What is a Car Insurance Policy Number?
Your car insurance policy number is how your auto insurance provider keeps track of your account and plan. This number is typically given on the insurance card you received when you first bought coverage. The following post is the guide-to-everything about car insurance policy numbers. Even if you lost your number and just wanted to know where to find it, strengthening your knowledge of insurance policy numbers never hurts.
A car insurance policy number is assigned to you when your insurance policy becomes active for the first time, usually after purchase. These numbers can be anywhere from eight to 13 characters -typically no letters. Car insurance providers may issue them differently, but they are always used in the same manner. Think of how a bank has account numbers for all its members; insurance policy numbers function the same way. This goes for auto, homeowners, and health insurance. For the intensive purpose of this post, we’ll focus mainly on auto insurance.
Let’s say you’ve just bought auto insurance and were given an insurance policy number. It could look one of four ways depending on the insurance company:
- 1 23 456789 01
- 123 4567-A89
- CAR 123456789
All these policy numbers function the same way; the only difference is the format.
Where is Your Car Insurance Policy Number Located?
Your car insurance policy number is on the insurance card you were given by your provider. This is the card you would keep in your glove compartment and present to a police officer who pulls you over - but more on that later. Your insurance policy number will have a presence on a number of forms and pieces of mail your insurance provider sends to you.
You’ll be able to find your policy number on:
- Your insurance card.
- Monthly statements received by mail.
- Policy declaration page.
- Insurance company’s website or app.
What Happens if I Lose My Auto Insurance Card?
It’s not uncommon for someone to lose track of their insurance card. Insurance companies experience this with both auto and health insurance cards and are prepared to mail out replacement cards. In the meantime, they will email or send you a link to a downloadable temporary insurance card for you to print out. Even if you do know your policy number but lack your card, you should always pursue a new one as it’s your primary proof of insurance should you need medical attention or be pulled over by the police. This should also be done if you find that your information is incorrect and must be updated. Digital insurance cards are becoming more popular and are an acceptable form of proof of insurance. Even so, having a physical copy on hand is always a good idea.
When Would I Need a Policy Number?
In addition to being registered with your insurance provider, your policy number and insurance card are necessities in proving that you carry insurance. When you see a doctor, for example, you may have to provide your health insurance card and policy number.
Cases when you need to show your auto insurance card and policy number are:
- After a collision - Following an accident with another driver, you’ll exchange insurance information. This is especially important because you will file your claim through their insurance company, so you’ll need their policy number to do so. If police are on the scene, providing them with your insurance information can help make the police report more tangible.
- Pulled over by police officer - In addition to your license and registration, you’ll also have to provide your auto insurance information to the officer. 48 out of 50 states operate with mandatory auto insurance liability coverage that every driver must carry. The officer uses this information to make sure you are driving legally.
- Contacting your insurance provider - Your insurance provider will regularly ask for your insurance policy number when you are contacting them for account-related reasons such as adjusting the policy. Like how a credit card provider will ask you for your credit card number, your insurance uses the policy number to keep track of your account. Your social security number may also be required.
How Many Numbers Does a Car Insurance Policy Have For Multiple Cars?
Let’s talk about the more technical aspects of car insurance policy numbers. If your auto policy covers more than one vehicle, there are actually a couple of ways an insurance card will show this. You may have all your vehicles listed on one card; thus, all are represented by the same policy number. Or, you could be given different cards for each car. In that case, the number is the same for all of them but has the addition of a numeral at the end. An example would be if you owned three cars and your auto insurance policy number is 12345678. Your first car would have the number 12345678-1; your second would be 12345678-2, and so on.
What Other Information Does my Car Insurance Card Have?
Your insurance card will naturally include personal information such as an address, insurance agent, and phone number. Information on the insured vehicle is also given, listing its year, make, model, and VIN (vehicle identification number). This is your vehicle’s registration number which uniquely identifies it, like how a criminal record identifies a person. The VIN is typically 17 characters long.
When Would I Need Someone Else’s Insurance Policy Number?
As previously discussed, there is an exchange of car insurance information that happens between drivers after an accident. This is the proper etiquette after getting into an accident, regardless of who caused it. Rather than giving your insurance card to another person, it’s best to just take pictures of them on your phone. The whole card, including the policy number, VIN, and policyholder’s name, should be visible. From there, you can begin the claims process with their insurance company. If you didn’t get their information or forgot, you can always contact them or look at the police report for missed details.
Where Can I Find The Best Auto Insurance Quotes?
When it comes to auto insurance coverage, you don’t want to be underinsured or uninsured. Not only is it against the law in most states, but it can leave you financially responsible for medical and damage costs resulting from an accident. Just because it’s the law doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. You can find the best rates on auto insurance policies by pulling quotes from all across the board -national and local names you’ve heard of or perhaps came across online for the first time. Let’s close out this piece with one more word of advice about car insurance cards for new policyholders. If you were to buy auto insurance and haven’t received your card yet, you could opt for a temporary printout that includes your policy number, VIN, and all the necessary information you will need to drive insured.