Why You May Need Non-Owner Auto Liability Insurance
Some people may not own a car but borrow a vehicle from friends or family members when they need to drive. You still need appropriate auto insurance if you’re one of these drivers. However, you may not automatically get coverage through the vehicle owner’s auto policy; you may need non-owner auto liability insurance instead.
What Is Non-owner Auto Liability Insurance?
Illinois law requires all drivers to carry auto liability insurance. If you are at fault for an accident, it will help you compensate third parties who weren’t riding with you (e.g., other drivers). And even though you may not own a vehicle yourself, you can still be at fault for an accident if you cause one. In this case, having non-owner liability insurance may help you cover the costs of these third-party losses. The policy will provide the necessary liability insurance for the driver, even though it won’t insure a specific vehicle.
Can’t I Use the Vehicle Owner’s Auto Insurance?
If you use someone else’s car because you don’t own one, you may think their liability insurance automatically extends to you. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. Many standard auto policies only cover drivers who are listed as named drivers on the policy. Even if the owner has insured the vehicle you borrow, you may still need a non-owner liability insurance policy.
Even if you find that someone else’s auto liability insurance covers you, you may still benefit from non-owner coverage. Suppose an accident claim exceeds the value of the owner’s liability policy; you could still be on the hook to cover the excess costs since you were the at-fault party. You may be able to turn to your non-owner policy to cover the remaining costs. In this case, the owner’s liability insurance will serve as the primary liability coverage, and the non-owner policy will be secondary coverage.
However, if you regularly borrow someone else’s car or use the vehicle of someone you live with (e.g., if a teen drives a car their parents own), you may still need to be listed as a named driver on the owner’s policy. By becoming a named driver, the borrower will receive their primary liability insurance from that policy. In some cases like these, a non-owner liability policy may not even cover the borrower’s claim if the borrower wasn’t listed on the owner’s policy.
A non-owner liability policy can provide affordable and consistent protection for those who use others’ vehicles. Speak to your Hanway Insurance agent today to learn if this coverage is right for you.
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