Can you buy auto insurance for someone else?

No law prevents you from buying insurance for someone else's car, but not all companies permit it. Read on to learn the specifics of insuring someone else's car.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Jun 10, 2022

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Things to remember

  • In the U.S., no state law prevents people from paying for auto insurance coverage for vehicles not registered in their name
  • You may purchase car insurance for someone else, but you’re generally required to have a legitimate reason to add another’s vehicle to your coverage plan
  • You may include a vehicle registered in someone else’s name in your auto insurance policy

No matter where you live in the U.S., you can buy insurance for someone else’s car. While all states in the U.S. have their own unique set of auto insurance laws, no state legally prevents individuals from insuring a vehicle.

The minimum car insurance required in each state varies. However, almost all states require drivers to employ some type of auto insurance coverage, and insurance companies can choose whom they provide services for. If you attempt to insure a car, not in your name, your auto insurance company can refuse to add it. Most companies have specific guidelines detailing whose vehicles they will insure.

When can you buy insurance for someone else’s car? 

Since no law will prevent you from doing so, most insurance companies will accept your attempt to pay for another driver’s car insurance under certain circumstances. Most cases will require you to have a relationship with the driver of the vehicle you are attempting to insure. Usually, legitimate circumstances fall into two categories: familial matters and close friendships.

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Can you buy auto insurance for a family member?

Family matters include purchasing insurance for your immediate family members.

Your Legal Guardians Have Several Vehicles 

You can be covered under your parents’ car insurance, assuming they have a driver’s license. If you move out of your parent’s home, you may have to purchase a new auto insurance policy to insure the vehicle.

You Are the Legal Guardian of a Teenage Driver 

If you are a parent or legal guardian of a teen driver, you can add your teenager to your policy or purchase a new one for them. However, insurance providers will usually not provide individual auto insurance to teenagers because of the high risk that new drivers carry.

Can you buy auto insurance for a friend?

Close friendships require a legitimate insurable interest before you may purchase coverage for your friend.

Your Friend Owns a Car They Do Not Use

If you have a friend who has multiple vehicles and you borrow their unused car for some time, you will be responsible for purchasing auto insurance coverage for that vehicle.

Your Other Friend Owns the Vehicle in Question

You can purchase an auto insurance policy for a friend if they cannot operate a vehicle because of conflict with the law. However, you will need your friend’s consent before you may purchase auto insurance coverage. Bear in mind that if your friend isn’t legally allowed to drive, the insured vehicle should only be operated by drivers who are in good standing with the law.

You Are a Cosigner

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a cosigner pledges to pay back a loan if you do not. Typically, cosigners are parents, close family members, or close friends.

In other words, co-signing a car loan binds you to the financial responsibility of the loan assuming the individual you sign with fails to pay. When you co-sign, you can add the vehicle to your policy. You can also purchase a coverage plan for the vehicle.

What is insurable interest?

Additionally, insurance companies usually require individuals to have an insurable interest in a vehicle before adding it to their insurance policy. Insurable interest acts as proof that you have something to lose in the event of an accident.

Your insurance company will also ensure that you will not exploit the insurable interest principle before offering you auto insurance coverage for another driver’s vehicle. If auto insurance companies do not investigate an insurable interest claim, people may take out insurance policies for random people and financially benefit should they end up in a collision.

In short, auto insurance companies require you to establish a legitimate insurable interest before providing services to you. For example, if you rent a car you will be using for a significant amount of time, you may authorize a renter’s contract.

A renter’s contract will confirm to an insurance company that you are the sole motorist of the rental vehicle and will not exploit any insurance claims. In this case, you may purchase insurance from rental car insurance companies.

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What are my options while buying auto insurance for someone else?

You have two options if you wish to provide auto insurance for another driver’s car. First, you can look into buying a separate plan for another motorist’s car. Second, you may add another driver’s car to a coverage plan you already have.

Generally, adding another car to your auto insurance policy is quick and simple. In fact, adding a second car to your insurance is cheaper than purchasing a new plan. However, some auto insurance companies may restrict how many cars you can cover under your coverage plan.

The first option is also relatively simple. You may purchase a separate coverage plan for another driver’s vehicle. It is not required for both the motorist whose name is on the vehicle and the buyer of a plan to be identical.

Dodging Issues While Providing Car Insurance for Someone Else’s Vehicle

Whether you add another driver’s vehicle to your existing auto insurance plan or purchase a separate auto insurance policy, ensure that you honestly provide any information the company requests. If you fail to be honest, you risk losing your auto insurance policy altogether.

Remember to review the following before you submit a request to add a vehicle to your plan or attempt to purchase a separate policy for another driver:

  • Completely know the conditions of your auto insurance policy 
  • Ensure you have a legitimate interest to make an insurance policy claim 
  • Accurately and honestly provide car ownership information 
  • Honesty is necessary

The Bottom Line on Buying Auto Insurance for Someone Else

Most states require all active drivers to obtain legitimate auto insurance coverage. However, no states have statutes that prevent individuals from providing coverage for a vehicle they do not own. Although contingent on an auto insurance company’s internal guidelines, you can buy insurance for someone else’s car with a legitimate insurable interest.

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