In most states, the vehicle owner and person insuring the car don't have to be one and the same. Although this arrangement is legal, your insurance company may refuse to issue a policy under these circumstances. Even if it does, there is a risk it may later refuse to pay a claim because of the different names.
Car Owner and Policyholder Can Be Different People
Typically, the person who owns a car is the person who insures it. However, most states permit auto insurance policies to be paid by someone other than the registered owner. The same cannot be said of all insurance carriers. Some will not insure a vehicle if the policyholder and car owner are not the same. Even if someone other than the vehicle owner insures the car, it is possible the insurance company may later deny payment on a claim for this exact reason. This is particularly true if the company later determines there wasn't a legitimate reason for having a different person insure the vehicle, which may suggest fraud on the part of the individuals involved. For example, if the vehicle owner has numerous traffic violations and accidents on his record, he may get a friend or family member to insure the car on his behalf to avoid high insurance premiums. If the insurance company later determines this to be the reason for the different names, it may deny payment on a subsequent claim due to the driver's attempt to conceal his driving record and higher risk.
- Law Dictionary: Does Your Car Insurance and Registration Have to Be Under the Same Name?
- Online Auto Insurance: When Car Registration and Insurance Policy are in Different Names
- Hagerty: Can Vehicle Be Insured in One Name and Titled in Another?
- J & S Coverage: Registering and Insuring a Car You Don't Own
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