Can I Carry Auto Insurance for a Car if the Title is Not In My Name?

Generally, when you take out car insurance, it is assumed that the person taking out the insurance and the owner of the car are one and the same. That means that you are taking out insurance in order to protect your own vehicle, so that any damage that you are liable for will be paid out by the company.

But what if you want to take out insurance on a car that is not your own? What if you need to insure a car that you drive regularly but that belongs to someone else?

You have several options in this case and finding the right solution is an important way to avoid paying over the odds while at the same time ensuring that you are actually protected and won’t land yourself (or the car owner!) in trouble.

Let’s take a look…

What The Law Says

In most states, there is no law saying that the car insurer and owner must be one and the same. However, just because something is legal, that does not mean that it is necessarily the done thing, or that it is going to be a walk in the park… car title sample

Unfortunately, while you are technically allowed to take out insurance on a car other than your own, this is something that certain insurers don’t like and you might find as a result that it can be hard to find policies that will allow you to do the same.

What’s more, is that some policies will let you take out the insurance (most likely because you have applied online and they haven’t asked the right questions) but will then quibble the situation when you come to claim. You need to be very careful here as you are in murky territory!

Exceptional Circumstances: Title Loans

There are some exceptional circumstances where this won’t be an issue at all. One example is if you take out a title loan. A title loan is a type of loan where you will be using an asset as collateral, meaning that if you fail to pay the loan, the lender will be entitled to claim your possession.

Of course in this case, the asset in question is the car. When you take out this type of loan, you transfer the title of your car to the lender and they will then legally own your car until you finish paying off the loan. This means that you can afford a bigger loan by getting better rates – and the lender will be happy to lend you the car for those cheaper rates because they will have a form of guarantee that they will get the money back. If you struggle to pay off the loan, they will have the option to simply sell your vehicle and use that to offset the outstanding balance!

You still need to be insured however but the title is not yours. That means that in this scenario, the insurance is for a car that doesn’t legally belong to you – but most insurance companies will be familiar with this concept and will have no problem insuring your vehicle!

The big question now is what happens if you should have an accident? The answer is that the insurers will pay out in full as usual, but they will pay the money to the lender rather than to you and that money will be used to pay off some of your loan.

How to Get Insurance for Someone Else’s Vehicle

Other scenarios where you might be thinking of getting insurance for a car other than your own might be, for instance, if you wanted to insure your child to drive their car.

But this is why insurers don’t always like you to do this. When you insure your child to drive a car but use your own name and details, you are not being forthcoming in regards to the details of the driver. The insurer needs to know that they are young, because this increases the risk from their perspective and thereby increases the cost of their insurance most often.

So with that in mind, how do you go about insuring someone else’s vehicle? What is most important here is to shop around and to find a company that openly states that it will be happy to insure someone else to drive the vehicle. You can try speaking with an insurance agent, or just calling around a few insurance companies in order to discuss the possibility.

In most cases, you will need to demonstrate an ‘insurable interest’ and this might mean that you have something to lose if the car gets totalled. An example of this might be if the car was a joint purchase and the owner only wanted to take out third party insurance. Demonstrating this insurable interest can be hard though and in many cases, you might find that companies struggle to understand why you would want to take out this kind of insurance – perhaps rightly so!

The smarter option that will be more appropriate in the vast majority of cases, is to make the other person a named driver on your insurance. Here, you will insure your vehicle but you will then add the name of the driver to your policy. They will then be allowed to drive the car as though it were their own but the insurance policy will belong to you.


In most situations, this option will cover the situation and allow you to insure a car that someone else is driving and that they can legally own. Otherwise, why not just agree to pay for the insurance for the driver and get them to agree to give you the amount that you’re entitled to should there be any kind of accident? There are always ways around the situation, just make sure that the insurance company knows as much as possible about everyone driving the car and where it will be stored etc. That way, there can be no unhappy surprises when you come to claim!


  Comments: 17

  1. We picked up a car for my granddaughter,but never got it tranfered to her and now it was in an accident and it’s insured in her name on policy will her insurance cover? American FAMILY

  2. Ok so my husband and i got a newer vehichle together this year. The only vehichle between the both of us. He dont have his license so the insurance is in my name. Things have went down hill. And we are constantly in disagreement because hes very aggresive and dominant taking the vehichle. I am co signer on the loan for the car. Both of our names are on the title. But just my name on the insurance. So now he has completely overed on the car. I mention divorce to take my name of the car, or cancelling insurance and he freaks out. Im a little scared as to what he will do seriously. Any advice? I was kind of hoping i could kind of claim that on insurance as a loss praying there is some kind of loophole that they will work maybe classify it under theft ( I honestly do feel like it was stolen from me. Hes a bully.) w me somehow at least until we go to court. I really dont know what to do. Any suggestions? Please help

    • Hi Jodee just read your post regarding the vechicle.
      I have same situation with you .
      I hope you settle your situation thjs.
      And asking your advice too coz im the one paying insurance im on it but not on the title. When i ask him to put my name, he got pissed because we have an agreement that he will pay it and he would if were fighting say leave take my jeep so no fair.

    • How can he drive the car if he doesn’t have a license? That’s illegal. You can mention that in court if you want. I’d look into it with a lawyer.

  3. My daughter has a lot of tickets and a few wrecks on her record and she wants me to put full coverage insurance in my name ,can I get in trouble if she has a wreck?

    • Dianne- you won’t get in trouble, but your rates will go up if the insurance company pays the claim (your car if it gets totaled or repaired).

  4. Hello I drive my mothers car which she is financing. She lives and purchased it in Illinois. I pay for the car for her and insurance policy. I have since moved to Minnesota and want a new policy. What’s the best legal course of action

  5. DaltonDa Chambers

    My car is in my name on the title i own it.
    My mom put my car on her insurance and put me on her policy as a driver as well.
    The policy was liability insurance with sate minimums. My car was totaled by fault of the driver of the other vehicle who also had no license or insurance. Me, my 4 month daughter and pregnant fiance were all injured theres was less severe. With the policy in my moms name but me owning the car and being listed as a driver as well. And keep in mind its liability insurance but not my fault.
    What are my rights here? Am i entitled to a claim. What should i do and how should i handle my claim?

  6. My daughter is listed as a driver on my policy for a car registration in her name has paid for the past 3 years and we were just informed that her is not covered is this legal

  7. My son is buying my late husbands truck can he insure it in his name while the title remains in my husband’s name until it is paid for?

  8. I want to buy a car for my grandson. I will need to finance the car, so evidently it will be in my name. He does not reside with me, so I told his parents they would have to carry the insurance. How can they cover him if the car is in my name? He is 17 and we are in Texas. Thanks!

    • I’m trying to find out the answer to the very same question.

      • Except, my mom got a used car for my son in her name and I carry him on my insurance… I always have. Trying to see if she may experience any issues getting the title for the car since the insurance will evidently not be in her name. There were no problems nor ownership questions when requesting a quote for adding the vehicle to our policy. We’re located in North Carolina…

  9. Dianne, i’m in the same boat as you. but, i’m having a hard time finding a company to Insure the car. can you please tell me the name of a company that might Insure me…Thanks!

    • Shanon Taylor

      I would like to know of an insurancr company that will allow me to put insurance on a vehicle thats not in my name

  10. I have 3 wrecks and 2 tickets on my record and can’t afford to get insurance on the car that I’m financing so my questions is can I legally get insurance on my car in someone else’s name?

  11. Grandson’s vehicle is in my & my husband’s name. Grandson is on our auto insurance policy.

    Now, we all three agree to have grandson purchase his own policy. But do not want to change car ownership at his time. Is this possible?

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