Can I Get Car Insurance on a Car That's Not in My Name?



It's a surprisingly common question: you need to drive a car, but it's not registered under your name. Maybe it's a family member's vehicle, a friend's while they're away, or a company car. Can you get insurance to cover you behind the wheel?

The short answer is: it depends, but there are options.  The traditional route of getting an auto insurance policy directly under your name won't work if you're not the car's legal owner.  However, various scenarios and specific insurance types can still protect you on the road.

Why Insuring Someone Else's Car is Tricky

Car insurance companies operate on the principle of "insurable interest."  You must have a direct financial stake in the vehicle to get a standard policy. This makes sense they want to insure people who will suffer financially if something happens to that car. As the owner, you clearly have such a stake.  However, if your name's not on the title, that financial risk isn't as immediate.

Can I Get Car Insurance on a Car That is Not in My Name

Possible Solutions

Let's look at some common situations where you might need insurance on a car not in your name, and the solutions for each:

  • Borrowing a Family Member's Car: If you live in the same household and occasionally drive a family member's car, their insurance policy likely covers you. Most policies extend coverage to resident relatives. However, it's crucial to confirm this with their insurance company, as policies vary.
  • Regularly Using Someone Else's Car: If you frequently use a car owned by a friend or family member, the safest option is to be added as a named driver on their policy. This officially extends their coverage to you. It might raise their premiums slightly, but it offers the most comprehensive protection.
  • Driving a Company Car: Organizations usually have commercial auto insurance covering their vehicles and employees who drive them for work. Verify with your employer the specific terms of their policy to ensure you're protected.
  • Renting or Borrowing Cars Often: If you don't own a car but find yourself renting or borrowing vehicles frequently, a "non-owner car insurance" policy is the way to go. This provides liability coverage when you're behind the wheel of someone else's car, protecting you in case of accidents.


Can I just not tell the insurance company the car isn't mine?

Absolutely not. This is considered insurance fraud and carries serious consequences. Being honest is always the best policy.

Does non-owner insurance cover everything?

Typically, no. Non-owner policies usually focus on liability (damage you cause to others), not physical damage to the car itself. If comprehensive coverage is important to you, being added as a named driver is better.

Important Considerations

State Laws: Insurance regulations vary between states. Research your specific state's laws regarding non-owner insurance and coverage extensions.

Insurance Company Policies: Not all insurers offer non-owner insurance policies, and some will have restrictions. Shop around and compare options.

The Car's Owner: Always have the car owner's permission and keep them updated on your insurance arrangements.


Getting insurance for a car that's not in your name is possible but requires navigating  options tailored to your situation. Transparency with insurance companies and the car's owner is crucial for ensuring your protection on the road.