Can a Car be Registered and Insured Under Different Names?

Can a Car be Registered and Insured Under Different Names
Can a Car be Registered and Insured Under Different Names

Can a car be registered and insured in different names? Most U.S. states allow their residents to register and insure their vehicles under different names. However, using separate names for the registration and insurance of a car may confuse the insurer and affect payment of settlements to insured drivers. This article will investigate whether it is appropriate to register and insure your car under different names.

Can a Car be Registered and Insured in Different Names?

If you are a U.S. resident, chances are your state law permits you to register and insure your car under different names. That being said, your insurer might not give you a policy if you don't insure your vehicle under the same name as the vehicle's registered owner.

However, some do, according to Pocketsense. Before you use a different name to insure your car, ensure that your insurer's policies do not rule against this practice. This will help you prevent delays in future payment of coverages.

Disadvantages of Different Names in a Car Registration and Insurance

Using different names for your vehicle insurance and registration may affect you negatively. During the payment of a settlement, having separate vehicle registration and insurance names can confuse the insurance company. An insurer may pay the claim for the coverage to the registered owner rather than the insured driver. Usually, insurers investigate policyholders who request claims. If your insurance company discovers that the insured driver is different from the titleholder of the vehicle, they may delay or even withhold payment of the settlement, says WalletHub.

Sometimes, vehicle owners who have poor driving history insure their cars under the names of friends or family members to avoid paying expensive insurance fees. If your insurer suspects that you used a different name to bypass the high insurance premium, they may refuse to pay your claim.

What Are Alternatives to Insuring a Car Not Registered in Your Name?

There are several ways you can insure your car under a different name without losing future settlements:

Include the Owner's Name in the Insurance Policy

Buy an insurance policy as a vehicle owner and add the name of a non-owner to the policy. If you use a car that belongs to another family member, ask them to add your name to the vehicle's insurance policy. Insurify states that you can only use this method if you share a residence with the vehicle owner. However, insurers sometimes make exceptions, like for college students who use their family's vehicle while they are away at school. Some insurance companies even give discounts to policyholders who add young drivers to their insurance policies.

Put the Driver's Name on the Car's Registration

If you are buying a car for a family member, you can add their name to the vehicle's registration. Most state laws let residents enter two or more names on a vehicle's registration. Alternatively, you can ask the car's owner to transfer ownership of the car to you. Transfer of ownership requires the new owner to add their name to the car's title. In some U.S. states, the law demands that new owners apply to the local department of motor vehicles to change the name on a vehicle's registration. Other states allow residents to transfer ownership just by filing paperwork.

Purchase a Non-Owner Insurance Policy

A non-owner insurance policy provides coverage for drivers who don't own the vehicles they use. This policy is a great option for nannies and family chauffeurs. If you get into an accident while driving the car, a non-owner insurance policy will protect you against damages.

What Does the Law Say About Using Different Names for Vehicle Registration and Insurance?

In New York, state law demands that drivers use the same name on their car registration and insurance policy. If a driver uses two names on their vehicle's registration, both names must also appear on the car's insurance policy. Other states permit residents to use different names on their car's insurance and registration, provided that the practice does not flout their insurer's terms.

Before you insure a car that belongs to someone else, it might help to remember this:

Most insurers request that potential policyholders show proof of insurable interest before they give them an insurance policy. If the car is damaged in an accident, you will be responsible for covering auto repair bills. This means that maintenance of the insured vehicle will become your financial responsibility, which might be difficult if you do not own the vehicle.

What Are Some Instances When a Car Registration and Insurance Have Different Names?

Drivers may register and insure their car under separate names during any of the following instances:

Your Child Buys an Insurance Policy for Your Car

You may ask your child to purchase their own insurance policy when you give them your vehicle. Before you let your child buy an insurance policy from your insurer, you should ascertain that they won't be violating any of the insurer's rules. According to, some insurers do not permit family members who live in different states to use the same insurance policy. Such insurers may delay payment of a claim if your child lives outside your state of residence, even if they're away at college.

Your Family Member or Friend is a Primary Driver of Your Car

You'll need to insure your friend or family member if they drive your vehicle regularly. If your friend only uses your car occasionally, you don't have to purchase an insurance policy for your car under their name.

Always remember to explain your situation to your insurance agent before registering the insurance policy for your vehicle under a different name. If you don't own the car, you also need to seek the consent of the vehicle's owner. Most U.S. insurers charge higher premiums when a car's insurance policy holder is listed under a different name than its owner.

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