Can I buy insurance for someone else’s car?

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Things to remember...

  • You generally need to have an insurable interest in a car in order to insure it
  • It is possible to add a car that is registered to someone else to your policy
  • A non-owner policy may be just right for you

Car insurance is an absolutely invaluable part of the driving experience. You just never know when an accident will occur, and having automobile insurance is the perfect way for you to avoid financial ruin should you be determined to be at fault after a collision.

However, you may be in a predicament where you need to insure a car that you do not own.

Insuring a car that you don’t own can happen in a number of situations, but it can be difficult to determine if it’s possible. Use this information to learn more about whether or not you can insure a vehicle that is not registered in your name.

If you’re also needing better auto insurance rates, start comparison shopping by entering your zip code above!

Insurable Interest Is the Name of the Game


The first thing you want to understand is that insurance companies usually require that you have an insurable interest in a car before you can add it to your insurance policy. This important requirement makes quite a bit of sense.

Insurable interest essentially means that you have something to lose if the vehicle is damaged in an accident.

Because you do stand to feel the pain in your pockets if the car is damaged, it’s presumed that you’ll take better care of your car and do your part to minimize the chances that you’ll be involved in a collision.

Another facet of the principle of insurable interest is that you shouldn’t stand to only gain. Without this critical aspect of the requirement, you could basically take out insurance policies for random cars on the street and get a windfall should the motorist happen to get into an accident.

Therefore, you need to be able to establish some kind of insurable interest in the car.

For example, in the case of a rental car that you plan to keep for an extended period of time, you could produce a renter’s contract, showing you as the primary driver of the rental car.

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You Don’t Have to Own the Car to Add it to Your Policy

The second point you want to remember is that you don’t have to own a car to add it to your policy.

As mentioned in the example above, you can add a rental car that you do not own to your policy, provided you can demonstrate insurable interest with the renter’s contract.

Also, there may come a time when you need to borrow a friend’s car.

The individual that you are borrowing the car from may not want to add you as an additional driver to their policy, so you’ll need to place the car on your policy.

Adding a friend’s car is generally acceptable because you can list yourself as the primary driver of the car with your insurance company.

In this instance you care about what happens to the car because it may be your only means of getting back and forth to work, running errands, or picking up your children from school.

Non-Owner Policies Are Also an Option

A non-owner policy provides liability protection in the event of an accident.

Although non-owner policies aren’t heavily marketed by insurance companies, they are out there and may just be the answer that you’ve been looking for.

There are a number of instances where a non-owner policy is ideal.

In the case mentioned above about borrowing a friend’s car, a non-owner policy may be in line. A non-owner policy will give you additional liability coverage over and above any that your friend may already have on the car.

Also, if you utilize a car-sharing service where you use a car for a specified block of hours or days, then hand it over to someone else, a non-owner policy can be a great means of protection.

Keep in mind that non-owner policies are typically strictly liability, meaning that they will only cover damage done to the car or body of the other party. If you damage the car and it’s determined that you’re at-fault, you may be on the hook to take care of your own damages.


Even if you don’t own a vehicle, there are a number of options available to you.

The next time you wonder about whether you can add insurance to a car you don’t own, remember these tips so you’ll know what to do.

If you are looking to compare auto insurance rates, start comparison shopping with our FREE online quote tool! Enter your zip code below to get started!

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