Our card or proof of auto insurance is not a document we use frequently, but at some point having that card on hand is crucial; if you are stopped by the police or have a car accident.
Below we explain where the policy number is on the card, how to find it and in what situations you will need it.
Where can I find my auto insurance policy number?
Each provider’s insurance card is different. No matter who the provider is, the card will include a policy number.
Most policy numbers are between 8 and 10 digits. The location of the policy number will change depending on the insurance provider that issued the card.
Many auto insurance cards place the policy number in the center of the card, and the number will usually have the words «policy number» before it.
You must have this card with you, either physically or digitally, before you get behind the wheel.
Insurance companies will generally provide you with two cards for each vehicle on your policy. It may help to put one card in each respective vehicle and have the primary driver of that car keep the other in their wallet or in a safe place at home. The policy number is the same for all the cars on your policy.
Why do I need my auto insurance policy number?
You may not need your insurance policy number for a long time, but it is essential at certain times.
These are the most common situations in which the auto insurance policy number is required:
- DMV: When you go to register your vehicle or renew your plates, the DMV will ask you to see your proof of insurance.
- After an accident: When you’re in a car accident, you need to exchange insurance information with the other driver. You will also need to call the police so they can file a report, and the police may also want to see your proof of insurance.
- Being stopped: When the police stop you, they will ask for your driver’s license, car registration, and proof of insurance. Not having any of these items with you is illegal in most states and could mean a hefty fine or other consequences.
- Contacting your provider: When you call your insurance provider, they will ask for your policy number to look up your account. If you don’t have your policy number, they may be able to find your account using other information, such as date of birth and social security number.
What should you do if you lose your policy number or insurance card?
If you call your provider, they can send you new cards in the mail. Many insurance companies also offer online resources, which makes the process much faster. Most providers can send you the card or voucher via email or access the card through an app.
What if I need someone else’s policy number?
After a car accident, the drivers involved need to exchange insurance information. When this happens, you will need to ask the other driver for their insurance. A good way to do this is to offer yours first as a sign of goodwill.
After an accident, call the police immediately so they can file a report, which will be helpful if there is any dispute over who was at fault for the accident.
If you don’t get the other driver’s insurance information, the police report may help.
What information does my insurance card contain?
- Policy number.
- Name and address of the insured person (or persons, if there are several insured drivers)
- Name of the insurance company.
- A year and make of the vehicle.
- Effective dates (usually within six or 12 months)
- Your card does not usually list the types of coverage or the amounts of your policy. You will need to call your agent or search your records to confirm this information.
Remember that driving without insurance is illegal and you should always carry proof of car insurance with you at all times if you are behind the wheel.
If you don’t already have auto insurance and you’re driving a vehicle, use our free quote tool to find the coverage you need at the best rates.