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Can you buy auto insurance on a car in another state if you are not the primary driver?

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...

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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...

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Reviewed byDaniel Walker
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UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Car Insurance RatesYou can buy auto insurance in another state even if you are not a primary driver. It all depends on the situation. If you have a college student that you need to have covered, it will depend on whether the vehicle is in your name or your child’s.

Of course, you can pay for the coverage even if you pay the policy in your child’s name. A more complicated situation evolves if you are visiting and borrowing the car of someone in a state where you are just visiting.

Review the facts below and then enter your zip above to get free auto insurance quotes!

Technicalities of the Auto Insurance Laws

Car insurance coverage often follows the vehicle, but not always. In such a case you are covered when driving your friend’s car. When this is not the case, or when you want to ensure that you are covered beyond their liability limits you may want to get a non-owner’s car insurance policy.

This type of insurance policy protects you financially in the way of liability and uninsured or underinsured drivers. Such a policy will protect you from having to pay damages out of your own pocket for accidents you might cause to someone else’s car, body, or property.

If you are going to look into non-owner insurance then make sure you are getting the best rates, as these policies can run a little steep if you aren’t prepared. The first thing to do is to check with the primary driver and be sure they have a clean driving history and record, as you don’t want to be paying through the nose for their mistakes!

Make sure that you contact many companies and comparison shop by getting multiple quotes before making a decision. You can do this over the phone or even online, which is less time-consuming. Other items to discuss with the insurance company might include how often the driver uses the vehicle and for what purpose. For example, if the driver seldom uses his/her vehicle except for special occasions, then you might be able to reduce your rates.

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Besides Price, What Else Merits Consideration?

Price should not be the only area of concern. You need to be sure you are going with a reputable company and that the conditions and terms are fair before you sign on the dotted line of that contract. Always be sure you understand exactly what is covered and what is not covered in as many scenarios as you can think of. There are also many credit card companies that offer this type of insurance, so look into that possibility. Contact as many sources as you can find.

If you are unable to get non-owner insurance then you may have to find other ways around it, if possible. For example, you can ask to have the driver added onto your existing policy, and pay a percentage of the insurance bill. If you are driving the car on a regular basis, you also have the option of becoming the primary driver. If the car you are driving is a work vehicle, then you might want to ask the company if they can add you onto an existing policy. If all else fails you can apply for residency in the state.

Other Scenarios and an Online Solution

You know now that when it comes to getting car insurance in another state when you are not the primary driver that there are options. With the costs of fuel and everything else on an upward spiral these days, many people, especially students, are forgoing owning a car altogether and simply taking the bus. Some drivers are going the “healthy” route by riding bikes or segways.

Whenever these people have an occasion where they require a car then they simply go to a rental agency or borrow one from a friend. This is another scenario in which you could insure a car that you are not the primary driver of.

Of course, if you rent a vehicle then you will be dealing with the rental company or a third party insurance company and not a specialty insurance contract. In the case of borrowing another person’s car, you need your own insurance policy; perhaps a special non-owners policy, since most contracts do not allow friends to legally drive a vehicle they are not covered by. If all else fails, find out the price of the other driver’s premiums and pre-pay the insured directly using a cashier’s check.

Of course, no one wants to get into an accident, but it’s even worse when you have to pay for the damages out of your own pocket. Once you have researched the facts for yourself, it is time to contact the insurance companies and start getting quotes. You can start searching now by using  free tool below and comparing rates!

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