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Insurance companies assign a car insurance policy number when you buy auto insurance. This eight- to 10-digit number can be found online and on several paper documents, including your proof of insurance card.
It’s important to know where and how to access this number, especially if you are pulled over by a police officer or involved in an auto accident.
What Is a Car Insurance Policy Number?
An insurance policy number is a unique eight- to 10-digit number associated with your car insurance policy. Your insurance company uses your policy number to identify you and your insured vehicle.
Having your policy number will help if you get pulled over or need to exchange information following a crash.
Your insurance policy number also makes it easier for your insurance company to track down your information if you need to file a claim.
Where Can I Find My Car Insurance Policy Number?
Your policy number is on your proof of auto insurance ID card that your insurer provides. It is also listed on the declarations page of your policy, which can be found at the front of your insurance policy documents.
If your insurer has a mobile app, your policy number and other details about your coverage should be readily available.
You can also find your car insurance policy number when you log onto your online account with the insurance company. If your insurer has a mobile app, your policy number and other details about your coverage should be readily available, too.
Another way to get your number is to look at your recent car insurance billing statements.
When Do You Need Your Car Insurance Policy Number?
You should always keep your insurance ID card in your vehicle as you will need to provide proof of insurance if pulled over by law enforcement or if you’re involved in a car accident. Many drivers keep one ID card in their glovebox and a duplicate card in their wallet or purse. Some states now also allow you to show a digital ID card from your phone.
Being able to retrieve your policy number quickly is essential if you need to file an insurance claim following a collision or other problem covered by insurance, says Mark Friedlander, spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute.
“It is also needed when you are in an accident and need to exchange information with the other driver involved in the accident, who will need to pass on your policy number to their insurer,” he says.
You’ll want your proof of insurance card and policy number handy if a police officer arrives on the accident scene. Obtaining a police report with your identifying details attached, including your policy number, can be advantageous if the claim is disputed or ends up in court.
Another scenario where you’ll want your policy number quickly is if you get pulled over by police. Not being able to show you have auto insurance could lead to a ticket or citation from a police officer.
Need to contact your insurance provider for answers about your policy, premium or another inquiry? They’ll be able to look you up much more quickly if you can provide your policy number, although they can also typically access your account by using your name, phone number or Social Security number.
What Should I Do if I Lose My Insurance Policy Number?
If you misplace or can’t read your insurance ID card, there’s no need to stress. You can likely download a replacement card instantly via your insurance company’s website (after logging into your account) or through the insurer’s mobile app.
If you need your policy number in a pinch and have misplaced your proof of insurance card or can’t log into your account, you can find that number on paper via your policy declarations page or billing statement.
You can always contact your insurer and request that paper card replacements be mailed to you, but that may take several days, and you don’t want to drive without proof of insurance.
Note that some states allow the use of digital insurance ID cards (often available through a company’s mobile app), which can be stored on your smartphone for quick access. States that allow digital insurance cards as proof of insurance include:
When Do I Need Someone Else’s Policy Number?
You may need someone else’s policy number following a car accident. If you’re involved in an accident, no matter who is at fault, it’s wise to request the names and contact information of everyone involved in the crash, including witnesses.
Friedlander suggests you get the following information from the other driver after an accident:
- Driver’s license number
- Car registration information
- Insurance policy number
- Makes and models of the cars involved
You should also note:
- The location of the accident
- Time of day
- Weather conditions
“Smartphone photos and videos are a great way to record driver and car documentation as well as accident details,” says Friedlander.
What if I Don’t Have All the Other Driver’s Information?
If you don’t get the other driver’s insurance details, obtain a copy of the police report, which you are legally entitled to if you were involved in an accident. This should indicate the other driver’s information, including their insurance policy number and insurance company name, which you can relay to your insurance company.
But what if the other driver refuses to supply their insurance information or flees the scene of the accident?
At least get the license plate number of the other driver’s vehicle after a crash, even if you can’t get their policy number.
“In these scenarios, if you can at least get the license plate number of the other driver’s vehicle, your insurance company should be able to track down the vehicle registration information for the other party involved and determine if the driver is insured,” says Friedlander.
Friedlander says you may be able to make a claim on your uninsured motorist coverage after a hit-and-run crash.
“Many drivers that cause hit-and-runs are typically uninsured. That’s why it is important to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance policy,” Friedlander says.
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Car Insurance Policy Number Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is my VIN number the same as my insurance policy number?
No, your car insurance policy number pertains to your specific insurance policy. A vehicle identification number (VIN), on the other hand, is assigned by the manufacturer of the vehicle when it is built and is permanently engraved into the vehicle (typically found in the front left corner above the dashboard right below the windshield).
Where should I keep my car insurance policy number?
Your car insurance policy number is clearly indicated on your proof of insurance ID card. You should keep a copy of this card in your vehicle and store another copy on your person, such as in your wallet and/or on your carrier’s mobile app on your smartphone.
Your policy number can also be found in your paper insurance documents, including on your policy’s declarations page and a bill/statement. When you log into your account on your insurer’s website, you can find your policy number there, too.
Is my insurance policy number the same as my AAA membership number?
No, membership number with AAA or another motor club is separate from your insurance policy ID number and VIN number. If you also have AAA car insurance, your policy number will be separate from your AAA motor club membership number.
Do different vehicles on my policy have different car insurance policy numbers?
Multiple vehicles included on the same auto insurance policy have the same single policy number, but the vehicle identification number (VIN) uniquely assigned to each vehicle is different.
Having multi-car insurance can generate substantial savings through a car insurance discount and consolidate the billing process.
Based in New York, Stephen Freeman is a Senior Editor at Trending Insurance News. Previously he has worked for Forbes and The Huffington Post. Steven is a graduate of Risk Management at the University of New York.