Insurance puts a lot of importance on the term "owner". Insurance defines an owner as the person, corporation or entity that has the title, or is the state or fact of exclusive rights and control over property. What is property? That can be an object such as an automobile, intellectual property (copyright) or land such as real estate.

When you are insuring your property you need to be sure of how the title is registered. Title on an automobile is set up through the registry office and title on your home is registered with land titles.

Insurance is so concerned about the owner because the owner of the policy is the one who has the right to make decisions such as changes to coverage. The owner is the one who gets paid if there is a claim. This is why you must declare any interest in your property. If your auto has a lien then you are making payments on your vehicle to the bank who is the lienholder. If you are leasing your vehicle then you share ownership with the lessor and that company name must be shown on the vehicle's liability card.

Insurance companies put an SEF 5 (lease) or SEF 23 (lien) notation on their automobile policies. Look at yours, what does it say?

Privacy law concerns have put an extra level of confidentiality in business dealings. If you have a mortgage on your property then you need to advise your broker or agent. The same holds true if you have a lease or a lien on your vehicle. If you wish to give anyone else authority on discussing your insurance then you will likely have to sign paperwork making this declaration.

Insurance help
TurnersTips do recommend that a husband and wife have both their names on vehicles and property. If one of the couple dies then the property does not have to go through the probate issues if under just one name or the other. As well, the insurance company will require a death certificate and then drop the name of the deceased without any further interruption.

Insurance always has exceptions. You can own a life insurance policy for someone else. Talk to your agent or broker.