Can I transfer my auto insurance to another person?

You can transfer auto insurance to another person. The most common cases involve the third party sale of a vehicle. Average auto insurance rates are around $118/mo. in the U.S.

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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 and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • There are several instances where an individual can transfer his/her car insurance to another person
  • The most common situations where you can transfer insurance from one person to another are during the change of car ownership
  • Managing your auto insurance transfer is a fairly simple process in the United States; all you have to do is produce original documents
  • Inform the insurance company about the transfer in due time to give a chance to process your request
  • Failure to complete the car insurance transfer process may result in unwanted insurance complications later

All states in the US require citizens to carry some form of car insurance when they drive; it is illegal to drive without the minimum level of liability requirement pretty much everywhere in the world.

There are several circumstances that might call for the transfer of auto insurance from one person to another in the United States.

As long as you have proper documentation, this transfer should be a fairly simple process. Transfer of insurance can be temporary or permanent, depending on the situation as well as your auto insurance policy.

If your insurance policy extends protection to driving another car, this process won’t be necessary.

Here are primary reasons for the transfer of insurance from one person to another in the US:

  • Transfer of ownership from one person to another through the sale of second-hand cars
  • If you are in no condition to drive, either due to health issues or complications for old age
  • Some insurers will transfer your insurance coverage from your vehicle to another car if you currently don’t have access to your vehicle

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Short-Term Transfer of Insurance

Also known as a temporary transfer, a short-term transfer of insurance is necessary when a driver doesn’t have access to his/her car and is not insured to drive another vehicle.

Some insurers will offer you a short term transfer of insurance in situations such as when you take your car to the garage for repairs or general maintenance.

This way, you will be able to drive another vehicle with sufficient protection as long as the car does not belong to your employer or it is not a lease.

Typically, rental cars are fully insured by the car company, so you don’t have to worry about that.


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Transfer of Ownership

At some point in your life, you will need to sell your car to someone, perhaps because you need to upgrade to a new car or maybe you are broke, and you need to make some extra cash.

In other cases, you need to buy a second-hand car from a friend or someone you just met because you badly need a car and don’t have the financial ability to buy a new one at the moment.

Whatever the situation is, to be able to sell or buy a second-hand car without issues you need to handle related paperwork properly, and that includes the transfer of insurance alongside the transfer of ownership and the relevant documents.

Transfer of Ownership

Step One

Have the relevant vehicle documentation with you. Proper documentation of the car includes:

  • Registration documents
  • Ownership title
  • A copy of the existing insurance coverage
  • A document declaring your willingness to sell the car

The first two documents are the most important in the exchange of car ownership. These documentation requirements are standard across all US states.

Step Two

Inform the Department Of Motor Vehicles about the transfer of ownership.

The person selling the car, the original car owner, should inform the department about the transfer of the car.

It is the department of motor vehicles that will indemnify the original owner of any liability attached to the vehicle such as criminal, tax, legal issues as well other problems.

Once the ownership of the vehicle has changed, you have to follow up with the insurance company, otherwise, the policy will be voided.

For an auto insurance policy to remain valid, the names on the ownership documents as well as the insurance documents of the car have to match.

While still getting to understand the process of transferring insurance, the second step will be to collect a bill of sale as well as the title of the newly bought vehicle. The money has already changed hands, the car in the garage looking good and you can’t wait to take it for a spin.

All that is left is for both parties to prepare the proof of insurance and sign the ownership title. At this time, you still can’t legally drive the vehicle. You have to submit these documents to the local department of motor vehicles.

— Step Three

The third and final step is to submit the documents to the department and inform the insurer. The two parties will make contact.

Still, don’t make the mistake of driving the vehicle without the whole set of relevant credentials.

You don’t want to get involved in an accident while not carrying the complete set of documents.

Call the insurance agency and initiate the transfer of liability to the buyer and make sure that you get a document proving transference to present to your local department of motor vehicle’s office, who will then clear your car.

The new owner can now start shopping for a better insurance policy for the car. They can compare quotes from different auto insurance providers and start taking appropriate measures unless they wish to stick with the insurer.

Remember that failing to complete the procedures outlined for the transfer of insurance will result in no compensation in case of an accident.

If the car ownership documents don’t match with whatever is on the insurer’s records, the carrier will automatically decline the claim.

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