Can you insure a car that is not in your name?

Most insurance companies won’t let you insure a car that you don’t own. However, other options are available, like non-owner car insurance, co-titling, or adding your name to the car insurance policy.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about home, life, and car insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and C...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent Laura Walker

UPDATED: Mar 14, 2022

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The Rundown

  • Most car insurance companies will not let you insure a car that isn’t in your name, but some may allow you to if you can prove insurable interest
  • Since insuring a car you don’t own can be expensive and risky for the car owner, it isn’t always a good idea to insure a car that isn’t in your name
  • Some alternatives to insuring a car that isn’t registered to you are non-owner car insurance, co-titling the vehicle, and adding your name to the car owner’s insurance policy

If you’re looking into insuring a car that isn’t in your name, the process isn’t easy. You won’t be able to insure a car that isn’t in your name more often than not. Even when it is possible, insuring a car that isn’t registered to you can cause a lapse in coverage for the vehicle owner.

However, there are some cases where you may be able to insure a car that isn’t registered to you. In these cases, you’ll usually have to prove insurable interest.

So, can you insure a car that is not in your name? What are some other options if I can’t manage to insure a car that isn’t registered to me?

Keep reading for all the information you need to know on how to insure a car that isn’t registered to you.

Looking for ways to insure a car that isn’t in your name? Enter your ZIP code above to get free quotes from the top car insurance companies in your area.

Can I insure a car not registered to me?

Most of the time, insuring a car that isn’t in your name will be very difficult. Not only do you have to prove insurable interest, but some states won’t allow you to insure a car if it isn’t registered to you.

For example, to insure a car in New York, it must be registered in your name. However, even when possible, insuring a car that isn’t in your name isn’t always the best idea.

If you can insure a car that isn’t in your name, the car owner would likely experience a lapse in their insurance, which can be expensive to deal with.

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What is insurable interest?

In the context of insuring a vehicle that isn’t in your name, insurable interest means that you would experience a loss if the vehicle became damaged or unusable.

Proving insurable interest is necessary to prove that you have a valid reason to insure a vehicle that isn’t registered to you. Establishing insurable interest is often complicated, but it helps to prevent insurance fraud.

If you are not the vehicle’s registered owner, proving insurable interest will likely be very difficult. However, if you can prove insurable interest, you would be compensated for any damage to the vehicle, even if it wasn’t registered to you.

Can you insure a car you don’t own if you prove insurable interest?

You may be able to insure a car that isn’t in your name with an insurable interest, but some companies may not allow you to do this even with insurable interest. Certain states like New York may also have restrictions on proving insurable interest.

Usually, insurable interest is difficult to prove. Most car insurance companies require you to submit the vehicle’s pink slip to demonstrate insurable interest.

If you don’t have the pink slip, the odds that you prove insurable interest and insure a car you don’t own will be very low. In this case, you may have to start thinking of alternatives.

What are alternatives to insuring a car you don’t own?

There are a few different options you can choose from if you can’t insure a car that isn’t registered to you.

Non-owner auto insurance is a good alternative if you cannot insure a car you don’t own. Essentially, non-owner insurance allows you to have basic liability car insurance coverage. If you get into an accident using another person’s car, liability coverage will help pay for injuries the other driver received or damage caused to their property.

However, non-owner car insurance does not cover collision or comprehensive coverage because if you’re driving a vehicle that isn’t registered to you, you don’t own a car with coverage.

Other coverage options include personal injury protection, rental car coverage, and uninsured motorist liability coverage. Though the rates for non-owner car insurance policies can vary, non-owner car insurance typically costs 5% to 15% less than traditional policies do.

Co-titling is another option that allows you to add an owner to a car. With this option, you can have partial ownership of the vehicle, but you will most likely need to jointly apply for a new title.

If the car hasn’t yet been paid off, you probably won’t be able to co-title the vehicle. You’ll also need to keep in mind that some states may not have this option.

You can also add your name to the car owner’s insurance policy. To do this, you’ll need the permission of the car owner. However, some car insurance companies may not allow you to add your name to the policy even with permission from the car owner.

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What’s the bottom line on insuring a car that isn’t in your name?

In most cases, you won’t be able to insure a car that isn’t in your name. You may be able to insure a car you don’t own if you can prove insurable interest, but this is often very difficult and proves to be very expensive for the car owner to deal with.

If you decide to prove insurable interest, you’ll likely need to have the vehicle’s pink slip. However, if you don’t own the car, proving insurable interest won’t be easy.

If you want to have coverage on a car you don’t own, other options include non-owner car insurance, co-titling the car, and adding your name to the car owner’s insurance policy. Non-owner car insurance is typically 5% to 15% less expensive than the average car insurance policy, but rates vary.

Each state and car insurance company has different rules on insuring a car that isn’t in your name and proving insurable interest, so you’ll need to keep that in mind when choosing an option.

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