You can insure a car that is not in your name in some states but not everywhere. Insuring a car that is not in your name depends on two things: state laws and insurable interest. Some require the names on a car’s insurance policy and registration to match. If they do not, then you won’t be able to insure that car. Other states, such as California and Florida, do not have that rule, making it possible to insure a car that is not in your name.
In order to insure a car that you don’t own on paper in states that allow mismatching names on a car’s insurance policy and registration, you will need to show that you have an “insurable interest” in the vehicle. That basically means you have a reason to insure that particular car.
If you own a car, it is viewed as your investment, which you have reason to protect with insurance coverage. If you do not own a car, then it becomes trickier to prove insurable interest. However, if you are able to demonstrate that the car is pertinent to your daily life or your work, you might be able to find a policy.
When You Can and Can’t Insure a Car That Is Not In Your Name
- You can insure a car that is not in your name if you live in a state that does not have the matching-name requirement, and if you can demonstrate insurable interest in the car.
- You cannot insure a car that is not in your name if you live in a state that requires the names on a car’s insurance and registration to match, such as New York, and you are unable to demonstrate insurable interest in the car.
If you still need to insure a car that is not listed in your name, especially in a state that requires insurance and registration to match, you can consider some of the following alternatives:
Co-Title - You should consider being added as an owner on the car’s registration, if possible. A car can have more than one owner, and they do not have to live together.
Additional Interest - You can consider adding the car’s nominal owner to your insurance policy under what is known as an additional interest. An additional interest simply states that someone else has an insurable interest in the vehicle. If you’ve ever financed a car using a bank loan, the bank was listed as having additional interest in your car, even if it didn’t actively use the car.
Additional Driver - If possible, the owner of the car can add you to their insurance policy as an additional driver. This is recommended in situations where you live with the owner of the car you wish to drive.
Non-Owner Insurance - A non-owner insurance policy is a liability-only policy that provides coverage if you are driving a car you do not own. This policy supplements the primary policy of the car.
If you do not live with the owner of the car you plan to drive, pursuing a non-owner insurance policy might be the easiest approach to ensuring you are covered in case of an accident.
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