Cheapest And Best Non-Owner Car Insurance In California 2024

Based on extensive research, we’ve found that Kemper offers the cheapest and best non owner car insurance in California.

min read
Updated: 16 May 2024
Written by
Bob Phillips
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As a former Californian who lived in the Golden State for 16 years, I can empathize with you if you struggle to own a car and pay to insure it in California.

A growing number of Californians forgo owning or leasing a car and share one with someone else or simply rent a car when they need to drive a longer distance than mass transit can take them. Non owner car insurance provides them with both financial protection and peace of mind.

With 15 years of experience as a licensed insurance agent, 16 years living in California, and over 35 years as a car insurance buyer, I’m well-acquainted with all the insurance companies reviewed here, and I’ve been insured by several of them. Although they are all reputable providers, each has its unique strengths in helping Californians.

Cheapest Non-Owner Car Insurance In California, 2024

Best Non-Owner Car Insurance, California 2024

Compare The Cheapest And Best Non Owner Car Insurance In California

Overall Rating Best Suited For A.M. Best Rating J.D. Power Rating Average Monthly Cost Get A Quote
Kemper
4.7

Cheapest Overall

A-

736

$35

Instant Quote
Progressive
4.8

Cheapest With A Clean Driving Record

A+

809

$36

Instant Quote
Farmers
4.6

Cheapest Non-Owner SR-22

A-

810

$62

Instant Quote
State Farm
4.9

Best Overall

A++

826

$53

Instant Quote
Travelers
4.8

Best Runner-up

A++

NR

$44

Instant Quote
Scroll to see comparisons

Our Methodology

Drawing upon a comprehensive analysis that encompasses multiple facets such as customer service ratings, product options, pricing, and a thorough evaluation of various online review sites and user experience, I've crafted an in-depth view of the landscape of non owner car insurance providers.

This is an informed perspective, honed by over 15 years of personal involvement in the industry as a licensed agent, countless interactions with representatives from various companies, and insights gleaned from firsthand purchasing experiences in California.

62

Quotes Analyzed

15+

Years Of Industry Experience

19

Brands Reviewed

30+

Research Hours

Cheapest Non Owner Car Insurance Companies In California


Cheapest Overall

Overall Rating
4.7

Key Statistics

10/10 Affordability
7/10 Customer Reviews
8/10 Claim Payouts
10/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

If you’re strictly buying on price, Kemper is the clear winner for having the cheapest non owner car insurance in California. Kemper is best known for providing auto insurance for high-risk drivers, and its policies are available throughout the state (and all 50 states) through independent agents.

While Kemper is popular with Californians because of its low rates, it rates low in customer satisfaction, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. This hasn’t deterred people from buying insurance from Kemper, as it is the 11th biggest insurer in the U.S.

Active-duty military members or National Guard may find Kemper to be an excellent option if they don’t own a car, are deployed, or live on a military base and often use someone else’s vehicle.

California is famous for its high cost of living, and that includes car insurance. Heavy traffic and many uninsured or underinsured drivers on the road have driven up the cost of car ownership and insurance to levels that are unaffordable for many.

Because of that, more and more people are choosing not to own a car or are instead using a rental vehicle. Finding non owner car insurance that’s affordable is saving many Californians money on car insurance they no longer need.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Cheapest rates for non owner insurance in California
  • Can get an SR-22 if you need one
  • Strong AM Best financial strength rating
Drawbacks
  • High number of customer complaints concerning policyholder service
  • Poorly rated mobile app

Rates For The Cheapest Non Owner Car Insurance In California

Insurance company Monthly Rate
Kemper $34
Travelers $42
GEICO $45
Farmers $46
State Farm $53

Cheapest With A Clean Driving Record

Overall Rating
4.8

Key Statistics

9/10 Affordability
8/10 Customer Reviews
8/10 Claim Payouts
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Progressive stands out as a leading choice for non owner car insurance in California, particularly for drivers with a clean driving record. Its non-owner insurance offers essential liability coverage, which protects drivers from costly expenses related to injuries or personal property damage caused to others in an accident. This is especially crucial since the state of California mandates financial responsibility on all vehicles operated or parked on its roadways.

Progressive non owner car insurance is sold by a network of independent agents and is serviced directly by Progressive, which has excellent financial ratings and claims-paying ability.

Drivers with clean driving records have lower rates for non owner car insurance because they present a lower risk to insurance companies, are rewarded for safe driving habits, and give insurance companies a competitive edge by reducing their financial losses from claims. Maintaining a clean driving record can reduce your premiums substantially.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Extensive coverage options
  • Best rates for good drivers
  • Discounts for safe driving
Drawbacks
  • No rental car coverage
  • Mixed customer service reviews
  • Non owner car insurance is not available in all states

Cheapest Non-Owner Car Insurance Rates With A Clean Driving Record

Insurance company Monthly rate
Progressive $36
Kemper $44
Travelers $47
GEICO $48
Farmers $53

Cheapest Non Owner SR-22

Overall Rating
4.7

Key Statistics

9/10 Affordability
7/10 Customer Reviews
9/10 Claim Payouts
8/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Farmers has established itself as a trusted provider of non-owner car insurance, particularly for drivers requiring an SR-22. This form is necessary for those who have been deemed “high-risk” by the state due to infractions such as DUIs, reckless driving, or driving without insurance.

Farmers stands out for its specialized services tailored to high-risk drivers. They not only offer SR-22 insurance but also assist drivers with suspended licenses to reinstate their licenses quickly and easily. This focus on providing a smooth, hassle-free experience for high-risk drivers sets Farmers apart from many other insurance providers.

When it comes to cost, Farmers offers SR-22 Insurance at an average of just 2% more than regular car insurance. This affordability, coupled with the comprehensive coverage offered, makes Farmers a cost-effective choice for drivers in California needing an SR-22.

Investing in non-owner SR-22 insurance is a prudent decision for high-risk drivers who don’t own a vehicle but still need to drive occasionally. It offers liability coverage, protecting you from the financial repercussions of causing an accident while driving a borrowed or rented car.

It also enables you to maintain continuous insurance coverage, which demonstrates financial responsibility and avoids potential gaps in your insurance history that could lead to higher premiums in the future.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Specializes in high-risk drivers
  • Lowest rates for non-owner SR-22 coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage options
Drawbacks
  • Some policyholders have reported issues with claim handling and resolution
  • Higher rates for high-risk drivers

Rates For The Cheapest Non-Owner SR-22 In California

Insurance company Monthly Rate
Farmers $62
Travelers $67
State Farm $68
Progressive $72
Nationwide $79

Best Overall Non Owner Car Insurance

Overall Rating
4.9

Key Statistics

9/10 Affordability
10/10 Customer Reviews
10/10 Claim Payouts
8/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

State Farm stands out as the premier option for non-owner car insurance in California. This is largely due to its competitive pricing, comprehensive coverage options, and excellent customer service.

When it comes to affordability, State Farm isn’t the cheapest, but it’s competitively priced, considering that the level of customer service you receive leads the pack. The company offers rates of $213 per year for a non-owner liability policy, significantly lower than the average cost of non-owner auto insurance in California, which stands at $323 annually.

State Farm’s non-owner car insurance coverage includes liability protection, ensuring financial safety in case you’re found responsible for bodily injury or property damage. Furthermore, if your existing personal auto policy with State Farm includes comprehensive coverage, this can extend to your rental car, providing an additional layer of protection.

State Farm’s commitment to customer service solidifies it earning the top spot in our ratings. With easy access via their dedicated contact number or phone app, State Farm ensures policyholders receive prompt assistance when needed.

While price is undoubtedly a key factor when selecting a non-owner car insurance policy, it’s crucial not to overlook the importance of exceptional customer service. Insurance is about more than just cost; it’s about peace of mind and knowing you’re fully supported when you need it most.

The ability of an insurance company to swiftly handle claims, answer questions, and provide guidance is invaluable.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Competitive pricing
  • Extensive coverage
  • High customer satisfaction
Drawbacks
  • Lack of comprehensive or collision coverage for non-owner policies
  • Limited discounts available
  • Some lower-priced options are available

Best Runner-Up

Overall Rating
4.8

Key Statistics

9/10 Affordability
8/10 Customer Reviews
8/10 Claim Payouts
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

When it comes to non-owner car insurance in California, Travelers emerges as our best runner-up. This is primarily due to their tailored policies and excellent customer service.

Travelers is renowned for its superior customer service, a crucial factor when choosing an insurance provider. In the event of an accident or claim, you want an insurer that provides prompt, efficient service and guides you through the process. Travelers has consistently demonstrated its commitment to customer satisfaction, making it a reliable choice for non-owner car insurance.

Coupled with its wide range of coverage options, including standard liability, collision, and uninsured/underinsured coverage, Travelers offers comprehensive non owner insurance protection at an affordable price.

Non-owner car insurance primarily offers liability protection, covering damages you may cause to others. However, the inclusion of comprehensive and collision coverage can significantly enhance your protection, making it a wise choice for many drivers.

Comprehensive coverage safeguards against non-collision-related incidents such as theft, vandalism, or damage from natural disasters, ensuring you’re not left out-of-pocket should any of these events occur.

Meanwhile, collision coverage offers protection if you’re involved in an accident with another vehicle or object, regardless of who’s at fault.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Superior customer service
  • Competitive pricing
Drawbacks
  • No online quotes
  • Limited discounts
  • Higher rates for high-risk drivers

What Is Non-Owner Car Insurance

If you often find yourself behind the wheel of a vehicle that isn’t yours, whether it’s a rental or a car borrowed from a friend or family member, you may want to consider non-owner car insurance.

Non-owner car insurance primarily offers liability coverage. If you’re responsible for an accident while driving a car that isn’t yours, your non-owner policy can cover the medical and repair expenses of the other party involved.

Some insurance companies may also provide additional options, such as uninsured/underinsured motorist protection and personal injury protection.

However, it’s important to understand that non-owner insurance usually doesn’t include comprehensive or collision coverage. This means the cost of any damage to the vehicle you’re driving may not be covered.

For individuals who frequently rent cars or borrow vehicles, non-owner car insurance can be beneficial. It provides an added layer of security on top of any coverage the vehicle’s owner might already have.

In many cases, it can be more economical than always opting for insurance from a rental company.

Additionally, having a non-owner policy helps maintain continuous insurance coverage, which could lead to lower premiums if you decide to buy a car in the future.

Coverage Type Non-Owner Car Insurance Full Coverage Policy
Liability Coverage Covers bodily injury and property damage you cause to others. Covers bodily injury and property damage you cause to others.
Comprehensive Coverage Does not cover damages to the vehicle you’re driving from non-collision incidents like theft, fire, or vandalism. Covers damages to your vehicle from non-collision incidents like theft, fire, or vandalism.
Collision Coverage Does not cover damages to the vehicle you’re driving from a collision, regardless of fault. Covers damages to your vehicle from a collision, regardless of fault.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Protection Optional. Some insurers offer this as an additional coverage. Can cover your losses if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Optional. Some insurers offer this as an additional coverage. Can cover medical expenses for you and your passengers, regardless of who is at fault.
Rental Car Coverage Provides liability coverage when you rent a vehicle. Typically requires additional rental reimbursement coverage.

What Is SR-22 Insurance?

Technically, SR-22 isn’t an insurance policy. It’s a vehicle liability insurance document required by most state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices for “high-risk” insurance policies.

This form, filed by your insurance company, provides proof that you have the minimum required amount of liability insurance coverage for your state.

It’s often required for drivers who have had their licenses suspended due to traffic violations, DUIs, or other serious offenses.

The SR-22 form serves as a certificate of financial responsibility, indicating that the driver has purchased the necessary amount of auto liability insurance coverage. The primary purpose of this document is to verify that an individual is maintaining car insurance liability coverage.

It’s usually mandated by the state or court order, especially for drivers who are considered high-risk. The insurance company will file this form with the state, and if at any point the policy lapses, the insurer is obligated to notify the state.

Average Cost Of Non-Owner Car Insurance In California

Navigating the landscape of non-owner car insurance can be a daunting task, with numerous providers and varying rates. It’s important to make an informed decision, understanding the cost implications of your choice.

To assist you in this process, we’ve created a comparison chart detailing the average cost of non-owner car insurance from five leading providers.

Insurer Average Monthly Rate
Travelers $67
State Farm $69
Progressive $75
Nationwide $77
GEICO $80

How Much Is Non-Owner Car Insurance In California By Age?

Similar to full coverage car insurance rates, the price of non owner car insurance is highest for teen drivers and gradually decreases each year until age 55.

These are sample rates for non owner car insurance in California for 10 different ages

Age Average Annual Rate
16 $856
18 $757
21 $470
25 $400
35 $338
45 $331
55 $322
65 $332
70 $350
75 $385

Average Cost Of Non Owner Car Insurance In California Cities

These are sample rates for five small cities in California:

City Sample Average Annual Rate
Big Pine $242
Calexico $249
Mendecino $260
Hayfork $260
Mount Shasta $264

How Much Is Non-Owner Car Insurance In California’s 10 Biggest Cities?

A city’s size is an important factor when insurers determine car insurance rate. Residents of larger cities with heavier traffic pay higher rates for car insurance:

City Average Annual Rate
Los Angeles $546
Anaheim $371
Sacramento $367
San Francisco $363
Oakland $357
Fresno $334
San Jose $335
San Diego $331
Bakersfield $327
Walker $239

How Non-Owner Insurance Rates In California Compare To Rates In Other States

Surprisingly, California’s average annual rate of $323 for non owner car insurance falls below the national average of $353. Non-owner rates in the 12 most populated states:

State Average Annual Premium
North Carolina $937
Florida $770
New York $590
Michigan $585
Texas $419
Illinois $396
Georgia $384
National Average $353
Pennsylvania $348
California $323
Ohio $241

Should You Get Non-Owner Car Insurance In California?

Non-owner car insurance is a type of auto insurance policy designed for individuals who don’t own a car but still drive occasionally. It provides liability coverage if you cause an accident while driving a rented or borrowed vehicle.

In California, several types of individuals should consider purchasing non-owner car insurance.

Frequent Renters And Borrowers

If you frequently rent cars or borrow vehicles from friends or family, non-owner car insurance is an excellent consideration. Rental companies do provide insurance options, but they can be expensive if you rent regularly.

Similarly, while the owner’s insurance may cover some accidents, having your own policy ensures you’re protected without affecting the owner’s premium.

Public Transport Commuters With Occasional Driving Needs

Many Californians rely on public transport or rideshare services for their daily commute and only drive occasionally. You might belong to this category if you live in an urban area with good public transportation or if you prefer biking or walking most of the time.

However, there might be instances when driving is unavoidable. In such cases, having non-owner insurance gives you the financial protection you need.

Individuals Trying To Maintain Continuous Coverage

Insurance companies often view drivers without continuous coverage as high-risk, which could lead to higher premiums when you decide to purchase a car.

If you’ve sold your vehicle and plan to be without one for a while, a non-owner policy helps maintain continuous coverage, keeping your insurance history intact. This strategy can be particularly beneficial when you eventually buy a car and need regular insurance.

What Does Non-Owner Car Insurance Cover?

A non-owner car insurance policy primarily provides liability insurance, which covers the costs associated with bodily injury or property damage you may cause to others in an accident.

It’s essential to note that non-owner car insurance doesn’t cover damages to the vehicle you’re driving; this should be covered by the car owner’s insurance policy.

In addition to liability coverage, some non-owner car insurance policies offer optional medical payments or personal injury protection (PIP). These additions can cover your medical expenses following an accident, regardless of who was at fault.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist protection is another optional feature that protects you if you’re involved in an accident with a driver who has insufficient or no insurance coverage.

However, it’s crucial to understand that non-owner car insurance does not include comprehensive or collision coverage.

This means damages to the vehicle you’re driving due to theft, vandalism, natural disasters, or collision are typically not covered.

How To Get Non-Owner Car Insurance In California

Following these five steps will help you secure non-owner car insurance in California smoothly and efficiently.

Understand Your Needs

Before you start the process, it’s crucial to understand why you need non-owner car insurance. Are you frequently renting vehicles, or do you often borrow cars from friends or family?

Do you need to file a non-owner SR-22 form to get your license reinstated? Define your requirements clearly to find the best fit for your situation.

1

Gather Your Personal Information

To get a quote for non-owner car insurance, you need to provide some basic personal information, such as your name, address, and driver’s license number.

This information helps the insurer assess your risk level and determine your premium.

2

Compare Rates From Different Providers

Not all insurance companies offer the same rates for non-owner car insurance. It’s highly recommended to compare quotes from different providers to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

3

Choose The Right Coverage

Most non-owner car insurance policies provide liability coverage, covering the costs if you cause an accident.

However, depending on your needs and the insurance company, you might be able to add additional coverages like uninsured motorist protection or medical payments. Make sure to choose a policy that meets your specific needs.

4

Purchase Your Policy And Obtain Proof Of Insurance

Once you’ve chosen a policy, you can usually purchase it online or over the phone. After purchasing, you’ll obtain proof of insurance almost immediately, often via email. If necessary, your provider can also file an SR-22 on your behalf.

5

FAQs

Do you need car insurance if you don’t own a car in California?

Yes, you do need car insurance even if you don’t own a car in California. This is where non-owner car insurance comes into play. If you frequently drive a borrowed or rented vehicle, this policy provides liability coverage for any accidents caused while driving.

Can I buy auto insurance for someone else’s car in California?

Yes, you can buy auto insurance for someone else’s car in California. However, the process isn’t as straightforward as insuring a car you own. While the owner of the vehicle doesn’t always have to be the policyholder, insurance companies typically prefer that the person insuring the car has an “insurable interest” in it, such as a co-owner or frequent driver. If you’re not the owner but frequently drive the car, a non-owner car insurance policy might be a better fit.

Who offers the cheapest non owners car insurance in California?

Based on our research, Kemper offers the cheapest rates in California for non owner car insurance.

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