Can You Get Car Insurance for a Car You Don’t Own?

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You can get car insurance for a vehicle you don’t own, but only in certain scenarios and with approval by your insurance company. For example, you typically have to prove you have a financial stake in the car or add your name to the auto insurance policy or vehicle registration.

If you find yourself in a situation where your insurer won’t let you purchase a car insurance policy, it might make sense to shop around for one that will. Insuring a car you don’t own isn’t easy, but we’ll cover four ways you might be able to get coverage and what you need to know about non-owner car insurance.

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4 Ways to Insure a Car You Don’t Own

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You can’t insure a car you don’t own just because you want to — it depends on whether your insurance company allows it. If your company does, here are four ways to insure a vehicle when you’re not the owner.

Get added to the owner’s auto policy

If you live at the same address as the car owner, they might be able to add you as a driver on their auto insurance policy. Listing you as a driver now can make it easier in the future if you get into a car accident while using the owner’s car.

Keep in mind, though, that adding a driver to an insurance policy can increase the owner’s premium, especially if you’re a high-risk driver. Auto insurers use factors like your age and driving history to determine rates.

State an insurable interest

Most car insurance companies won’t insure a vehicle you don’t own unless you can prove you have an insurable interest, or financial stake, in the car. For example, if you’re a co-signer on the loan, you’d likely experience financial issues if the vehicle gets damaged or totaled.

If your name is already on the registration, it automatically proves your insurable interest. But if you can’t show your financial stake in the vehicle, the insurance company might not approve a policy in your name.

Add your name to the car title or registration

Another way to insure someone else’s car is to have them add your name to the vehicle registration or title. Most states allow more than one name on the car title, and this might be the right choice if you regularly drive the vehicle for personal use. The cost and process to get a new title or registration vary by state.

Buy a non-owner insurance policy

If you regularly drive a car you don’t, a non-owner car insurance policy may be the right fit. Non-owner coverage can provide liability insurance for a car you don’t own on top of the owner’s existing policy.

But this type of coverage has some limitations you should be aware of before buying a non-owner policy, which we explain in the next section.

What You Should Know About Non-Owner Car Insurance

Non-owner car insurance is a good option if you regularly borrow someone else’s car or drive rental cars frequently. It covers injuries and property damage you cause to others in an accident if they exceed the car owner’s policy limits. A basic policy provides liability insurance, but in some states, you can also add:

Understanding how non-owner car insurance works, who it’s best for, and where to buy it can help you decide whether this type of car insurance coverage is right for you.

When to buy non-owner car insurance

If you don’t have your own car but still need proof of insurance to drive, it might make sense to buy non-owner car insurance. Here are some examples of when it’s a good idea:

  • You drive a borrowed car. If you regularly drive someone else’s car, such as a neighbor, family member, or friend, you should consider a non-owner auto policy.
  • You use car-sharing services. A non-owner policy could be right for you if you frequently use services such as Turo or ZipCar and need additional liability protection.
  • You want more liability coverage than the owner’s policy provides. If you cause an auto accident that exceeds the owner’s liability limits, you can protect yourself financially with a non-owner policy.
  • You want to avoid a lapse in coverage. Your insurance history is a factor insurers use to determine rates. A gap in your recent history can increase your premium, but buying a non-owner policy can prevent a future car insurance increase.

A non-owner policy isn’t necessary if you don’t have a driver’s license or if a household member can add you to their policy.

Where to buy non-owner car insurance

Non-owner auto insurance isn’t available online, so you’ll have to call the insurance company to get a quote and purchase coverage. These insurers offer non-owner coverage and are a good place to start:

How much does a non-owner policy cost?

The average cost of non-owner car insurance depends on factors like your age, driving history, and ZIP code. But since a non-owner policy covers you and not a specific make and model of vehicle, it’s usually cheaper than a standard car insurance policy.

The average full-coverage insurance policy costs $176 per month, while basic liability coverage costs an average of $92 per month, according to data. But keep in mind that high-risk drivers pay higher rates than drivers with a clean record. And adding coverages like PIP or MedPay costs extra.

Non-owner policies don’t provide collision or comprehensive coverage, so if you damage the owner’s vehicle, you’ll have to pay out of pocket to fix it. You won’t have to pay a deductible for a liability claim, but you may pay one for uninsured motorist or PIP coverage.

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Why It’s Difficult to Insure a Car You Don’t Own

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Insuring a car you don’t own is challenging because you must prove you have a valid reason for doing it. Here are some issues you might come across:

  • Proving insurable interest: You must prove that you would suffer financially if the vehicle got into an accident. If you aren’t one of the vehicle owners, you could prove insurability as a co-signer or parent of a minor who owns the car.
  • State laws: Some states, such as New York, require the names on the vehicle registration and insurance policy to match. Most states don’t have this requirement, which makes it easier to prove insurability if you aren’t on the car title or registration.
  • Fraud risk: Attempting to get insurance coverage on a vehicle you don’t own can be a red flag for insurance companies because of potential fraud risk. For instance, you could purchase a policy on your family member’s car and then crash it to get the insurance payout. One way companies can combat fraud is by verifying insurable interest before issuing a policy to a non-owner.
  • Inconvenient for the vehicle’s owner: An existing policy on someone else’s car could make it harder for the owner to get insurance. For example, California doesn’t require the vehicle registration to match the name on the insurance card, but you must have insurance to register the car. It could be more difficult for the owner if you already have a policy in place when they want to insure it themselves.

FAQs About Insuring a Car You Don’t Own

Insuring a car you don’t own is difficult but not impossible. Below are answers to the most common questions about insuring a vehicle owned by someone else.

Can you insure your car under a parent’s name?

It depends. You can insure your car under a parent’s name if the parent is a co-owner of the vehicle. Some states and insurance companies will also allow you to insure your vehicle under your parent’s policy if you live at the same address and garage the car there.

Can someone else insure your financed car?

It depends. If the other person can prove they have an insurable interest in the financed car, they can insure it. But most lenders will want the person financing the vehicle listed as a policyholder. States and auto insurance companies may also have differing rules.

Does non-owner car insurance cover a rental car?

Non-owner car insurance can provide liability coverage when you rent a car, but not physical damage coverage for the rental car. So, if you cause an accident, the policy will cover the other person’s repairs and injuries but not damage to your rental car. You’d need separate comprehensive or collision coverage for this.

Can a car be on your insurance but registered to someone else?

Yes, if you can prove your interest in the vehicle. New York is the only state that requires car registration and insurance policies to match. But insurance companies may have different rules that require the names to match, making it harder to insure a vehicle not in your name.

Can someone else insure your car if the title is under your name?

Yes, though the answer may differ in some states or for some car insurance companies. An insurance company might not allow someone else to insure your car if they don’t have an insurable interest. It might also complicate an auto insurance claim because of the different names, and the insurer will probably pay the policyholder.


  1. Insurance Information Institute, “Rental car insurance,” Accessed April 18, 2024.

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