What Is a Car Insurance Policy Number: How To Find Yours
A car insurance policy number is the unique number a carrier assigns to your account. This information is available on your insurance ID card, declarations page, billing statements and other communications you receive from insurers.
You'll need your car insurance policy number to register your vehicle or apply for your driver's license in some states. Law enforcement may use this number to check your insurance coverage when they pull you over during traffic stops.
You should know where your insurance card is at all times. It's recommended that you keep it in the glove compartment of your vehicle. You can also show law enforcement an electronic copy of your insurance ID card using your carrier's smartphone app.
Where Can I Find My Car Insurance Policy Number?
An auto insurance policy number is an eight to 13-digit figure an insurance carrier uses as your account number on your insurance ID card. Insurance providers assign these numbers once a customer buys auto insurance coverage.
Some policy numbers are simply numbers others have letter prefixes followed by figures. If you stay with the same auto insurance company, you'll likely only have one policy number. Below is an example demonstrating where you can find a policy number on an auto insurance card.
You can find usually find your account number at the top of your insurance ID card. Here are some examples of different account numbers:
- 1 23 45556789 01
- 123 4555678-B99
- ABC 012345556
Your policy number is also available in the official documentation your insurer provides once they finalize your coverage:
- The insurance provider's website or app
- Your electronic communications from your carrier
- Monthly payment statements
- Your declarations page and policy
- Your car insurance ID card
When Do I Need My Car Insurance Policy Number?
There are several scenarios when you must provide this information to another driver, law enforcement or your insurance company:
- Car Accident – Following a car crash, you'll likely exchange your car insurance policy number with another driver. Law enforcement will also demand this information when they arrive to file a police report and determine who is at fault. The other driver may need your policy information to file a claim against your insurance if the police find you responsible for the car accident.
- Traffic Stops – You'll have to produce your car insurance policy number if a police officer pulls you over. During traffic stops, police officers will check your policy number to see if you have your state's mandatory coverage. If you're caught driving without coverage, your state may charge you stiff fines or sentence you to jail time.
- Claims and Policy Changes – Your insurance carrier will ask you to provide your car insurance policy number to track your claims or make changes to your policy coverage. Your insurer will also need your policy number to cancel your policy if you decide to switch insurance companies.
- Registration – Your Department of Motor Vehicles will require you to present proof of insurance when you register an automobile with the state. Your policy number will allow the DMV to check if you've met your state's mandated minimum coverage.
- Buying a Car – You don't need insurance to buy a car from a dealership, but you can't drive the car off the lot without proof of insurance.
What Is a Policy Number Used For?
Car insurance policy numbers are mainly used as proof of insurance, but they also serve other purposes for your insurance providers, like tracking information on claims, demographics associated with your account and seeing which insurance coverages you have.
Will I Have Multiple Policy Numbers if I Have More Than One Car?
If you have multiple cars with the same carrier, they may assign each vehicle a separate policy number. Some carriers allow vehicles to share the same policy number. When several automobiles have different policy numbers, the insurer usually only changes the last three digits on each policy. If your insurance policy lapses, your policy number could change.
Car insurance companies define bundling as customers buying two or more different types of insurance policies from the same carrier (i.e. home and auto). They will assign a different number for each policy. You'll need to know each number to make an insurance claim.
What Should I Do if I Lose My Car Insurance Policy Number?
If you've lost your policy number, most carriers will mail out a new insurance ID card to you if you request it. Some insurers now allow customers to print their ID cards from their websites.
Other carriers have smartphone apps that allow you to access this information with your phone. Most states allow their residents to show their car insurance policy number through an app instead of having a paper identification card, but check your local DMV to be sure.
Is My Car Insurance Policy Number the Same as My Car's VIN Number?
No, your car insurance policy isn't the same as your vehicle identification number (VIN). A VIN is an 11 and 17-character number that identifies your automobile and can be found on your registration card and the title of your car. Your local DMV will also ask for the VIN number to register your car and get your title.
A VIN can also be used to track recalls, registration, warranty claims, theft and insurance coverage.
When Would I Need Another Driver's Car Insurance Policy Number?
You'll exchange your car insurance policy numbers with another driver after an accident. It's called a third-party claim when you submit your claim to their insurance company. These represent the nation's highest number of auto insurance claims.
After the car accident, you may be too upset to write down the other driver's account information or name. You can use a cellphone to take a picture of the other driver's insurance card and account information. It will help you to file a claim later.
If you don't get the other driver's car insurance number, the police report may help. This document usually lists the other driver's information. If it was a hit-and-run accident and the police don't track down the other driver, you may be able to file a claim on your collision coverage without their policy number.
Your Auto Insurance Policy Number and Buying a New Policy
An auto insurance policy number is the account information associated with your insurance policy. It is on your ID card and other insurance documentation. If you are pulled over without your insurance ID card, you may get a ticket. If you're in an accident, you will need to exchange your policy number with the other driver.
In most states, it's mandatory to have car insurance coverage to drive on the road. Using SmartFinancial's insurance comparison tool you may save up to 40 percent on a new car insurance policy. Just enter your zip code below and answer a few short questions for a free and affordable quote.
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