner policies qualify for this.

Is Non-Owner Insurance Worth It for Washington Drivers?

Non-owner car insurance provides affordable liability protection for drivers without vehicles. Premiums cost significantly less than regular policies.

It’s worth considering for those who:

  • Rent cars frequently
  • Borrow vehicles often
  • Have a suspended license
  • Own a car but drive additional autos
  • Want to avoid insurance lapses when between cars

Without coverage, you risk serious out-of-pocket costs after an at-fault accident. Non-owner insurance can save you from expensive car damage, medical, and lawsuit expenses down the road.

For Washington drivers without vehicles who need liability coverage, non-owner policies present an economical insurance option starting at just $15 per month. Comparing rates from top insurers ensures you find the best deal.

Final Thoughts on Non-Owner Insurance

  • Non-owner car insurance provides liability coverage for drivers without vehicles.
  • It covers damages to others when driving a borrowed or rented car.
  • Average costs range from $200 to $300 per year.
  • Getting quotes from multiple insurers yields the cheapest rates.
  • Major carriers like Geico, State Farm, and Progressive offer non-owner policies.
  • It satisfies Washington’s minimum insurance and SR-22 requirements.
  • Non-owner insurance is worth considering for drivers without vehicles who need affordable liability protection.

Shopping around for the right policy ensures Washington drivers get all the benefits of insurance without the high costs of regular auto coverage. For occasional drivers, non-owner insurance presents a budget-friendly option.

Non Owner Car Insurance Explained


Can you insure a car that you don’t own in Washington state?

In Washington, drivers who require an SR-22 but do not own a vehicle can opt for non-owner car insurance. This type of insurance provides liability coverage when driving a borrowed or rented vehicle, ensuring compliance with Washington’s SR-22 requirements without owning a car.

Is WA a no-fault state?

As mentioned above, Washington State uses a tort system, not a no-fault system. The person who caused the accident is also the one whose insurance company is responsible for paying out full compensation (up to the limits of the policy) to others who are injured in that accident. In short: fault matters.

Is it illegal to drive without insurance in Washington state?

If you drive your car without purchasing the required insurance, you could receive a fine of $550 or more. If you’re at fault in a collision and don’t have insurance, your license may be suspended if you fail to pay the resulting damages and/or injuries.

Does insurance follow the car or driver in Washington?

Collision and comprehensive coverage also typically follow the vehicle in Washington.

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