Can I buy insurance for a car I don’t have? – Forbes Advisor

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Buying insurance for a car you don’t own is possible, but it’s challenging. Still, there are options for getting insurance for a car that isn’t in your name.

If you are in one of these situations, you may want to purchase auto insurance without being the registered owner of the vehicle:

  • You regularly use a relative’s car
  • You frequently borrow a friend’s car.
  • You are a caretaker of the car owner, who does not drive much or at all
  • You bought a car from a private seller and you’re making payments and you won’t get the title until it’s paid off

Depending on your circumstances, you may find one of the following options suitable for your needs.

Add to the Vehicle Owner’s Insurance Policy

If you live in the same household, it’s easier for the car owner to add you as a driver to their policy rather than purchase insurance on the vehicle (if it’s not already covered by the policy).

There may be no need for a separate auto insurance policy if you live away from home and use a family member’s or friend’s car only occasionally. Instead, ask the owner to check if your policy covers you as a “permissive use” driver.

If you are a caregiver and the person you are helping is an employer and not a family member, you will probably feel more comfortable having the insurance policy in your name. They should consider including him as the main driver. If you do not have a valid driver’s license, you may be excluded from the policy as a driver and only listed as the owner of the car.

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What if you regularly care for an elderly person who no longer drives? For example, if you help a non-household member who owns the car but does not drive it. The owner can keep the insurance policy but list you as an excluded driver and add you to the coverage.

Get added to vehicle title or registration

Being on the title or registration (or both) gives you an “insurable interest,” meaning it shows the insurance company that it’s in your best interest to prevent damage to the vehicle. With insurable interest, you can buy auto insurance with no hassle. If you are a co-owner of a vehicle, see if you are required to list the other owner on the policy as an additional insured.

If you are using your parent’s vehicle but live away from home, consider adding it to the title or registration so you can purchase your own auto insurance. Your parents can then save money by taking the car off their policy. If your parents gave you the car, put it in your name and insure it as the owner.

If you buy a car from an individual on an installment plan, you may want to hold the title to the vehicle in your name until it is paid off. We would warn against that. Instead, it is better to transfer the title to you and list the seller as a lienholder on the title. Next, you can purchase your own auto insurance policy.

Indicate the owner of the vehicle as an additional interest in the insurance

Additional interest means that someone has an interest in the vehicle and is notified if you make changes to the policy. This is another option for getting car insurance for a car you don’t own.

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Some insurance companies allow you to insure a car you don’t own and add the owner this way, as it keeps the owner of the vehicle involved. However, not all insurance companies allow it. To try this option, you may need to shop around.

Buy a non-owners auto insurance policy

Another option is to purchase a non-owners auto insurance policy. But keep in mind that this will be secondary to the auto insurance coverage the vehicle owner has on the vehicle.

Non-owner coverage provides you with liability insurance protection if you cause an accident and the vehicle owner’s insurance limits are not enough. Since no cars are listed on a non-owner’s insurance policy, comprehensive and collision coverage are not available.

Non-owner auto insurance policies are generally not offered if you use your car frequently. Instead, you should try another option, such as being added to the vehicle owner’s insurance policy.

Best auto insurance companies 2022

With so many options for car insurance companies, it can be hard to know where to start to find the right car insurance. We’ve evaluated insurers to find the best auto insurance companies, so you don’t have to.

Frequently asked questions about insurance for a car you don’t own

Can I buy insurance for a car that is not in my name?

Yes, you can insure a vehicle you don’t own, but only if it’s allowed in your state and the owner of the car and the insurance company know you don’t own it.

Also keep in mind that it is vital that the auto insurance company understand your situation and approve it. If you do not tell the insurance company that you do not own the vehicle, there may be consequences, such as a claim being denied. Intentional misrepresentation of pertinent information is considered fraud.

It can be difficult to find an auto insurance company that will sell you coverage for a car you don’t own. One potential concern is fraud: Insurance companies may suspect the owner is a high-risk driver who is insuring the car in someone else’s name to avoid paying high rates.

You may find it easier for the vehicle owner to purchase auto insurance and add you to the policy as a driver.

Do state laws allow you to buy insurance for a car you don’t own?

State laws related to registration and insurance may dictate whether you can insure a car you don’t own. For example, New York car insurance laws say that the name on the insurance card must match the name on the vehicle registration.

Check what your state laws require. If your name must be on the registry to insure a car, adding it to the vehicle registry may be the best way to please the state and insurance companies to get the auto insurance coverage you want.

What is insurable interest for auto insurance?

The insurable interest for auto insurance is having a financial interest in the vehicle. That means you would experience financial hardship if the car is damaged.

To avoid excessive claims, auto insurance companies want to know that it is in the best interest of the person insuring the vehicle to stay out of accidents. You pose more risk if the insurance company can’t see a clear reason for you to keep the car in good shape.

Proving that an accident would negatively affect you can increase your chances of buying insurance on a car you don’t own. For example, disclosing that you use the car to get to work and that you would not be able to work without the vehicle would show that you have an insurable interest.