Vehicle owners must meet specific licensing and insurance requirements in saner climes before getting behind a wheel. An uninsured motorist, when apprehended, is liable to face penalties including suspension of driver’s license, fines, and imprisonment.
It goes without saying that ignorance is no defense in law. To avoid a law enforcement officer arresting you for breaking the law, we’ve provided comprehensive answers to three critical questions asked about auto insurance.
1. Can I insure a vehicle I don’t own?
You may be wondering, “Do I have to insure my car if I am not driving it”. The answer to this question depends on where you live. Some laws allow for individuals to get an auto insurance policy for vehicles they don’t own.
The process of getting insurance coverage for a vehicle that’s not titled in your name can be complicated. The challenge is in proving insurable interest to the insurer. Most auto insurance companies, if not all, will insist you show an insurable interest in the vehicle.
Insurable interest shows that you have something to lose if the insurance company totaled the car. For some whose name is not on the vehicle’s title, it may be challenging to prove that you have something to lose. So, if you can prove insurable interest, you can get insurance coverage for a vehicle you don’t own. Auto insurance companies request proof of insurance interest to mitigate insurance fraud.
If you don’t own a vehicle, one way to prove insurable interest is for you to be named as a driver on the vehicle. That way, the car insurance company will write the policy for the vehicle owner, but you get to pay the premium. Another tactic is to get a new vehicle registration that shows you and the vehicle’s registered owner as co-owners.
2. What other insurance options do I have if I can’t secure coverage for a car I don’t own?
There are places where you may not be allowed to insure a vehicle that you don’t legally own. What it means is that you may not be able to get car insurance coverage for a vehicle that’s not in your name. With that in mind, try to determine if your regional laws allow you to do so. If you live in the United States, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local DMV office or insurance agent to determine the state law that applies to this case. And just so you know, DMW is an acronym for the Department of Motor Vehicles.
If state insurance laws prevent you from purchasing an auto insurance policy for a vehicle you don’t own; you have an option of getting non-owner car insurance. This option makes sense for those who often drive vehicles that they don’t own. Non-owner car insurance is somewhat similar to auto liability insurance. This liability coverage translates that you rented or borrowed the car from the owner. Many states mandate uninsured motorists to carry auto liability insurance coverage when driving vehicles they don’t own.
Non-owner car insurance covers third-party liabilities such as at-fault accidents and injuries suffered by other motorists, passengers, or people involved in the accident. In addition, it pays for damages caused to another motorist’s vehicle.
3. What is covered if my car gets damaged or is involved in an accident?
Contrary to popular belief, auto insurance doesn’t automatically cover the cost of repairs or vehicle replacement after an accident. The reality is that what your insurance coverage covers is dependent on the type of coverage. An auto liability coverage is a minimum coverage every motorist must carry. Like we mentioned above, liability coverage pays for damages caused to someone else’s vehicle or property if you cause the accident.
Conversely, to cover accident-related damages caused to your car, you’ll likely need a collision insurance plan. For non-accident-related incidents, like vandalism or theft, you’ll need a comprehensive insurance cover. Furthermore, feel free to discuss uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage with your insurer. This type of insurance can pay for medical expenses and damages if an uninsured motorist hits you.