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Car insurance may seem complicated when multiple people are listed as the vehicle’s owners. Spouses, significant others and children who share the cost of purchasing a car may co-own a vehicle. In this case, you may wonder if you have to list both registered owners on a car insurance policy.
In short, those who drive the car need to be listed on the auto insurance policy. Regardless of who should be on file, it’s a good idea to find coverage from the best car insurance companies. That way, you’ll discover affordable plans from top-ranked providers.
Do You Have To List Both Owners on a Car Insurance Policy?
Determining who should be listed on a car insurance policy largely depends on where the owners live and who will be driving the vehicle. Read on to learn which drivers should be listed on your policy before you start getting multiple auto insurance quotes from car insurers.
When Both Owners Should Be Listed
If both registered owners drive the car, the insurance policy should include both names. It’s worth noting that two owners who live together should both have their names on the policy even if only one of them drives the car.
Generally speaking, each registered owner should be listed on a car insurance policy. Below, we’ll run through a few exceptions to this rule.
When Only One Owner Should Be Listed
If only one of the owners will ever drive the car and the two don’t live together, then the owner who drives the vehicle should be listed on the policy alone. An example of this scenario would be a parent co-signing a car for their child who now lives on his or her own.
On a related note, remember that if your child moves away from home with a co-owned car, they’ll need to get their own insurance policy for the state they move to. If the child is living in a different state than they’re registered in, it’s possible that car insurance companies could deny claims through a disclaimer of coverage.
You May Need To Sign an Exclusion Form
If you have a car with two owners but only want to list one on the insurance policy, your provider may require the signing of an exclusion form. This document essentially declares that the vehicle’s other registered owner will never drive the car. Remember that your auto insurance policy could be canceled if you provide false information on this form.
List Anyone Who Regularly Drives the Car
When listing people on an insurance policy, make it a point to mention anyone who will drive the car regularly. Keep in mind that their driving history will affect your insurance premiums. That said, even a bad driving record will affect prices less than the main driver’s history.
Remember that you have to follow state laws on minimum coverage regardless of how many named insured drivers are on your policy. That means you’ll at least need to carry minimum liability insurance, which is made up of bodily injury and property damage coverage.
States such as New York also require uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection along with liability coverage to prove financial responsibility. The best way to determine your state’s coverage standards is by looking up the applicable department of motor vehicles (DMV).
What Happens in an Accident With an Unlisted Driver
The reason you should list all drivers on the policy is simple. If someone not listed on the insurance policy is behind the wheel and gets into an accident without proof of insurance, your provider may refuse to cover issues. This could leave the unlisted driver or the car’s owner on the hook financially for nearly all damages.
Listed Drivers Versus Permissive Drivers
Your insurance policy will generally cover damage from accidents that occur only when a listed or a permissive driver is behind the wheel. A permissive driver is someone who has been given permission to to drive the car under the owner’s policy.
You cannot declare a regular driver as a permissive driver to minimize their place in your policy. If the individual lives in the same house as the registered owner and is a family member, the insurance company will likely deny the claim if the driver is simply listed as a permissive driver.
Given this restriction, you’re almost always better off listing family members as regular drivers on the car insurance policy itself.
Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance
After extensive industry research, we recommend considering GEICO, USAA and State Farm for vehicle insurance. Regardless of which provider you choose, the best way to find cheap car insurance quotes is by using a comparison tool.
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GEICO: Best Overall
GEICO is an excellent option if you’d like to list more than one registered owner on a car insurance policy. The auto insurer is known for its range of products, reasonable car insurance costs and discounts for automotive safety and security equipment, good students, good drivers and new vehicles.
USAA: Best Military Provider
Military members, veterans and their families would be smart to look at USAA for auto insurance coverage. The provider has exceptional car insurance rates and receives some of the market’s highest customer satisfaction scores. USAA offers discounts for families and good students, for having coverage on more than one vehicle and for taking driver training courses.
State Farm: Best Student Discounts
Most drivers face no issues listing both registered owners on a car insurance policy with State Farm. That’s because the company’s insurance agents are easily accessible and are often considered easy to work with.
In addition to various savings for those with new driver’s licenses, State Farm offers discounts for policyholders with multiple vehicles and for those who bundle homeowners or renters insurance with their auto policy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do both owners of a vehicle need their own insurance policies?
No, both owners do not need their own insurance policies. As long as the two owners of a car live at the same address, they can share a single insurance policy. You also don’t need to list both owners if only one person will ever drive the car.
Can two names be on a car registration?
Yes, two names can be listed on your vehicle registration. It is common for parents and children to share registration and ownership, and it’s also a regular occurrence for spouses and significant others.
Can a car be registered and insured under different names?
It is technically possible to register and insure a car under different names, but the process is extremely difficult. You’ll face limited options for auto insurance policies, as most providers require registration and insurance to be under the same name. Determining who receives payouts from claims can also become more complicated.
Can you insure a car you don’t own?
It’s possible to insure a car you don’t own, but difficult without switching the car’s title. Few auto insurance providers offer this because underwriting companies want the person holding the policy to have a vested interest in the vehicle. If your car is an insurable interest for both drivers, it’s expected that the motorists will avoid risky behaviors that could lead to traffic violations. Non-owner insurance is a simple way to insure a car you don’t own.
The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car insurance provider to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Our in-depth rating system takes into account market share, coverage, auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services, customer satisfaction and ratings from industry experts. Each insurer is given a weighted score in four categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.
We recommend auto insurance companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best coverage.