Car at the beach, rear view
There are many occasions when you could drive a car without owning it - renting and holidays are just two examples.

Nearly every state requires some form of minimum liability coverage for car owners and drivers. Fines can be pretty steep if someone is caught driving without insurance.

For example, in Washington State, drivers without insurance will be fined a minimum of $450, but all states that have liability requirements have fees and fines that they make drivers pay when they are caught driving without insurance.

That goes for drivers who don’t own a car and are just borrowing a car. If they are asked for proof of insurance from an officer, many states will require the driver to have insurance and the car, too. If someone is driving without insurance and the car they borrowed doesn’t have insurance, they could be doubly fined even if the car isn’t theirs.

So how does someone who is not an owner of a car protect themselves from fines and license suspensions

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if they are pulled over while driving someone else’s car? There is a way to do it without having to put out a lot of money for a full-fledged auto insurance policy. It’s called Broad Form Named Operator Coverage Auto Insurance.

So, how does broad form auto insurance work without car ownership?

  • It only has liability protection on it so there is no high cost for physical damage protection.
  • The policy is in the name of the driver who buys the policy only. No other drivers are permitted or covered on the broad form auto insurance.
  • The broad form auto insurance policy covers you on any car that you have permission to drive. If a friend loans their car, you rent a vehicle, you test drive a car you are looking to buy from a private seller, or any other private passenger vehicle.

As great as broad form named owner insurance can be for certain situations, it’s not always the best idea. Here are some reasons to skip broad form named owner and get a traditional policy.

There are some great reasons to have a broad form named operator coverage policy. Check with an agent to see if you would benefit. It can be a great policy to have when you don’t own a car and do not want restrictions on what car you do operate. Although, it is a very restrictive policy in that it will only cover liability and only cover you.

Keep in mind that broad form named operator coverage policies aren’t available in all states; however, most do.

Image: Flickr.