Why You Should Never Use a Fake Insurance Card
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Auto insurance fraud can take many guises and using a fake insurance card is one of them. 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. You shouldn't use a fake insurance card because it is illegal. If you get caught, you risk hefty fines of at least $1,000 and possible jail time. Insurance companies notify the DMV about lapses in coverage so all the arresting officer has to do is scan your license plate to know that you're uninsured.
Make sure that you car insurance is from a legitimate source by making sure your insurance card has your name, contact information, vehicle information, the effective start and end date of coverage, policy number, and company name. Below, you will get more information on the ramifications of using a fake insurance card and how to find cheap car insurance so you can avoid big trouble.
Using a Fake Insurance Card Is Illegal
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.)
Fines For Getting Caught With a Fake Insurance Card
Fines for getting caught with a fake insurance card vary by state. The crime is considered insurance fraud which is why the fines and penalties are severe. In fact, you could face a minimum fine of $1,000 and jail time. In California, for example, you could pay up to $50,000. You could also be incarcerated anywhere between six months to five years. Note that some states will have cumulative fines for every day you drove without insurance. Getting caught with a fake insurance card just isn't worth it.
Law Enforcement and the DMV Will Find Out
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.
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.
Your License Might Be Suspended
Your license may very well get suspended if you're caught with a fake insurance card. The reason for this is twofold. First, most states require drivers to have insurance before they ever get behind the wheel of a car. Doing otherwise is illegal. Second, showing a fake insurance card is insurance fraud, which is also illegal. Keep in mind that a driving suspension will show up on your driving record, making getting car insurance in the future very difficult.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Shop around for car insurance before you buy a policy.
Shop around for car insurance before you buy a car.
Raise your car insurance deductible so that your full-coverage insurance rate is lower.
Reduce add-on insurance to your older car.
Get a multi-policy discount, bundling your auto and home insurance or multiple car insurance policies with the same legitimate insurance carrier.
Seek out discounts, including low-mileage, good student and safe driving discounts.
Improve your credit score.
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.
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.