does an unregistered car need insurance? The short answer is yes. But many drivers hit a snag when they want to buy a car because they’re trying to figure out if a vehicle needs insurance first or registration.
Don’t worry, we’re here to answer your questions.
Our guide explains why some states have insurance before registration. Plus, we’ll explore a guide to auto insurance to help you choose the best insurance policy in your area.
If you want to buy insurance before you buy a car, enter your ZIP code in the free online quote tool above.
will insurance cover an unregistered car?
yes, it will. Most states in America require proof of automobile insurance before registering a vehicle. you can buy car insurance the day you buy the car.
Some of the best insurance companies allow you to purchase a policy over the phone, allowing you to drive out of the dealership’s parking lot the same day you purchase the vehicle.
will insurance cover an uninspected car?
no, it won’t. If your vehicle needs an inspection, the auto insurance company may not insure it right away.
For example, a vehicle with a rebuilt title needs an inspection to ensure insurance risk. Auto insurance companies will not insure a car with a higher risk of claims or mechanical breakdowns.
Inspections are also necessary if you live in a state that requires vehicle inspections before obtaining or maintaining an auto insurance policy.
will insurance cover unregistered cars you don’t own?
depends on your policy. standard auto insurance policies will not allow you to insure a vehicle that you do not own. however, non-owner auto insurance provides coverage for someone else’s vehicle.
but you have to show insurable interest (reasons why you want to invest in insuring a vehicle). Non-owner auto insurance is more expensive, but is helpful for drivers using a car owned by someone else.
why won’t insurance companies let me insure a car that isn’t in my name?
Car insurance companies insist that your policy and registration must match. The car owner is usually the primary policy holder, and it would be their responsibility to purchase car insurance.
You may be able to get non-owners auto insurance if you’re a high-risk driver. if possible, ask the vehicle owner to add you as a driver on their auto insurance policy.
Which states require proof of car insurance before registration?
Most areas in the United States want you to show proof of insurance when you go to register your vehicle. here is a table showing a full list of states that require insurance coverage prior to registration.
As you can see, most US states require insurance before registration is issued. and you will have the opportunity to insure yourself while you are at the dealership.
Most of the time, you can’t leave the lot until you insure the vehicle you purchased.
Does expired registration affect insurance?
An expired registration is a non-driving violation. therefore, you won’t lose your auto insurance coverage if you’re caught with expired tags.
what happens if you have an accident with the registration expired?
The auto insurance company will still cover you, depending on the nature of the accident. If you are at fault in a car accident, your auto insurance company pays for damages and injuries if you have full coverage.
The other driver’s liability insurance policy covers your bodily injury and property damage costs when you are not at fault in an accident. Your registration status does not affect your insurance coverage.
does car insurance cover unlicensed drivers?
yes, they do. insurance follows the vehicle but not the driver. if an unlicensed driver caused an accident, the insurance company still covers the driver at no fault.
And if an at-fault unlicensed driver is driving a car with full coverage, the insurance company covers injuries and property damage.
can you file a car insurance claim on an unregistered vehicle?
yes, you can. Since most states require you to obtain insurance first, your unregistered status should not affect your ability to file a claim.
For example, you’re still covered if you’re in an accident after purchasing an insurance policy and leaving the dealership lot. therefore, you can file a claim immediately after the car accident.
Does homeowners insurance cover damage to your unregistered car?
no, it’s not like that. You can only get coverage for your unregistered vehicle through Comprehensive coverage.
For example, if a fallen limb damages your car, your comprehensive insurance will pay the bills. but you will need to pay a deductible before you can collect your claim.
why should you look for auto insurance quotes?
Before you buy a vehicle, you should compare auto insurance quotes from several companies. the best insurance companies can provide quotes online, giving you more options as you purchase a car from a dealership or from private owners.
But your quotes are determined by several factors, including driving history, age, where you live, and the make and model year of the vehicle.
If you’re not sure where to buy car insurance, start with the major insurance companies in the United States.
Let’s look at some estimates of the best auto insurance companies in the United States.
We include comprehensive and liability-only coverage to show you how auto insurance varies by coverage options and company. geico and usaa have lower than average rates, but they may have different auto insurance rates for you.
insurance will cover unregistered cars: the bottom line
Car insurance companies cover unregistered vehicles because the law dictates that drivers must have insurance before registering.
You can’t get your registration first in most areas of the country, but you can buy car insurance coverage before you leave the car dealership lot. If you buy a vehicle on a normal business day, visit your local dmv to start registration.
Do you want to know which companies are the best for your unregistered car? Use our free comparison tool below to compare quotes from multiple insurance companies in your area.