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Can you insure someone else's car?


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Question: Can I insure my son’s car?  He lives me and lets me drive his car but will be moving out soon.  

Answer: Insuring a car that isn’t titled or registered in your name can be tricky.  You really have to search and find the right car insurance company for your needs.

Typically, to place a vehicle on your policy you must have an insurable interest in it.  This basically means you would suffer an economic loss if the car was damaged or totaled out.  Since it’s your son who would suffer financially if the car were harmed, it’s harder for you to be the one to insure the car. (See “You don’t need title to insure a car.”)

The easiest solution is for you to get your name on the title of the car. 

With your name on the title, either from buying or being gifted the car from your son, or even him merely placing your name on the title as a co-owner, then you’d have an insurable interest in the vehicle and should have no problem getting your own car insurance policy for it.

If your son is reluctant to sign over the car or add your name to the title but will allow you to remain the primary driver of his car once he moves out, then you’ll need to search for an insurance company that doesn’t require the policyholder to have an insurable interest in the vehicle being insured.

Drivers in your situation have to spend time comparison shopping to find the company that will work with them and their needs. While most auto insurance providers require insurable interest, there are ones that don’t.  We work with two companies, Progressive and Titan,  that allow this in certain circumstances.

If you’re unable to find an insurance company in your area that allows you to insure the car or the car is financed and your son must remain as the policyholder on the insurance for it, then see if you and your son can find an insurance company that will allow him to be the policyholder but have you listed as the named insured. 

With such a policy, your son still would be listed as being the one with a financial interest in the vehicle, but the policy would be rated based on you being the primary driver.  Thus, it would be using your driving record, mileage and garaged location for the vehicle that would be used to determine the premium.

Because it’s more difficult to obtain a car insurance policy in your situation, it may be tempting when shopping for insurance not to divulge that your son is the car owner, but that is a very bad idea. 

You don’t want an auto insurer to be able to deny claims and perhaps void the policy, due to falsehoods you gave to it about your situation.   Giving incorrect information is material misrepresentation, a form of insurance fraud. 

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