In order to drive legally, every driver needs to carry their license, registration and proof of financial responsibility (which is usually your auto liability insurance). What exactly is proof of insurance, and what’s included on your proof of insurance card? Continue reading to learn more.
Proof of Insurance: The Basics
Proof of insurance, also called an insurance identification card, is the card your insurance company gives you that says you have coverage on your vehicle. Insurance companies usually provide two paper copies of the card, one that should be stored in the vehicle and one that should be kept on hand. You’ll need to show proof of insurance when you renew your license plate, register your vehicle, or in the event that you are pulled over by a police officer. You are required by law to carry proof of insurance in the vehicle whenever you are driving, and in most cases, you can provide either a paper copy or a digital/electronic version accessible via your smartphone. Receipt of payment does not count as valid proof of insurance.
What’s included on my card?
Depending on your insurance company, the order of info included can vary, but the card always includes the following:
- Insured’s name and contact information
- Vehicle information, including year, make, model and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Policy start and expiration dates
- Policy number, which is unique to you and will be needed if you file a claim
- Insurance company name and information
How do I obtain proof of insurance?
You usually receive your proof of insurance card along with your declaration page and policy information. In most cases, you can download and print your proof of insurance from your online account, in case you lose the paper copy that you originally received. Most companies also offer access to electronic proof of insurance through their website or mobile app. In most states, you can show electronic proof of insurance in place of a paper copy, in the event that you are pulled over by a police officer.
In the event that you lose your proof of insurance card or notice an error on your card, you can always contact your insurance agent or customer service to obtain another one or make corrections. For example, if you move, you’ll need to update your address on your insurance card, in addition to updating your driver’s license and registration. In some cases, you may be able to update your information online.
If you have any questions about your proof of insurance or your policy coverage, reach out to your local agent. They’re available to help you get the right coverage to protect your vehicle, in addition to making sure you have the proof of insurance you need when you need it most.