Certain insurance policies can protect you on the road even if you don’t own the car you’re driving.
If you’re a new vehicle owner, you may be wondering: Can someone else insure my car?
Auto insurance companies have strict rules when it comes to starting a policy and verifying information provided by the policyholder. This is mostly to prevent insurance fraud and make sure the driver has insurable interest in the vehicle. So most of the time, you will not be able to insure a car you do not own. However, there are special circumstances where the auto insurance provider may work with you.
We’ve reviewed the top car insurance companies in the nation, many of which will walk you through car insurance and vehicle ownership. Read on to learn how you can legally protect yourself when you’re driving a car you don’t own. Then, use our tool below or call our team at (844) 246-8209 to start comparing car insurance quotes:
In this article:
- Can You Insure A Car You Don’t Own?
- How To Insure A Vehicle You Don't Own
- Can Someone Else Insure My Car?
- Do You Need Insurance To Drive Somebody Else’s Car?
- What Is Insurable Interest And Do You Need It?
- Our Recommendations For Car Insurance
- FAQ: Can Someone Else Insure Your Car?
Can You Insure A Car You Don’t Own?
While the person who owns the car is usually the one who insures it, most states will allow someone other than the owner to pay for a car policy. However, many driver's insurance providers will only insure a car if the policyholder and car owner are the same.
There are a few exception in which you can insure a vehicle even if you aren’t the owner. However, it will be difficult to become the primary policyholder.
To legally protect yourself when you’re driving a car of which you’re not the owner, you can:
- Transfer the registration
- Add yourself to the owner’s existing policy
- Add the owner to your policy as an additional interest
- Buy a non-owners policy
Some of these steps will be challenging if you do not live in the same residence as the vehicle’s owner. It all depends on the auto insurance company. Check with your provider to understand its rules. Many companies will be able to work with you if you establish necessity, like if this car is your only means of transportation.
How To Insure A Vehicle You Don't Own
There are special options to explore when considering insurance for a car someone else drives, or for a car not in your name.
When insuring a car someone else financed for you, the auto insurance company generally prefers for the policy to be in the owners name. Depending on your situation, there are ways to have coverage on a vehicle you don't own.
1. Transfer Your Registration
Most of the time, your best bet is to have the owner transfer registration to you or see if you can be added to the vehicle’s registration. Getting a co-title will add your name to the existing title, allowing you to share ownership of the vehicle.
This is easier to complete when the vehicle is already paid off. It’s a good idea to consider, as this will prove your insurable interest in the vehicle. Once your name is on the vehicle’s title, you should be able to insure the vehicle even if you do not live in the same home as the owner.
Research your state’s policies on “gifting” a vehicle, so the title can be completely transferred to you.
2. Add Yourself As A Driver To An Owner’s Existing Policy
One of the best options you have is asking the original owner of the vehicle to add you as a driver to their current auto policy. This is a great option for families. When a teenager starts driving and will be using their parents’ or another family member’s car, they should be added to their policy. This solution works when each driver is living in the same household.
The exception to this rule is when college students live away from the family household in campus housing.
Adding a driver to an existing policy can even work if the owner of the vehicle is unable to drive the car for any reason and you drive the car for them. In this case, you would be the primary driver of the vehicle, even if you don’t own the car. This process still works most easily when you live in the same household and you are family members.
In any case, explain your situation to the car insurance company, and its agents should be able to help you with a feasible and legal solution.
3. Add The Owner To Your Policy As An Additional Interest
If you are wondering if you can insure someone else’s car, you may be able to add the owner of the car as an additional interest.
Additional interest does not receive coverage but keeps coverage in place to protect the vehicle. This is used when a party may want the car to be insured but does not have ownership. Thus, they can’t be listed as an additional interest on the main insurance policy.
Adding an additional interest does not increase your car insurance premium. It simply states that someone else has an insurable interest in the car. It means the owner still has a financial interest in the vehicle even if they are not the primary driver.
4. Buy A Non-Owners Car Insurance Policy
Starting a non-owners insurance policy is a good option for driving a car that does not belong to you. Drivers can use this policy when borrowing a car that belongs to a friend or family member or driving a rental car.
Most of the time, this policy will only give you liability auto insurance, because it is meant to cover you when you borrow the car and drive it infrequently.
Can Someone Else Insure My Car?
Many drivers may attempt to have someone else insure their car to help them save money. This may be the case for high-risk drivers who have been quoted high insurance rates. However, you should avoid this at all costs, because that is illegal and counts as insurance fraud.
The best thing to do is to insure your own car and maintain a clean driving record. Over the years, you can qualify for lower rates. You can also check with insurance providers to see if you qualify for discounts to save money.
Can You Register A Car Not In Your Name?
This depends on the state. Many locations require the registered owner of the vehicle to be the one to start an auto policy. Check with your local DMV office to learn the specific requirements for registering a car not in your name.
Do You Need Insurance To Drive Somebody Else’s Car?
No, most of the time the insurance follows the car. So, if you get into an accident when you’re driving a friend or family member’s car, their existing auto insurance policy will cover the losses, as long as you had permission to drive the vehicle.
If you cause excessive damage that their insurance policy can’t cover, you may be held financially responsible. That’s where a non-owners policy can come in handy. This type of insurance coverage can protect you when you are a pedestrian, and when you are driving someone else’s vehicle or a rental car.
What Is Insurable Interest And Do You Need It?
For you to insure a car, insurance companies look for “insurable interest.” This is a reasonable concern for a person to protect any property or vehicle with an insurance policy. In other words, you will be financially impacted if the car were damaged. When you own a vehicle, the interest is clear and obvious.
However, if you do not own the vehicle, auto insurance companies may not trust that you will take the proper steps to keep the car safe and undamaged, since it’s not yours to primarily care about.
Trying to insure a car that is not yours may also raise a red flag for insurance fraud. If anyone could insure any car, they could receive benefits when the vehicle becomes damaged, instead of the person who actually needs the coverage.
Our Recommendations For Car Insurance
It’s always a good idea to get car insurance quotes from multiple providers. That way, you can compare quotes, as well as what they offer in terms of customer service and more. Check out two of our top providers, and use our quote tool below to get free, personalized quotes. Or, call us at (844) 246-8209 for free, personalized quotes.
#1 Geico Insurance: Best Overall
Geico is known for affordable rates and is our best overall insurer. It earned a 4.5 out of 5.0 rating after our research. Geico offers many discounts, including those for senior citizens, members of the military, good students, and more. It has a variety of extra coverage options like roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and mechanical breakdown insurance.
While you may not be able to insure a car you don’t own with Geico, you can purchase a non-owners insurance policy.
Read more in our full review of Geico insurance.
#2 State Farm Insurance: Best For Students
State Farm, the largest auto insurance carrier in the nation, earned a score of 4.5 out of 5.0 in our research. It’s known for its customer service and local agents who help customers manage their policies and answer questions about coverage.
With State Farm, you have many discount opportunities, like discounts for driving safely, getting good grades, bundling home and auto policies, and going accident-free.
Can you insure a car you don’t own with State Farm? No, State Farm requires proof of ownership to insure a vehicle. However, it provides a personal mobility policy, which covers you when you’re a pedestrian, passenger, or driver of a vehicle you don’t own. It even covers you when you’re riding a bike.
Read more in our full review of State Farm insurance.
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of auto insurance providers to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
- Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
- Cost and Discounts: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many car insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.
- Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like J.D. Power.
- Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.
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