Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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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. 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.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • In general, insurance companies don’t have a requirement to have a title for you to access auto insurance services
  • Many insurance providers in the U.S. will want you to prove that you have insurable interests in the vehicle you’re covering
  • The only way the insurer will know whether you have an insurable interest is by providing proof that you’ll suffer a loss of some kind if the car is damaged in an accident
  • If the vehicle is not registered in your name and you fail to provide proof of insurable interest, the other alternative is to acquire non-owner auto insurance

If you are in the process of purchasing a car or you just bought your car but still don’t have the title documents, you may not be necessitated to provide the title, but you can provide alternative proof of ownership like a sales agreement or transfer form.

Car insurance providers understand that some car owners may not be in a position to produce titles to their cars.

For instance, if your vehicle is financed, then it means the lienholder will retain your title until you clear the car loan. Or, if your car is leased, the leasing firm will maintain the title in their name.

It is not a mandatory requirement by the insurance companies to issue a policy cover for your car. All that the insurance firms are looking for is to know whether you have an insurable interest in the vehicle you’re trying to insure.

It simply means that you must have some financial responsibility for the car and would suffer some loss if the vehicle was to be damaged. That way you’ll be more careful on the roads and avoid any accident.

It may not be an easy task showing insurable interest on a vehicle that is not registered in your name, but you can seek alternative forms of insurance.

For example, you can have the policy registered in the names of the owner and have your name include as the driver. That way you’ll be able to pay the premiums and get covered in case of any accident or damage.

If the car is registered under your child’s name, it would still be difficult showing insurable interest. You may need to get a new registration in both names to show joint ownership for you to acquire the policy.

Seek advice from your insurance agent in case you’re not related to the car owner.

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If You’re Not Registered as a Driver

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You can still pay for car insurance premiums for a vehicle even if you’re not a registered owner and you’re not listed as a driver. However, you’ll not benefit in any way from the payments.

You are just operating as a financial benefactor and not as a person with any form of investment in the vehicle. The method works well, but trouble crops in when your relationship with the car owner changes.

Make sure you are listed as a driver on the car even if you use it occasionally.

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Proof of Insurable Interest

Proving insurable interest is to demonstrate to the insurer that you have a financial attachment to the vehicle. Those who have it are the registered owners, lienholders, and cosigners. It’s generally anyone who can register the vehicle.

It is also important in verifying to the insurer that you are not engaged in any fraudulent situation. For example, you could be insuring your brother’s car to help him access lower rates probably due to your excellent credit records.

Never try to lie to the insurance provider about the registration status of the vehicle. They usually get this information directly from the state department of motor vehicles and other third-party vendors that keep all the state’s DMV information on its behalf.

All they need is your vehicle’s registration number (VIN) which you’ll definitely give during the policy purchase.

This information verifies the following:

  • whether you have an insurable interest in the vehicle
  • the make of the vehicle
  • the model of the vehicle
  • more critical information about the vehicle

The insurer will also know from the report if your car has a branded title which can surprise you as a vehicle’s owner. A branded title means it’s a salvaged or rebuilt title and can cause serious challenges when obtaining car insurance coverage.

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Many auto insurance companies don’t offer coverage for branded titles, and some may provide liability coverage but decline to offer physical damage coverage like collision and comprehensive covers.

You need to shop around and compare quotes from different companies and see if you can find a good cover for your branded title.

How to Get a Non-Owner Car Insurance Policy

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A non-owner car insurance policy comes in handy if you’re not exclusively driving a car for an extended period. It is basically a liability policy and covers only for any damage you may cause to other cars or persons.

If you choose to go for the non-owner auto insurance policy, it is still wise to compare quotes from several insurers in your area and find the most appropriate cover for your situation.

You may be surprised that not all insurance companies offer this kind of policy. Making online inquiries and comparisons is the only way you’ll get a good deal from companies that offer such covers.

Get a range of free quotes from different insurers and see which prices suit your budget and still offer adequate auto insurance cover.

Remember that if you cause damages that surpass the policy limits you chose, you’ll be responsible for the extra cost. So, price alone may not be the only parameter to consider when selecting the right policy for your car.

If you choose to increase your policy limits in excess of the state minimum coverage, then you should be ready to pay slightly higher premiums.

Inquire from the insurance agent if that decision can earn you some discount from the insurance provider.

Some insurance companies may offer lower rates if they estimate your daily mileages to be minimal. Fewer hours on the road means less likelihood of causing accidents.

If for example, you borrow a car to drive to some rare occasions, you may qualify for such discounts and get lower rates.

When shopping for auto insurance for your car, remember to take your time and shop around comparing quotes from multiple insurance providers. Use our free rate tool to compare many insurance quotes at once.

This will ensure that you find the best rates possible and save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your premiums. Be specific about your situation and ask questions about titles and drivers to get the best possible deals.