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When someone purchases insurance for a motorcycle, the policy provider looks for what is called “insurable interest.” This term represents a non-owner’s value in securing financial protections.

If someone doesn’t have an insurable interest, there is no incentive to keep the motorcycle operating in good condition.

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There could be situations where a parent purchases insurance for a bike that their child owns or pays for policies while a spouse or domestic partner holds the title. In most cases, now-owner motorcycle insurance isn’t permitted.

Some states even forbid someone from obtaining a policy if they aren’t the owners of the motorcycle to prevent fraud.

How to Purchase Insurance for a Motorcycle I Don’t Own?

The process is relatively straightforward when you want to purchase motorcycle insurance for a bike you don’t own. In a state like New York, you’ll be given an outright “no” to that request unless you frequently rent bikes or use car-sharing services.

In other states, you need to state an “additional interest.” If you already have motorcycle insurance, you can add the owner to your policy to have insurance for a bike you don’t currently own.

It might be possible to have the bike’s owner add you as a driver or operator to their current policy. This option is usually available if you live at the same address.

If a non-owner’s policy is permitted, please remember that it won’t take the place of the coverage that the motorcycle owner purchased. It is treated as a complementary option, and specific stipulations could be needed when filing a claim.

How to Insure a Motorcycle without a Title?

Suppose you recently purchased a motorcycle or own one and need help finding the title paperwork. You’ll need to visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or an equivalent government institution. Tell the service representative the issue, and then you’ll be given new title documents to fill out.

It is almost always required to have a bill of sale present when requesting to have the title replaced. Your motorcycle will undergo a VIN inspection to prove it hasn’t been stolen.

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You can legally get a new title once you go through the appropriate channels. After you have that paperwork, purchasing motorcycle insurance will be much easier.

If you cannot obtain the title, it might be impossible to purchase an insurance policy for the motorcycle.

Another option is to add your name to the current title, especially if someone you know owns the motorcycle. That step will make it easier to obtain motorcycle insurance so that you can enjoy the open road.

What Companies Offer Non-Owner Insurance?

The best insurance companies that provide non-owner motorcycle insurance in the United States are Progressive, State Farm, and GEICO. Even then, quotes are based on state laws regarding policy issuance to non-owners.

Smaller insurers might offer this policy in specific situations or locations. You might also receive support from a local agent if you’ve carried the same coverage for several years and have a particular motorcycle issue to resolve while in a non-owner state.

Non-owner motorcycle insurance typically offers liability coverage only.

Author

Mike Navarette has more than a decade of experience in the auto insurance industry, but that's not his true passion. He loves getting on a motorcycle to explore roads he's never traveled. You'll find Mike in the garage working on something when he isn't helping clients or leaning into curves. It's sometimes a side hustle, more often a favor, but it keeps his hands busy doing something productive. Since the first time his father strapped on his helmet and took him for a ride, Mike has loved bikes. That passion, along with a desire to help others through a deep understanding of insurance policies, led to the creation of Motorcycle Ride Coverage.

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