Can you get insurance without a title? The short answer is yes. You might have to purchase a non-owner policy and add the registered vehicle owner to the policy. Your insurance rates won’t be affected by your title status.
Buying Insurance Without a Title
If you have a valid driver’s license and you need insurance coverage because you drive someone else’s car, an insurance company can provide you with coverage. They’ll also sell you a policy if you’re in the process of leasing or buying a car for yourself. If you do buy a vehicle, you’re required by law to insure it. When you pay for a car in full, according to AutoInsurance.org, you have 15 to 30 days to provide proof of ownership to your insurance provider.
As Car Insurance Comparison notes, most insurance companies will provide you with insurance if you have an insurable interest in a vehicle that someone else owns. Insurable interest refers to any financial responsibility you have for the vehicle or if damage to the vehicle would negatively affect you in any way.
Let’s say you’re in the process of buying a car, and the dealership requires that you show proof of insurance before they’ll complete the sale. Of course, you won’t have a title for your car yet, but you can still qualify for insurance. As CompareCarInsurance.com points out, you can prove to your provider that you have an insurable interest once you register the vehicle.
When you’re buying a new car, your insurance provider will issue an assurance to the dealership stating that you’ll be insured as soon as you make your first premium payment. If you frequently borrow someone else’s car, you can purchase a liability policy, which will protect you if you’re at fault for an accident when you’re driving their car.
Circumstances Where Non-Titleholders Need Insurance
According to CompareCarInsurance.com, there are quite a few circumstances where you’ll need insurance on a vehicle but you’re not the titleholder. These include:
- You’re leasing your vehicle. If you’re leasing your car, truck, or SUV, the lending company is the titleholder.
- You’re financing your vehicle with a lending company. Your lender is the titleholder until you pay your car off. Then the title transfers to you.
- You take out a title loan. A title loan is a loan that requires you to put up your vehicle title as collateral. The lender owns your vehicle until you repay the loan. If you’re in an accident before you repay the loan, your insurance company pays the lender.
- You inherit a vehicle. If you inherit a vehicle, your insurance company will typically give you 30 days to provide proof of ownership.
Insuring a Car That’s Not In Your Name
Depending on the situation, an insurance company will let you insure a vehicle that’s not in your name. However, as Car Insurance Comparison points out, a provider will usually require you to show proof that you have an insurable interest in the vehicle. Insurance companies want to make sure that the policyholder is going to take care of the vehicle. They’re also wary about non-titleholders committing insurance fraud. A car insurance company is more likely to let you insure a car that’s not in your name if:
- You prove an insurable interest in the vehicle.
- You add the owner of the vehicle to your policy.
- You purchase a non-owner’s policy.
- You’re already named on the owner’s insurance policy.
- You live at the same address as the owner.
An insurance company will refuse you a policy if:
- You don’t have an insurable interest in the vehicle.
- You can’t legally drive in the state where the vehicle is registered.
- The car owner doesn’t give you permission to insure the vehicle.
How to Insure a Car You Don’t Own
According to Bankrate, if you want to insure a car you don’t own, there are a few approaches to take. These include:
- Live at the same address. If you already live at the same address, it’s easy for the vehicle owner to contact their insurance company and tell them to add you to the insurance policy. Insurance companies understand that roommates and relatives are likely to borrow each other’s vehicles and need to be covered when they’re driving someone else’s vehicle.
- Get added to the owner’s policy. This overlaps with the first approach unless you don’t live at the same address as the owner. Keep in mind that some insurance companies won’t let a vehicle owner add a driver if they don’t live at the same address. However, if the owner’s provider allows them to add non-residents to a policy, this is an option.
- Add the owner’s name to your policy. You can add the vehicle owner’s name to your policy if you prove to your provider that you have the owner’s permission. Remember that adding drivers to your policy can result in a premium increase.
If the above options end up not working, consider doing the following:
- Have the vehicle owner add you to the title. In most states, you can sign on to a vehicle title as the co-owner. That would make you a legal owner of the vehicle and show your insurance provider that you have an insurable interest.
- Find another transportation method. If you live in an area that has reliable public transportation, this might be a more viable alternative than trying to insure someone else’s vehicle. Even if buses or taxis aren’t readily available where you live, you can consider using a service like Lyft or Uber. Keep in mind that using public transportation or a rideshare service can get expensive if you use it often.
- Have the owner transfer the vehicle title to you. If the owner rarely uses the vehicle, they might be willing to transfer ownership over to you. If you’re the sole owner, it will be much easier for you to insure the vehicle.
- Purchase a non-owner insurance policy. A non-owner car insurance policy provides basic liability coverage when you’re driving someone else’s vehicle. You cannot purchase comprehensive or collision coverage with a non-owner policy.
Whether you should insure someone else’s vehicle depends on your specific needs. Be sure to discuss the issue with the owner.
Check this out if you need additional information, resources, or guidance on car insurance.
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