call

Fake Insurance Cards: Avoid at All Costs

The total estimated cost of insurance fraud, excluding health insurance fraud, is more than $40 billion a year in the U.S., costing the average family up to $700 per year in the form of increased premiums, according to the FBI. Specifically, auto insurance fraud adds up to $300 a year to car insurance premiums, estimates the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, auto insurance fraud can take many guises: misrepresenting facts on an insurance application, exaggerating insurance claims, staging fake accidents, submitting claims for injuries or damage that never occurred, submitting false reports of stolen vehicles and using a fake insurance card.

An auto ID insurance card is proof that you are maintaining financial responsibility for your state's mandated minimum auto insurance. Fake insurance cards are often created using an auto insurance card template.

Fake Car Insurance=Fake Proof of Insurance

While handing over a fake insurance card to law enforcement can lead to fines of up to $2,000 and a six-month jail sentence in some states, the fake proof of insurance actually represents an even graver offense: driving without insurance.

At traffic stops, law enforcement officers routinely ask any parties involved in an accident for their driver's license, registration and proof of insurance. In fact, you are required by law to have proof of insurance in most states. (New Hampshire and Virginia are the only states that require only a driver's license and registration.)

If you purchase car insurance, your insurer will send you your valid insurance card, which you should receive within 10 days of signing. Nowadays, most auto insurance companies have apps that offer digital as well as printable cards. In fact, you can use electronic proof of insurance everywhere in the U.S. except Connecticut, New Mexico and Washington, D.C. 

A Fake Insurance Card=No Insurance Coverage

It may be tempting to print out a fake insurance card from an auto insurance card template or buy a fake insurance card on the street, but a fake insurance card can lead to disaster because an auto insurance policy serves a real purpose, like paying for medical bills, property damage and other losses.

It is important to keep in mind that the average driver can expect to have four accidents over the course of their driving history. If you have a fake insurance card that's been generated from a fake insurance card template, you don't have valid car insurance. The legal charges can really pile up if a driver gets caught with a fake insurance card, no valid proof of insurance and, most of all, no auto insurance. Insurance scammers may also be after your social security number.

The Police & DMV Know When Your Insurance Lapses

Knowing their car insurance has lapsed and knowing they need proof of insurance, some motorists will resort to using an insurance card template to create a fake auto insurance card as a quick fix. In fact, there are websites that provide fraudulent documents. Deceptive drivers are running a risk with these free fake insurance cards because auto insurance companies are required by law to inform the state division of motor vehicles (DMV) when a driver's auto policy lapses.

It is easy for the police to determine if your auto insurance card is real.

Using just your license plate number, the police can review real-time insurance data to confirm your car insurance status. When law enforcement finds out you have no car insurance, they will know you have presented a fake car insurance card.

Cheap Car Insurance vs Fake Car Insurance

Forty-eight states require their licensed drivers to carry minimum liability insurance, which pays for an at-fault driver's legal responsibility to others for bodily injury and property damage. In 2020, the average bodily injury claim was $20,235 and the average property damage claim was $4,711, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). On the other hand, the average U.S. car insurance rate for this minimum liability coverage is only $730 a year.

If you don't have the most basic, state-mandated auto insurance, you could be personally on the hook for thousands and thousands of dollars in your very first at-fault accident. If you didn't have car insurance after an accident, how would you come up with, say, $20,000?

Of course, there are other car insurance products—collision, comprehensive, personal injury protection and uninsured motorist coverage—that also serve to protect your financial stability. But, remember, you need purchase only the state-mandated minimum coverage to get a legitimate insurance card. It's well worth the cost.

Find Insurance Rates by Car Make and Model

Is My Insurance ID Card Fake?

A car insurance website may have caught your eye with its unbelievably low car insurance prices—these too-good-to-be-true rates could be as low as $50 a month, according to Autos.com. Perhaps you decided to enroll with a major carrier through this fraudulent website, never knowing that the online insurance agency is a fraud, and your proof of insurance is a fake card that was made from a car insurance template. Your fake agent pocketed your premiums without giving you any coverage.

Beware of online insurance scams—they may be after more than just your money.

How can you verify that your car insurance is legitimate and not a fake car insurance card?

Check Your ID Card

If you are concerned that your car insurance card is actually a fake car insurance card, one easy thing to do is to look at the printing on the card: A fake card may have different shades of print on it, while authentic cards should have consistent ink coloring. Furthermore, an auto insurance card will typically include the following information:

  • The insured's first and last name and contact information
  • The vehicle's year, make, model and vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • The policy's effective date and expiration date
  • The policy number
  • Insurance company name and contact information

If this information is not represented on your insurance card, that is a red flag that you may be holding a fake auto insurance card made from an insurance card template. If your insurance ID card doesn't have the above information, it's time to take immediate action to see if you're insured by a legitimate company.

Prevent Fraud: Verify Your Insurance Company, Agency and Agent

Confirm that the car insurance company, the insurance agency and the insurance agent you work with are licensed to do business in your state. To find out, just contact your state's department of insurance, which keeps an up-to-date record of all the insurance carriers, agencies and agents that are licensed to sell coverage in your jurisdiction. You don't want to find out that you have been driving without car insurance after an accident.

Verify Your Auto Insurance

Contact the carrier listed on your card. You can also contact your state's division of motor vehicles, which keeps an up-to-date record of every licensed driver's auto insurance policy, including the policy number and the vehicle identification number (VIN).

You Can Report Insurance Fraud

Everyone ends up paying for auto insurance fraud. You can report any suspected fraudulent activity to the National Insurance Crime Bureau here.

How Can I Find Cheap Auto Insurance?

Auto insurance companies calculate car insurance rates by a number of factors, including your age, gender, marital status, location of residence, driving record, car insurance history and, in most states, credit score. Your insurance carrier will also look at the age, make and model of the car you intend to insure, its safety and anti-theft features and its annual mileage.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), here are some ways to lower your car insurance cost:

With a little leg work, you can find lower-than-average insurance prices. Remember, you only have to buy your state's mandated minimum insurance to get a legitimate insurance ID card. Just like a fake airbag, a fake auto insurance ID card printed out from an insurance card template will not give you the protection you really need at the time you need it most.

A fake auto insurance ID card is proof of no insurance.

Compare Car Insurance Rates and Pay Less

If you have been issued a fake insurance card, you do not have a legitimate car insurance policy. If you have printed out a fake insurance card from an auto insurance card template, you only have a piece of paper, not actual auto insurance coverage, and it could cost you thousands of dollars and possibly jail time.

Do you need car insurance? The best way to find the best, cheapest car insurance is to shop around and compare quotes. SmartFinancial can help you find the least expensive way to insure your vehicle for free. Using an AI-enhanced search engine to sort through hundreds of auto policies in your area, SmartFinancial's team of licensed insurance agents can save you up to 40% on your coverage. What's more, you'll get a legit insurance card, not a fake auto insurance card! For free, real-time quotes, just enter your zip code below or call 855-214-2291 for a one-on-one consultation.

Get a Free Auto Insurance Quote Online Now.

Looking for Auto Insurance?

Compare rates from dozens of companies in less than 3 minutes.