Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Sep 23, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • In most instances, the registered owner and the policyholder don’t have to be the same person
  • If you have an existing coverage for your own car, you can add another vehicle to this policy at an additional cost
  • Some auto insurers might require you to have an insurable interest, which means that you stand to face financial loss if anything happened to the car
  • Therefore, some insurers may deny coverage for someone else’s car on the above grounds
  • If you are used to driving vehicles you do not own, you may want to check out non-owners vehicle insurance

Most auto insurers will need you to be the car owner or at least a listed driver to purchase car insurance. However, you can always purchase a policy for a vehicle even if you don’t meet either of the above requirements.

In this case, you don’t have anything invested in the vehicle; you will just be a financial benefactor. The payment will not benefit you in any way.

The method works in some cases, but complications will arise should the relationship between you and the car owner change. The only trustable way to protect your own use of the vehicle would be to be listed as an additional driver.

Shop and compare to get good auto insurance rates. Use our free comparison tool to get started today.

Does auto insurance follow the driver or the car?


Let’s clear something up before we get into the details. One regular query when it comes to car insurance whether the coverage follows the driver or the vehicle.

While there is no one definitive answer to this blanket question, basic auto insurance knowledge can tell you that it depends on the type of coverage, your auto insurer, and your home state.

Insurance laws and driving regulations vary from state to state. Some policies tend to follow the car while others follow the driver regardless of the car they are driving, as long as it’s an eligible one.

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Coverage Types

These policies protect the owner from losses:

  • Comprehensive if the car stolen, vandalized or destroyed in by a natural disaster
  • Collision if the vehicle crashes into something say another vehicle or any other object on the road
  • Liability this is a state-mandated form of auto insurance policy attached to the driver. This type of coverage is meant to take care of the damages as well as bodily injuries caused to other parties in the event of an at-fault accident.

Almost all states in the U.S. require drivers to carry at least the minimum liability requirements.

If an incident occurs while driving another person’s car, the damages will be taken care of by your liability coverage. You may want to pay attention the exclusions in your policy and avoid surprises.

In most cases, this question pops up when a car owner allows other people to drive his/her car.

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Purchasing a Policy for Your Child’s Car

Whether you will be able to purchase insurance for your child’s car will depend on:

  • Your ability to prove insurable interest.
  • If you are one of the vehicle’s named drivers.

You may have a hard time proving insurable interest in your child’s car. Insurable interest means that you will lose money if the vehicle is totaled.

In this case, the auto insurer may advise you to re-register the car with the new registration including both your child and yourself.

The only problem is that this may raise an issue with the DMV, especially if you don’t live under the same roof. This method may work smoothly with two unrelated people.

How to Have Someone Else Insure Your Car


  • Just because not many companies will allow this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any options at all. Ask around, don’t give up yet and try to get as many quotes as you can
  • Make sure that the specific individual is allowed by the carrier to do so
  • Authorized persons, in most cases, include employers, parents or a car rental company where applicable
  • Ask for the rates, in most instances, the rates will be higher than normal
  • You can opt for a shorter term coverage if there’s an issue with the longer term

It will be hard to successfully file a claim if the policy is not under your name. The insurer may even reject your claim if they find out that the reason you did not use your name to purchase the policy is because of your bad driving record or credit history.

The takeaway point here is always, to be honest with the insurer. Disclose everything and you will not have as many problems with the payment of a claim.

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Non-Owner Car Insurance

This is a type of insurance policy that covers people who frequently drive other people’s vehicles.

Typically, if you have the owner’s permission to drive the car, you will be covered by their insurance. However, major financial problems would arise if you get into an accident that exceeds the car owner’s liability limits.

To protect yourself from such an incident, purchasing a non-owner car insurance could be a good way to protect your home and other personal assets that become vulnerable with the occurrence of such an accident.

Typically, a non-owner coverage will come in the form of property damage and bodily injury coverage and other optional policies such as uninsured/underinsured, medical payments as well as collision and comprehensive policies.

How Much It Costs


Non-owner’s policies are cheaper than regular policies because these drivers spend a lot less time behind the wheel hence a lower chance of filing a claim.

You can buy insurance for another person, but not everywhere. Different insurers have different rules regarding the subject. Also, state laws may restrict the purchase of coverage for someone else.

However, there are many other options to acquire coverage. Whatever you choose, get and compare as many quotes as you can and significantly reduce your rates. Use our free rate tool to get started.