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 in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

  • Not just anyone can insure a car in their name
  • With most companies, you have to have some sort of financial interest in the car to buy a policy in your name
  • To have an insurable interest in a car, you need to be a co-signor on the contract or a registered owner on the tags
  • The named insured is the owner of the policy, the one with an interest in the car, and the own who applies
  • If you want to buy insurance for someone else, they need to fill out the application and you can pay the bill

Buying insurance on a car is a process. The process isn’t usually fun or exciting, but it is necessary since you legally have to buy insurance on a car to register it.

Anyone who doesn’t buy insurance on their car and continue to pay for their coverage is bound to get pulled over regularly for suspended plates or worse. There’s no room to say you can’t afford coverage.

If you’re lucky enough to have a family member or a friend who’s willing to help you pay for your coverage to keep you in good graces with the law, you need to find out how someone else can buy you insurance on your car.

Enter your zip code above to compare car insurance rates from multiple companies at once! You can’t just leave the whole task to your already generous loved one. Here’s what you need to know:

Anyone Can Get a Quote for Coverage on a Car

Getting a quote for car insurance is easy. Anyone can contact an insurance company or use an online tool to pull up instant quotes for coverage on a specific model.

As long as you the prospective client has information on the vehicle, the driver, the household, and driving habits, getting a quote is easy.

Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that the quote that you solicit will stay the same. If you don’t know about a ticket or you fail to disclose an accident in the quoting form, the low rate you were quoted will skyrocket.

That’s why you really need to provide the most accurate information you can when you’re comparing rates, no matter who you are. Here’s what you’ll need to get before you request quotes:

  • Driver’s license history (date issued and years of experience)
  • Age, gender, and occupation for all drivers
  • Convictions dates of moving violations for all drivers in the home
  • Claims history for the last 3 years (dates of at-fault claims)
  • Year, make, model, and VIN of the vehicle (with aftermarket features)
  • Garaging zip code
  • Driving habits, usage, and annual mileage
  • Credit-based insurance rating (below average, average, above average, or excellent)
  • Coverage limits and options that the owner wants

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Not Everyone Can Submit An Application for Property Insurance

Getting a quote and submitting an application are two different things.

Anyone can take the time to price the cost of auto insurance but not anyone can go a step further and submit information to officially apply for coverage.

To get property insurance, you must meet the insurance company’s guidelines to be able to insure the property.

The Applicant Must Have an Insurable Interest in the Car

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If you’re not an insurance agent, you don’t know the next thing about what a carrier would require for you to insure your property.

While not all guidelines are the same, pretty much all auto insurance carriers that sell standard products will require the applicant submitting an application to have an insurable interest in the vehicle being covered.

An insurable interest doesn’t mean that you’re just interested in paying for the insurance policy.

That may be the reason you’re buying the policy for someone else, but in the world of insurance, an insurable interest means that you stand to lose something financially if something happened in or to the property.

You have to be the one liable for damages to others and the one who would lose money if the car were damaged in any type of loss.

That’s why you need to be the registered owner or a co-owner to apply for insurance. If you aren’t a registered owner, you’re not legally liable for the car in any way and you don’t fit the definition of a named insured.

What is a named insured and what are they authorized to do?

A named insured is another term that’s used to describe the person who is applying for the policy, owns the car, and in turn, owns the auto insurance policy.

When you are the owner of a policy, you’re the one who’s obligated to comply with the terms of the insurance contract since the contract will be in your name.

Named insureds aren’t just drivers who pay the premiums. They are also the only people named on the policy who are authorized to make any changes to the contract.

If you need to add a car, remove coverage, raise limits, or add a driver, you have to be the named insured. It’s also the policy owner who has issued a check after a claim has been settled.

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Can someone else pay premiums on a policy that’s in your name?

You can’t assign your close friend the task of buying your policy for you, but they can pay the premiums for you if they want to.

When you buy auto insurance and you’re the car owner and the policyholder, you’re entering into an insuring agreement that says you’ll pay your premiums on time. That doesn’t mean the insurer has control over who pays your premiums.

If you know someone who will help you cover your insurance expenses, they can make a payment for you in a number of different ways.

If you’re paying by mail, you can ask them to submit a payment by check with your invoice.

If you’re paying by phone, you can call and speak with an agent to have a check-by-phone or credit card payment processed. It’s even possible to set up an automatic payment from another person’s account if they authorize it.

What happens if the person paying your insurance is late paying?

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If you trust that someone else is going to pay your insurance for you, it’s important that you put your trust in someone who is reliable by nature.

Missing the payment by just a couple of days could be the end of your coverage and the beginning of a huge disaster. It all depends on whether or not your insurer offers a grace period.

When there’s no grace period, missing a payment will end up in a cancellation for non-payment.

This means that your coverage will be terminated before the end of the term is up because you’ve failed to make your premium payments by the due date.

If you have a claim after the date the policy canceled, it won’t be covered. You could also face stiff penalties.

Know What Your Grace Period Is Ahead of Time

Never put all of your trust into someone who’s paying your bills. If you blindly accept the help without finding out how your insurer handles late payments you could be in for some big trouble.

It’s nice to know you have a buffer of time where you can make a payment past the due date without losing your coverage. This time buffer is a grace period. Grace periods aren’t guaranteed. They’ll last for as little as a day and as long as 30 days.

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What are the penalties if your policy is terminated?

If you don’t have a grace period and your coverage is canceled, you should prepare for the consequences.

It’s possible that your registration could be suspended, you could be fined, your car could be impounded, you could lose your driving privilege, and your balance on your auto loan could go up. The worst-case scenario would be that you would have an uninsured loss.

You can’t buy insurance on someone else’s car without their permission. You can, however, help someone buy their insurance in their own name.

If you would like to start comparing rates to find the lowest rate, use an online tool to get insurance quotes instantly and then you can find a deal. Enter your zip code below to find the best car insurance rates in your area!