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Can I Insure A Car I Don't Own?

In most cases, people insure the vehicles that they own. But there are a number of circumstances where someone might want to try to insure a vehicle that is not owned by them. For example, you may need to borrow a vehicle from an elderly relative who no longer drives

or you may live abroad and may need to use a friend’s vehicle while you’re back in the country. The situations may vary, but it’s important that you get at least the minimum insurance coverage required by state law. Learn more about your options for getting the right coverage.

Insuring the vehicle

Depending on what state you live in, it may or may not be possible to insure a vehicle that is not yours. For example, in New York, it is required by law that the name on a vehicle’s registration and insurance policy match. In that state, if you take out an auto insurance policy, the name on it must match the name of the person who registered the vehicle. If you live in a state with similar laws, you should contact the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to clarify your options.

Even if your state doesn’t have a rule that prevents you from insuring a vehicle you don’t own, you will still need to prove that you have an insurable interest on the vehicle you want to insure. Insurable interest is an interest by the insured person in the value of the subject of insurance, including any legal or financial relationship. You’ll need to prove that you have a financial stake or serious reason to keep the vehicle in good condition.

Figuring Out Your Options

It might be challenging, but your first option is to prove that you have an insurable interest in the vehicle. You’ll need to prove that you have a legitimate need for this specific vehicle. As an example, if you need the vehicle as your sole mode of transportation to your job and have no other transportation options, you’ll be more likely to take care of the vehicle. It is worth noting that it can be difficult to prove insurable interest, so you may want to have a backup option available.

Another option that might be available is to get added as a driver on the owner’s policy. This is not as common if you live at a different address from the vehicle’s owner, but may be possible, depending on the circumstances. A common example of this occurs when students who live away at school are added onto their parents’ policy. You can always speak to your local agent to see if this option applies to your situation.

Depending on the circumstances, it may make sense to either transfer ownership of the vehicle to you directly or add you to the title. If ownership is transferred to you, getting insurance on the vehicle is much easier. If the vehicle’s owner doesn’t want to transfer complete ownership, you may have the option to get added to the title. The rules on this vary from state to state, so you’ll need to reference your state and local laws to see if this option applies.

You may also want to look into non-owner car insurance, which usually provides liability coverage (including bodily injury and property damage liability). This type of insurance does not provide comprehensive, collision, towing or rental reimbursement, so it may or may not necessarily be right for you. But if you frequently rent cars or are between vehicles, this may be a suitable option.

To make sure you have the right coverage that meets your needs (and adheres to state and local laws), reach out to your local agent. They will be able to help you explore all of your available insurance options and will help you get the protection that is right for your unique situation.

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