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Can I insure a car not in my name and that I don’t own?

What to Know

  • Getting car insurance for a car you don’t own can be tricky.
  • Some car insurance policies may not be honored if the named insured differs from the vehicle’s registration.
  • Regulations related to car ownership and car insurance vary from state-to-state.

Can someone else insure my financed car? Can I insure a car not in my name and that I don’t own? Can I insure a car under someone else’s name? Can someone register and insure a car titled to someone else without permission?

Getting car insurance on a car you do not own or that is not registered in your name can be tricky. While most drivers insure a vehicle owned by them, you may need to buy car insurance on a car that isn’t yours.

For example, if a parent buys a new car and passes their older vehicle to a child, they will still need to get their insurance for it, especially if they don’t live together. Although the simple answer is yes, you can insure a car that’s in your name or a vehicle that you don’t own.

The process of applying for a policy is more nuanced because insurance companies look to see if you have what’s known as “insurable interest” in the vehicle.

We’ll explain everything you need to know about insuring a car you don’t own and how to go about putting someone else’s car on your car insurance policy. We’ll also help you learn how to compare car insurance quotes for your needs.

Do you need to insure a car under someone else’s name? Start shopping for affordable car insurance quotes in your local area by entering your ZIP code in the FREE comparison tool above.

Can you insure a car that is not in your name and that you don’t own?

Can I insure a car not registered in my name? Can I have insurance on a car that is not in my name? The main issue comes down to “insurable interest” when insuring a car that is not in your name.

When you get car insurance on a vehicle you own, your financial interest is clear. You have a vested interest in the well-being of the car.

This essentially means your interests and the insurer’s interests are aligned, so they trust you to take care of the vehicle and avoid accidents that may result in claims and payouts.

Watch this video to learn about insuring a car you don’t own.

What about Michigan? It’s one of the states with elaborate car insurance laws. Can you insure a car that is not in your name in Michigan? According to Michigan Auto Law attornies, you can insure a car that’s not in your name. This allows parents and other individuals to insure vehicles easily for family or employees.

What do I do when my car is not registered in my name?

Can you get insurance for a car not registered to you?

When you aren’t the owner of the car and the vehicle is not registered to you, the interest is not clear and must be established. If you don’t have a financial investment in the car and it’s involved in a crash, you don’t stand to be liable for anything or lose any money.

For families where parents are gifting an old car to their child who still lives at the same address, the simple solution is to just add the child as a driver on the car insurance policy.

If you’re in an accident, liability ultimately falls on the registered owner, not the listed driver. Drivers who aren’t the primary car insurance policyholder will be putting insurance in someone else’s name.

Can I insure a car financed by someone else?

Yes. If the young adult lives at a separate address, parents may need to get the car co-titled. This can be easy to do if the vehicle is paid off, and simply requires a trip to the DMV where you will add the new driver to the car’s title. If there’s a loan on the vehicle, you may need approval from the lender or finance company.

State Laws May Stop You From Insuring a Car Financed by Someone Else

State laws may prevent you from insuring a car you do not own.

Let’s continue by exploring how you can go about insuring a car you do not own.

In specific states, like New York, registration and car insurance must be in the same name. For instance, New York state law requires you to have insurance when you register a vehicle in the state.

Unfortunately, New York’s insurance laws also explicitly state that the name on the policy must match the name on the title and registration. Failure to match can result in the suspension of the car’s registration, meaning you can’t drive it without facing fines and penalties.

In most states, the car title holder (owner) and named insured aren’t required to be the same person. This means it’s legally possible to take out a car insurance policy on a car you don’t own. However, just because most states allow a non-owner to insure a vehicle, it doesn’t mean insurance companies support this action.

Car Insurance Companies May Not Pay Out Claims

Because many insurers leverage online applications to establish a new policy, it’s possible to only encounter a problem after filing a claim. Unless the online enrollment form requires owner-specific information, a policy may be established.

Based on insurer policy regulations, it may not be honored if the named insured differs from the vehicle’s registration. Prevent this unsavory scenario by confirming non-owner coverage restrictions before paying for a new policy.

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Can you insure someone else’s financed car?

One of the biggest questions you may have right now is whether someone else can insure your financed car. Until a vehicle loan is fully paid, its title belongs to the lender. Legally, it’s generally acceptable for someone else to insure your car, but the process becomes difficult when the vehicle is still being financed.

Because the driver doesn’t hold insurable interest in the car, it’s considered risky in the eyes of both the insurer and finance company. You will likely have to contact your car loan company and find out if they would allow you to get insurance under your name.

This is because the finance company, or lienholder, usually requires the insurance policyholder to be the same person who is responsible for paying back the loan.

Since the lender claims the car as an asset until all payments are satisfied, the lienholder often requires acceptable proof of insurance under the name of the borrower.

In this situation, someone else can insure your financed car as a primary driver. While you’ll remain the primary policyholder, an authorized principal operator (or listed driver) will be covered under the policy.

It’s important to note that you will be responsible for ensuring premium payments are made. In this case, the principal operator will be paying on your behalf or repaying you directly. Moreover, the primary policyholder is ultimately responsible for any losses that may occur if the vehicle is totaled or damaged.

Can you register a financed car in someone else’s name?

No. Registering a financed vehicle under someone else’s name creates a complicated back and forth that’s too risky for finance companies and car insurance companies. Be prepared to go through a lot of back and forth if you’re trying to register a financed vehicle you do not own.

Why? Finance companies may see this situation as a high risk. The owner of the financed car won’t carry the vehicle registration, but the person submitting registration will.

The owner of the registration won’t have an insurable interest, which may cause finance companies and car insurance companies to deny your request.

Can I insure a vehicle not registered in my name?

Yes. This is possible because car insurance customers can add vehicles to their car insurance policies. Some of those vehicles are not registered to the primary policyholder.

“Can you insure a car not titled in your name?” Yes. Car insurance companies have something a multi-vehicle policy, where you can bundle multiple car insurance policies.

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How To Insure a Car that’s Not in My Name

“So, how is a car insured but not in my name?”

To establish a car insurance policy for someone else’s vehicle, start with the best car insurance companies. Even in states where this is allowed, some insurers may not allow the policyholder’s name to be different from the owner. However, there are several exceptions to this rule.

Parents and employers are typically allowed to establish policies for someone else. Keep in mind, buying a policy for someone else’s car often comes with higher monthly rates than a traditional owner-based policy.

There are two ways to get insurance for someone else’s vehicle. These include:

  • getting non-owner car insurance coverage
  • buying a standard car insurance policy

Speaking of best car insurance companies, will Geico or State Farm insure a car that’s not in my name? It depends on the terms of your car insurance policy.

You will need to notify your car insurance company that vehicles on your policy are driven or owned by other drivers. Each vehicle could carry their coverage options or even their policy number.

Non-Owner Car Insurance

“Can I insure someone else’s car in my name?” Yes, but you can’t insure under someone else’s name. You can insure a car through non-owner car insurance. This is typically the road parents take for teen drivers.

Can someone else drive my car under my insurance? Non-owner insurance is a unique policy option specifically designed for those who occasionally drive someone else’s vehicle and don’t have a car of their own.

Typically, non-owner insurance offers liability coverage only, and policies rarely cover your vehicle.

For example, if you damage your car in an accident where you are at-fault, hit an animal while driving, or suffer losses from theft, vandalism, fire, or other natural disasters, these claims aren’t covered by a non-owner plan.

The Car Owner Adds You to Their Insurance

The car owner adds you to their insurance policy.

The only exception is if the vehicle owner adds your name to their existing policy. To qualify for non-owner insurance, you cannot share the same address as the titleholder, and you cannot be the primary driver or operator of the vehicle.

Buying Standard Insurance Coverage

Purchasing a standard car insurance policy for someone else’s vehicle is more complicated than adding your name to an existing policy or establishing non-owner coverage. While requirements vary based on the insurance company, most insurers require proof of insurable interest.

Mostly, this documentation must prove financial loss if the vehicle is damaged. The International Risk Management Institute defines insurable interest as an official document demonstrating legal or financial risk. Unless the car is registered in your name, meeting this requirement is often very challenging.

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Insure A Car You Don’t Own

Insuring a car that you don’t own and that isn’t in your name isn’t as straightforward as a traditional car insurance policy. While non-owner insurance is standard, its liability-only coverage may not be robust enough for all drivers.

Regardless of your situation, always confirm the legalities, limitations, and covered claims with the insurance provider. Failure to perform this necessary due-diligence may result in significant financial loss, or worse, being charged with insurance fraud.

To learn more about the different types of coverage offered by the best companies in the United States, enter your zip code and pick a provider. Instant insurance quotes online can save you time finding the average car insurance rates by age and plans from good providers.

Let’s take a look at the average car insurance rates by age.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Age, Gender, & Marital Status
Driver DemographicsAverage Annual Car Insurance Rates
Married 60-year-old female$2,243
Married 60-year-old male$2,308
Married 35-year-old male$2,446
Married 35-year-old female$2,449
Single 25-year-old female$2,703
Single 25-year-old male$2,889
Single 17-year-old female$7,559
Single 17-year-old male$9,028
Get Your Rates Quote Now

Teen drivers have the highest averages in the car insurance market. Under their parent or legal guardian’s car insurance, they can save thousands on car insurance.

Do you need to insure a car under someone else’s name? Before you buy car insurance, start comparing car insurance rates right now by entering your ZIP code in our FREE comparison tool below!

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Frequently Asked Questions: Can I insure a car not in my name and that I don’t own?

Hopefully, we’ve covered everything in this article, but if not, feel free to take a look at some common questions below.

#1 – How do I insure a car in someone else’s name?

You can get a new car insurance policy or add the other person’s vehicle to your car insurance policy. If you get a new policy, be sure to add yourself as a driver on the policy. Pay close attention to your coverage options. Some coverages won’t pay for complicated situations like collision and comprehensive coverage.

#2 – Can someone else insure my car if the title is under my name in Canada?

Yes. Adding a car to your insurance policy or bundling with other policies is possible even if the titleholder is from Canada. If you’re financing the vehicle, it will difficult. If the primary policyholder is a co-signer, the policyholder has an insurable interest. Therefore, car insurance companies may allow you to insure the vehicle, perhaps at a higher rate.

#3 – Can I be insured on a car not in my name?

Yes. Teen drivers are often insured by their parents, who happen to own the vehicle’s title and registration.

#4 – Can a car title be in one name and insured in another?

Absolutely! Many multi-vehicle policies have vehicles with different owners. The primary policyholder, however, will have control over all the policies.

#5 – Can two people insure the same car?

No. Once car insurance has been established, you won’t be able to get insurance from another company. The VIN is recorded by car insurance companies to prevent double coverage.

#6 – Can I insure two cars in my own name?

Yes. It works the same as insuring someone else except you’ll be insuring multiple cars under your name. You can even get car insurance with two names on one title. Of course, you’ll have to add the other titleholder as a driver to your car insurance policy.

#7 – Can my car insurance be in someone else’s name? Can I insure a car in someone else’s name?

Yes. You can have car insurance that’s in someone else’s name. Be sure to ask the primary policyholder to add you as a driver, also.

#8– If I finance a car, can someone else insure it?

Yes. It may be a short way to get yourself insured if someone else can add you to their car insurance policy.

#9 – Does your car insurance and registration have to be under the same address?

It depends on state law. Most of the time, your registration and car insurance don’t need to match. Always check the local insurance laws to ensure that you’re following registration requirements.

#10 – Can I be on my parents’ car insurance if the car is in my name?

Yes. If you can’t afford car insurance, it’s wise to ask your parents or legal guardians to add you to their car insurance policy. If you’re between 17 and 24, you may increase their car insurance rates. However, some discounts will lower their prices.

References:

  1. https://www.michiganautolaw.com/blog/2020/04/21/can-you-insure-a-car-you-dont-own/
  2. https://dmv.ny.gov/insurance/insurance-requirements