Can you insure a car that’s not yours? Find out how | finder.com
Car insurance for non-owners

Can I insure a car that’s not registered to me?

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You can get insurance for a car you don’t own, but it’s not going to be an easy feat.

So you’re driving a car that you don’t own and you’re looking to get an insurance policy on it. It’s challenging to get insurance for a car you don’t own if your name isn’t on the title.

Most insurance providers want to see you have insurable interest in the car, making it difficult to insure a car that’s not registered to you. But you’re not at a complete loss if you’re looking to get insurance on a car you don’t own. Compare your options for getting non-owner car insurance.

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How to get non-owner car insurance

If you don’t own a car, but need insurance to drive one, opt for non-owner car insurance. Non-owner car insurance allows you to drive someone else’s car and be protected.

Typically this insurance only provides liability coverage, not optional coverage like damage to the car, rental reimbursement or medical expenses.

But on the plus side, this type of insurance usually costs significantly less than a typical insurance policy, based on the assumption that you’ll be driving less and thus be less likely to have a wreck.

What is insurable interest?

Typically, if you own something — in this case, a car — you’re considered to have insurable interest in that item, giving you a stake in what happens to the car. If the car were to be damaged, totaled or stolen, you would suffer financial loss. Most insurance providers won’t insure your car if you cannot prove insurable interest, which is difficult if you aren’t the owner.

When would I need non-owners insurance?

  • You will be driving someone else’s car for an extended period of time and you are not listed as a driver on their insurance.
  • If you’ve gotten into trouble behind the wheel and are required to file an SR-22 or FR-44, you also might be required to obtain non-owners insurance if you intend to drive, even if you don’t own a car.
  • If you are applying for a driver’s license, some states require proof of financial responsibility even if you don’t own a car.

Add your name to the title

In some states, your name must be on the car’s title in order to insure the car. In this case, the simplest thing to is add your name to the title or transfer the title to your name.

But beware — fully transferring the title to your name comes with high taxes. It’s better to have the owner gift you the car to avoid paying extra taxes.

Prove to your insurer you need the car

Some car insurance companies will bypass their own rules if they see that there is a definite need for the car in the driver’s life. Explaining to the insurer that you need the car to drive to and from work every day because there is no public transportation available to you, and that you’ll have constant control of the vehicle, is enough to get them to write you an insurance policy.

If you live in a state where your name isn’t required to be on the registration, convince the insurance agent that you have a financial stake in the car. Be honest in your current situation and explain why you’re not able to own a car at this time but need to drive one.

Proving you have a job you need to drive back and forth to, children you need to take to and from school or some other reason will help prove to insurance providers that you have just as much stake in the car as the owner does.

How to get non-owners car insurance

  • Call your chosen or current insurer and inform the agent that you need a non-owners policy.
  • Give the agent the driver’s information and whether an SR-22 is required. In most cases, the insurance company files an SR-22 directly with your state.
  • Confirm coverage and set up payments to begin coverage.
  • Wait for proof of insurance and keep it in the car.

Shop around until you find the right company

If none of these options work for you, there are a few insurance providers out there that will write you an insurance policy, but shop around. If one provider refuses you, ask for specific reasons why to help you improve your case for that provider or another one. Companies that offer non-owner car insurance include Titan, The General, Direct, Geico and Progressive.

Name Product Description Roadside assistance New car protection Available states
Progressive covers anything on wheels! Progressive offers coverage for cars, trucks, motorcycles and snowmobiles. Even Segways are covered.
Included free
Yes, cars under 3 year old & 15,000 miles
All 50 states
Enjoy having your own dedicated agent to help you get the best discounts and coverage.
Included free
Yes, cars under 2 years old
All 50 states
Car insurance through Liberty Mutual will give coverage options for almost any situation.
Optional
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
All 50 states
Drive less than 30 miles a day? Save on the coverage you need with pay-per-mile insurance from Metromile. Get a low monthly rate then pay just a few cents per mile. Available in AZ, CA, IL, NJ, OR, PA, VA and WA.
Optional
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
AZ, CA, IL, NJ, OR, PA, VA, WA
Backed by nearly 100 years in the business, Farmers Insurance aims to offer options and support to help you find the coverage you need.
Included free
Yes, cars under 2 years old
All 50 states
Esurance offers a modern online and mobile experience that helps you take your insurance on the go. Available in 42 states.
Included free
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
All states except AK, DE, HI, MT, NH, VT, WY
Root offers simple, affordable insurance that’s ideal for good drivers. Try the Root app for 2 weeks and see how much you could save. Available in 20 states.
Included free
No
AZ, AR, DE, IL, IN, IA, KY, LA, MD, MI, MS, MT, NM, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, TX, UT
The General offers affordable coverage for nearly any driver who needs car insurance.
Optional
No
All states except Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan and New Jersey
Known for providing insurance to high-risk customers who may have trouble finding coverage elsewhere, SafeAuto offers a lot of different discounts, from those for homeowners to good drivers.
Included free
No
AZ, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MS, MO, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA
Discounts, flexible payments and a life coach that guides you to your best rates and coverage with Direct car insurance.
Optional
No
AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, MO, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA
Elephant Insurance offers low-cost auto insurance with big discounts. Breaking from the national herd could save up to 40% off your current car insurance.
Optional
Not specified
IL, IN, MD, TN, TX, VA

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Does the car's owner have to make the car insurance payment?

If you’re able to convince the owner of the car to add you to their insurance policy, this doesn’t mean that they have to make the payment each month. Make the monthly insurance payment for the owner of the car yourself. You can even set up automatic recurring payments.

Why is it so hard to insure a car that’s not mine?

If you don’t have insurable interest, then it’s hard for insurance companies to outweigh the risk of insuring someone who doesn’t own the car. The person driving the car could easily just damage the car themselves if the owner ever gets on their bad side — with no penalty to the driver of the car.

And to take it even further, if insurance companies were willing to insure cars that an individual didn’t own, then what would stop someone with a bad driving record to ask their friend to insure their car for them, in order to get a lower rate. This can easily get car insurance companies into very tricky territory.

Bottom line

While you might be able to find a way to get insurance for a car you don’t own, it might be difficult to find the optimal solution for you and the car owner. The key is to prove to insurance companies that you need to use the car and you have to be the one to set up the insurance. Compare all car insurance providers to find the right one for your situation.

Find the cheapest rates

Compare the best car insurance companies near you.

Your information is secure.

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