If I insure a vehicle owned by my parents, could they be sued if I were involved in an accident?

My parents are listed as an additional interest on my insurance policy since they own the car. I don't want to buy the vehicle from them or transfer the title, but I'm worried that they could get in trouble if I have an accident. Also, can I insure a vehicle in different state than where the car is registered?

Jul 1, 2017 Raleigh, NC

Neil Richardson

Jul 1, 2017

While it's quite possible that the liability portion of your policy would provide sufficient coverage for damage you may cause in an accident, your parents may be subject to "vicarious liability" since they technically own the vehicle. This means that it is possible for them to be sued if you hurt someone else in a crash. That's not a guarantee that they will be sued and an attorney would have to prove their liability in court, but it is possible. As for insuring a vehicle registered in another state, the insurance company is only concerned with where the vehicle is parked, not the state where it is registered. That being said, the state where you live will require that you register the car in that particular state. States have varying time-frames for when you're supposed to update the registration so you should contact your local registration office or check your state's DMV website for specifics.

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