Does car insurance need to match the titled owner of the vehicle?

July 26, 2017 · Posted in FAQ 
car insurance
j_l_t_1984 asked:

I am borrowing a “spare” car from my mother for about six months. Do I need to go through the process of transferring the title to my name, or can I just put insurance on it under my own policy and be “okay” legally? BTW, I live in Texas.

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6 Responses to “Does car insurance need to match the titled owner of the vehicle?”

  1. tskelton155 on September 21st, 2009 4:52 pm

    You should be able to put it on your insurance. It is not necessary to transfer the title. If your mother has insurance and the car is on her policy you can get added to her insurance as an additional driver. Work out a “payment” plan with her to cover any additional cost.

    Dr. Tommy Skelton

  2. Diane S on September 22nd, 2009 9:43 pm

    Technically, no, you are not supposed to insure something you do not own. Your mother probably already has insurance on the car, which would cover you since you have her permission to drive it. She could add you to her policy as an additional driver. The liability insurance you already have in your own name “follows” you in any car you drive, including rentals.
    Edit: Note that even if your mother doesn’t add you as a driver the company is on the hook for any damage you might cause. However they won’t be happy about it since it is not an “occasional” thing but you are planning on using it for an extended length of time and therefore should be rated and paying premium to them. Also many companies don’t check titles if you did add it to your policy, but in the event of a claim it could get a little sticky. You didn’t mention if there was still a lien on the car.

  3. italy_coolfun on September 25th, 2009 10:47 am

    This is a good question. I would say you can insure a vehicle that you don’t own. You may want to check with the insurance company first. When you lease a vehicle, or even finance, the title is in the Banks name, so I wouldn’t think this would be a problem.

  4. soaplakegirl on September 27th, 2009 4:44 pm

    You should be able to insure it.

  5. Pilgrim on October 1st, 2009 3:05 am

    Your insurance company isn’t going to have a problem insuring a car you don’t own.

    Our cars are in a private trust, so our names aren’t on the title, but our insurance company insures them no differently than if we owned them.

    If we were to have an accident, the claim settlement check would be made payable to the trust (and the body shop). For us that would be no problem, I would just submit a request for the trust overseer to sign over the check so the body shop could negotiate it.

    Same with you and your mother. If you put her car on your policy, she is the one with the insurable interest since she owns the car, and the insurance check for damage to her car would be made payable to her (and the body shop). It would be in her interest to sign the check over to the body shop to repair the car.

    Your insurer will probably ask if your mother will ever drive the car. If so, they’ll want you to add her to the policy.

    When it comes to insurance, there’s a very good rule of thumb: Tell the truth. Liability insurance coverage is designed to cover things you’re at fault for, never cover up anything. Just tell the truth and let the professionals you paid all those premiums to do their job and go to bat on your behalf.

    Always remember, the reason you pay them is to be on your side right or wrong. They are there to protect you from legal liability and pay damages when they can’t.

    Issues like this should be brought out to them at the outset so they can do it right from the start.

  6. sensible_man on October 3rd, 2009 4:47 am

    Each State and each company have their own rules. Check with your company to see if they will insure a car in someone elses name. I have my doubts.

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