Buying auto insurance when you don’t own a car

We recently donated our car in anticipation of replacing it. While we decide what our next vehicle should be (we have a good idea) and where we’ll lease it from (we have no clue), we need to maintain some form of auto insurance–for occasions when we rent or otherwise have access to a vehicle1. Without owning a car, however, buying insurance can be a bit tricky.

While there is a type of insurance specifically for this situation, relatively few companies offer it; it’s either called named non-owner coverage or a non-owner liability policy. Our existing insurer doesn’t offer this, nor do several other companies I contacted, but fortunately our AAA affiliate does.

Once we found the agent that offered such coverage in California, the application process was nearly identical to that for standard auto insurance. Though there’s no automobile to list, the same types of coverages are available for whatever vehicle either of us happens to be driving. Even the insurance cards are the same, just with “NNO” printed where the make and model would otherwise appear.

  1. We rent frequently enough to make the coverage offered by rental agencies cost-prohibitive.