A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. Through her years working in th...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert Melanie Musson

UPDATED: Jun 28, 2022

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There are several occasions where car insurance may be transferable to another vehicle. The most common of these is during the title transfer if you are buying a brand new car or a second-hand car. In that case it is very easy to transfer car insurance to a new car.

Whether you are keeping your current car insurance policy or checking out other insurance coverage options, this article will guide you through the insurance transfer process.

Depending on the details of your policy, you may not be able to transfer coverage in all situations, so it’s best to check with your insurance agent in regards to how your policy works with any vehicle that you do not own.

Your auto insurance company can help you with an insurance transfer when you purchase a new car to avoid a lapse in coverage. If you have a loan for the new vehicle, you will also need to provide proof of insurance to the financial institution from which you received the loan.

Transferring Car Insurance When Buying a New Car

Whether you’ve lost your previous car to an accident or simply traded it in, you can transfer your existing coverage to the new car on your policy. This is a fairly simple procedure.

First, you contact your car insurance provider and explain that you would like to replace one car on your policy with another and maintain the same coverage.

You then must provide the vehicle identification number (VIN), vehicle registration, and any additional information the company might ask you about, such as the car’s mileage and any after-market improvements that have been made to the vehicle.

Bear in mind that even though the new vehicle carries the same coverage as your current policy, your car insurance premiums may change. This is because some vehicles cost more to insure than others.

For example, luxury vehicles cost more to insure than other types of cars due to the expense of repairs. Foreign-made vehicles may also cost more to insure as repairs are costly due to specialized labor or imported parts. Cars with high safety ratings might cost less to insure.

To get the auto insurance rates possible it is always a good idea to compare insurance quotes from your current insurance company with those of other providers in your area.

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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Can you transfer car insurance when renting a car?

Depending on your policy, your car insurance should be able to transfer to any rental vehicle that you drive. If you have full coverage, your damage will be paid under your collision coverage. Your deductible will apply in this case, so you will need to pay the deductible to the rental company in the event of an accident. Many rental companies will charge the full amount of your deductible to your credit card as a security deposit; if you return the vehicle without damage, the deposit will be returned to you.

Not all policies allow you to transfer coverage to rental cars, however, so be sure to check with your company to see if there are any limitations on this.

The rental must also be obtained through a rental agency or garage in order for this policy transfer to occur; you cannot transfer coverage the same way if you rent a vehicle privately from a friend. Your car insurance company may also not be able to cover damage to certain types of vehicles, such as Uhaul trucks.

Some states handle rental cars differently. In New York and Minnesota, for example, damage to a rental vehicle is paid under property damage liability insurance rather than collision. This means that the damage your rental sustains will be paid fully by your insurance company without requiring a deductible from you.

Can you transfer car insurance when driving a friend’s car?

In most situations, auto insurance followed the vehicle rather than the driver. This means that if you borrow a friend or family member’s vehicle and get into an accident, the insurance claim will be handled through that person’s insurance rather than your own. The claim will also go on that person’s record rather than yours, so his rates may be affected by the accident even though he was not involved.

In some cases, your own car insurance coverage can be used to pay for an accident occurring in a borrowed vehicle. If the vehicle does not have sufficient coverage to pay for the accident, for example, your insurance may be able to pay the excess. This will usually only pay for damage to a third party that receives damage in the accident, not the car that you yourself are driving.

One state does allow you to transfer your own insurance to a borrowed vehicle, however: Texas. In Texas, you can choose whether to use your own property damage liability insurance to pay for damage to a non-owned vehicle. This only allows you to pay for the cost of damage to the vehicle itself, however; any damage caused to another person’s vehicle will still need to be paid under the liability insurance of the vehicle you were driving.

Transferring Car Insurance Summary

Auto insurance laws can be complicated because they vary from one state to the next, and many are also policy specific. If you’re not certain about how coverage applies in a specific situation, you can contact your auto insurance provider and speak with a customer service representative or agent. He or she will be happy to go over the details of your policy and how it will behave in any given situation.

It’s especially important to understand the way that your policy works before you allow anyone to drive a vehicle that you own or borrow someone else’s vehicle so that you are not unpleasantly surprised by a claim.