Does your car insurance have to be in your name?

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Here's what you need to know...
  • You can have a joint policy with the same company with a spouse or a parent provided you meet the qualifications
  • You need to question whether it’s best to be on someone else’s policy or to have your own
  • For young drivers, you can expect lower premiums if you are added to your parents’ policy

There are some situations where you may consider getting insurance through someone else’s name. For example, if you plan on getting married, you may wonder if it is alright to get your car insurance in your husband or wife’s name.

Another scenario might be when a young person has their car insurance under their parents’ name. These two situations are somewhat different so we will discuss each one separately.

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Getting Your Insurance Under Your Spouse’s Name

In cases where you decide to share insurance policies with your spouse, you can list your spouse’s name as the primary owner of the policy. However, in most cases, the insurer will want to have the details about your vehicle as well.

Remember that each car technically carries a different policy, since all cars are different and require varying amounts of coverage. However, you can have your spouse, and yourself on the same policy provided you both agree.

Reasons Why You Might Want to Put Your Spouse on Your Policy

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When considering whether or not to have your spouse on the same car insurance as yourself, here are some things to think about:

  • Does your spouse have a good driving record? If they do, it could help your overall rates if you combine them. But if not, it might be better to keep your policies separate.
  • Does your spouse have a more expensive car to insure? More expensive cars cost more in insurance so you will want to consider this carefully. However, you may get a discount for being on the same insurance together. Ask your insurer if they offer discounts for married couples being on the same insurance.
  • What is your credit record like? If you or your spouse have a poor credit history, one or both of your premiums may go up as a result. Think carefully about this and how your driving record might influence your premiums.
  • Consider how you will pay for your insurance premiums. Do you plan to pay each month jointly as an automatic draft from a joint bank account? If so, it might be more convenient to have one joint policy that covers both of your vehicles rather than having to remember to pay two separate policies each month.

These are some things to consider if you are thinking about including your spouse on your policy.

Ask your insurer or an online agent on our site to advise you on whether your situation would be better to have both you and your spouse on the policy.

If you do not get some discount or if one or both of your credit reports makes the insurance higher, it might not be worth it.

What about the case of the young person being on a parent’s insurance policy?

The law states that a young person may remain on a parent’s policy so long as that child is living at home and has access to the same vehicles that are covered by the policy.

Remember that insurance follows the car, not the driver so the child may remain on the parents’ policy as long as they drive their parents’ cars. Once they get their vehicle, however, they may have to take out a separate policy to cover the new car.

Problems with Underwriting

According to some sources, if you are listed on someone else’s policy, you may have difficulties getting your car insured without the express permission of the owner of the policy.

This gives the other person too much control over your insurance plan. If you trust the person completely, such as a parent or spouse, it’s probably okay. But your goal in most cases should be to carry your insurance.

Lease companies frown on this, especially because they want to know that the person taking out the lease has full coverage on the car they are entrusting in your care, and there won’t be complications in determining which insurance will pay off in the event of an accident.

So what is the verdict?

So, in answer to the question of whether your car insurance has to be in your name, the short answer is “yes,” because many lease companies and insurance companies both require this.

Many underwriters will reject an insurance policy that does not have the primary car owner’s name listed as the owner of the policy. It can get very complicated. So in most cases, it is best to carry your insurance.

However, in cases where you will just be driving a car once in awhile, and you are satisfied with the amount of coverage the other person’s insurance offers, you may be fine riding on someone else’s insurance.

Advantages of Getting Your Own Car Insurance

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If you are someone who has previously been on your parents’ insurance or a spouse’s insurance and wish to migrate to your insurance, here are some good reasons why you may want to do so.

  • Having your policy guarantees that your car is covered completely under your name. There will be no misunderstandings or complications in the event of an accident when you file a claim. This will often speed up the paperwork process and get your claim processed more quickly.
  • Your vehicle insurance needs may vary greatly from a spouse’s vehicle so a one-size-fits-all policy may not be the best situation for you.
  • When you carry your insurance, you don’t have to worry about it going up or down based on what someone else does. Their driving record or credit report has no effect on you.
  • Many insurance companies require that you have your separate insurance for your car. Some car finance companies require this also and may not finance a car under your name without proof of individual insurance.

Some Advantages of Being with the Same Insurance Company

Investopedia brings up the idea that there are times when being on the same insurance with your spouse might prove beneficial. Men who are married get a lower insurance rate than single men since it is believed that single men have more accidents than married men.

If you are a young married man in a high-risk driving age (18-25), it may pay to get on the same insurance as your spouse.

These are questions that you will need to ponder and ask your online agent to advise you on when shopping for insurance. Not every situation is best for every driver. The key to getting the best deal on premiums is to carefully consider whether being on a joint policy is best and weighing all the factors.

The most important thing is that you get the coverage you need and feel safe on life’s highways, whether together or alone.

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