Can I Insure a Car Not Under My Name?

While you can’t directly insure a car you don’t own, you can be added to the owner’s title or insurance policy.
Written by Jessica Barrett
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Generally speaking, you cannot insure a car you don’t own—though there are exceptions depending on where you live and the insurance company you choose.
Whether you’ve been gifted a car or are borrowing a friend’s car, in some circumstances you may want to get insurance on someone else’s vehicle. This is possible in a few situations, but it’s not as straightforward as just signing up for a new policy. You’ll need to add your name to the title, get added to the owner’s insurance, or get non-owner insurance. 
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shopping app, will explain the ins and outs of insuring a car that is not in your name. 
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What is insurable interest?

Having insurable interest in something means you have some kind of stake in the object in question—in this case, a car. Before insuring you, companies want to make sure you have insurable interest in whatever you’re insuring. In fact, most companies require proof of insurable interest before they’ll cover you. 
Insurable interest assures insurance companies that you have a financial stake in protecting the car they’re insuring. This is why you can’t normally insure a vehicle that isn’t registered in your name—unless you have proof of insurable interest
While some companies may allow it under special circumstances, certain states actually forbid it.

Why would you insure a car you don’t own?

There are quite a few reasons someone would want to insure a car they don’t technically own. Let’s look at some of them. 

Renting a car

Your own insurance should
extend to a rental car
—unless you don’t have full coverage. In that case, you’ll want to buy insurance through the rental company directly. 
Buying insurance through the rental company may be mandatory if you aren’t able to show proof of full coverage to the rental company. However, rental cars are automatically covered by the state’s minimum requirements.

Car-sharing services

Many car-sharing services lack sufficient liability insurance to pay for all possible expenses from an accident. Having coverage on a car you don’t own would help cover the extra costs and reduce out-of-pocket expenses.
MORE: How different kinds of cars affect your car insurance rates

Borrowing frequently

When borrowing someone else’s car for short amounts of time, you’re typically covered under the owner’s insurance under permissive use. 
In the event of an extended borrow, however, it’s safest to add the borrower to the owner’s insurance policy. This will make it easier and cheaper in the event of an accident. 
Pro Tip: If you’re borrowing a car regularly, it’s a good idea to notify the insurer to avoid any mishaps in the future, like denied claims due to misrepresentation.

Gifted vehicles

If you’re gifted a car, insurance solutions will vary depending on the situation. If you share an address with the giver (i.e. parents), you can typically keep the vehicle on their insurance and have yourself added to their policy. 
If you’re over 18 years old or live at a different address, you’ll probably need your own policy. No rush, though—there’s usually a few weeks of leeway given in this situation. 

Company cars

If you drive a
car that your company owns
, you don’t have personal insurable interest in the car. In this case, your company will need to add you as a driver to their insurance policy. 
As an employee, you should never be expected to take out a personal policy on a company car you don’t own. If you’re the business owner, you’ll need a business auto insurance policy—not a personal one. 
Drivers may also want to insure a car they don’t own if they’re trying to avoid a lapse in insurance coverage, which can lead to higher rates when resuming coverage.  

How to insure a car that’s not under your name

Even if you don’t personally own the title to a car, there may still be a few ways to insure it. Here are a few methods to get around a lack of insurable interest.

Get added to the registration or title 

Also called co-titling, this option involves gaining partial ownership of the vehicle. The process will vary from state to state, but you and the owner will likely need to
apply for a new title
Co-titling isn’t permitted for a lease or if the vehicle hasn’t been paid off yet. 

Get added to the owner’s insurance 

After co-titling, you may have the option to be added to the co-owner’s insurance policy. This usually requires that you both live at the same address or have proof of insurable interest. 
This route is popular for college students, but it does come with higher premiums due to risk. Each location comes with specific risks—and therefore specific premiums for that area. 
This may be a good option for families with nannies who frequently drive the family vehicle as well. Even if the nanny doesn’t live at the same address, some insurance companies will list them as a non-resident driver.

Buy non-owner insurance 

Non-owner policies
are for those who drive others’ cars and don’t have insurance themselves. These policies are limited, however, offering only standard
liability coverage
. You may be able to add
personal injury protection
in some cases but never collision or comprehensive coverage.
Non-owner insurance is a good option for drivers who rent frequently, drivers trying to avoid a lapse in coverage, or drivers who need
FR44 insurance

Add the other driver to your policy 

If co-titling isn’t for you, you might be able to add the owner of the car in question to your existing insurance as additional interest, which means they also have some stake in the vehicle being insured. 
Adding the owner as additional interest shouldn’t raise the premium since it’s only stating that another person has insurable interest in the car. In the event of an accident, however, the claims check would be issued to whoever owned the vehicle. 
Admittedly, none of these choices are ideal, but they are much better than the alternative: being uninsured. If your insurance company won’t allow any of these options, it’s time to
shop around
for new coverage.
While you may be tempted to get around the issue by not notifying your insurance company at all, lying or omitting crucial information to your insurer can come with serious consequences, like breaking the law or becoming uninsurable.

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