Most of the time, you cannot insure a car that isn’t in your name. This is because auto insurance policies are designed to support the vehicle owner, who has an insurable interest in the vehicle. However, there are a few scenarios that allow for non-owner insurance policies.
Insurance is important. It protects you, your family, and your belongings in case of an accident or other mishap. However, in certain circumstances, it can be difficult to get insurance, such as trying to insure a car that you don’t own.
If you often drive someone else’s vehicle, such as a rental car, or one belonging to a family member or friend, then you might wonder if there’s any way to get the insurance coverage you need without breaking any rules. Fortunately, the answer is yes, but there might be some extra steps you need to take. Read on to learn more about how to get the coverage you need, even if a car is not in your name.
Can I insure a car I don’t own?
No, you are generally not able to insure someone else’s car that is not in your name. Why? Because auto insurance is grounded in insurable interest.
What does that mean? Let’s take a closer look.
In short, insurable interest is the financial interest that a policyholder has in an insured object.
For example, if you own a car, you have an insurable interest in that car. This means that if the car is damaged or destroyed, you will suffer a financial loss. As such, you have a vested interest in ensuring that the car is properly protected.
However, if you don’t own the car, you would have no financial stake in it, which means no insurable interest.
Auto insurance claims process
If you were to insure a car that you don’t own, this means that you can receive financial compensation for damages to a vehicle that you don’t have a financial stake in.
Let’s imagine you drive your cousin’s car and accidentally hit a pothole and cause damage to it. If you were able to insure that car, this means you can file a claim with your auto insurance company and potentially get paid for the damage.
However, this wouldn’t make any sense because it’s your cousin that paid for the car, not you. This means you shouldn’t have the right to insure and claim compensation for a car that you don’t have a financial stake in.
How to get a car insured when you don’t own it
However, there are some circumstances where you might want to have a car insured even when you don’t own it. For example, you may primarily rent cars or drive your family member’s car instead of driving your own personal vehicle. Here are ways to get the insurance coverage you need in these situations.
Get added to the owner’s insurance policy
If you live with a relative or roommate and often drive their car, you should ask them to add you to the driver list of their auto insurance policy. For most car insurance companies, including Geico and State Farm, car owners can add a driver to their car insurance policy by simply contacting their licensed insurance agent. They’ll generally need to provide some information about the vehicle and the person they’re planning to add to the policy.
However, if you rarely drive your friend’s car and don’t live with them, then there’s no need to be added to their insurance policy. You’ll automatically be covered under “permissive use,” which only allows those who occasionally borrow someone else’s car to be covered by the car owner’s insurance policy.
Purchase a non-owner car insurance policy
If you’re planning a trip and want to rent a car while you’re there, it’s important to consider purchasing a non-owner car insurance policy. This type of insurance is designed specifically for people who don’t own cars but still need coverage when they’re driving someone else’s vehicle.
Unlike standard auto insurance policies — which typically include liability coverage, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage — non-owner car insurance usually only includes liability coverage.
Here’s a quick overview of what a non-owner insurance policy may cover:
- Bodily injury. If you cause an accident and the other driver and passengers are hurt, non-owner car insurance would help pay for their medical expenses.
- Property damage. This will cover the damage you cause to someone’s property and help pay for the cost of replacements or physical structure repair.
Co-title a car
When you co-title a car, it means that you and another person both have ownership rights to the vehicle. Depending on the state you currently live in, the process of adding a co-owner to a car can vary since every state’s DMV has different requirements.
Typically, adding a co-owner would require both you and the other person to jointly apply for a new car title.
What coverage should you consider for your car?
When it comes to choosing the right auto insurance liability coverage for your car, it’s important to consider your driving habits as well as your individual needs. For example, are you a daily commuter, or do you only use your car on the weekends? Do you drive in more rural areas or in congested urban cities like Los Angeles?
If you mostly drive slowly on country roads, then collision and comprehensive coverage may not be necessary for you. On the other hand, if you spend a lot of time in traffic and frequently encounter other drivers who are unpredictable or aggressive, additional liability protection might be a wise investment.
Overall, the best way to decide what level of protection is right for you is to consult with an insurance professional who can help to assess your risks and recommend an appropriate coverage plan.
How much is car insurance?
Car insurance rates vary due to a number of factors. This includes the make and model of the vehicle, the driver’s age, driving record, credit history, and the location where the car will be driven. Factors that increase the risk of an accident, such as a driver with a history of speeding tickets or accidents, will typically result in higher insurance rates. If you’re a driver with a clean record and a safe vehicle, you’ll typically be able to get lower insurance rates.
In general, as of May 2022, the annual rate for basic liability insurance in the United States is around $1,655. If you want additional coverage, such as collision or comprehensive insurance, you can expect to pay more. If you want to get an accurate estimate of your insurance costs, make sure to shop around and get quotes from a few different companies.
Why do you need car insurance?
Car insurance helps to protect you against the financial consequences of incidents like car accidents, vandalism, and theft. It also provides a safety net in case something happens that leaves you with steep repair bills or medical expenses. Keep in mind that in most states, it’s required by law to have car insurance if you’re a car owner.
Ultimately, without car insurance, you put yourself at great risk every time you get behind the wheel. Though it may not be the most exciting thing in the world to handle insurance paperwork and payments each month, purchasing adequate coverage is a must-have when it comes to owning a car.
Is it good to have insurance on your car?
There is no question that having car insurance is a good thing. If you’re caught driving without car insurance, you can expect a fine anywhere from $100 to $1,500 depending on the state laws. In some places, you can even face consequences such as license suspension, vehicle impoundment, and even jail time.
Overall, insurance gives you peace of mind by providing coverage for medical expenses, repair costs, etc., and also prevents you from getting in trouble with the law.
- Generally speaking, you’re not allowed to insure a car that’s not in your name.
- However, if you live with someone and often drive their car, you should ask the car owner to add you to their auto insurance policy. The process is pretty straightforward since most insurance companies allow you to make changes to your policy over the phone.
- If you often drive rental cars, the liability coverage of non-owner insurance policies will offer you financial protection in the event of an accident you cause. The coverage typically includes medical expenses and property damage repair costs.
- Driving without car insurance is never a good idea. Not only is it against the law in most states, but it also puts you at risk of incurring significant costs if you are involved in an accident.
Get coverage that suits your needs
Though car insurance can be quite expensive, it provides benefits that are well worth the price. Not only does it give you peace of mind by providing coverage for fees in case of an accident, but will also keep you out of trouble with the law. While nobody enjoys paying for car insurance each month, if you want to be safe on the road, it’s definitely something that’s worth your consideration.
Keep in mind that rates can vary depending on the car insurance company. It’s worth taking the time to shop around and find the best auto insurance policy that fits your budget and needs.
View Article Sources
- Auto Insurance — Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles
- FAQs About Auto Insurance — North Carolina Department of Insurance
- Best Cheap Car Insurance | April 2022 — SuperMoney
- 10 Major Factors That Determine Your Car Insurance Premium — SuperMoney
- How to Find the Best Cheap Car Insurance — SuperMoney
- Best Auto Insurance Companies | May 2022 — SuperMoney
- How to Choose the Right Car Insurance Company — SuperMoney