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Car insurance companies take on a huge risk when they insure a vehicle, so it’s critical that they understand your habits and driving record. The report from Social Security will tell auto insurance providers how much of a risk they’re taking on by insuring a certain driver.
Make sure to only get free quotes from the best car insurance companies because your Social Security number isn’t something you want ending up in irresponsible hands. It’s worth noting that many leading auto insurers know how to retrieve your personal data without your SSN.
Why Do Car Insurers Need Your Social Security Number?
Your Social Security number is used when getting a loan, when opening a bank account and for various other financial transactions. In some instances, your Social Security number will also be required when you apply for a car insurance policy.
Your SSN Helps Insurers Run Credit Reports
Auto insurance companies typically ask for your Social Security number to access your credit history. Your overall credit score plays a sizable role in determining car insurance rates because it shows how responsible you are at paying bills on time. The better your credit history, the lower your auto insurance premiums could end up being.
Your SSN Helps Insurers Find Your Driving Record
Aside from the credit history, insurance providers sometimes use your Social Security number to check your motor vehicle record (MVR). In other words, the car insurer will be able to check that your actual driving history matches up with what you added earlier on in your application.
Bad driving record auto insurance is typically more expensive than for those with no violations, but insurers will discover past violations whether you give over your SSN or not.
Does a Criminal Record Affect Car Insurance?
Though disclaimers sometimes state that a criminal record won’t affect your auto insurance rates, a felony could identify you as a high-risk driver. Those with a DUI attached to their identification number will almost always see insurance adjusters increase their rates.
You May Face Higher Rates Without Giving Your SSN
You’re never required to provide a Social Security number when asking for a quote, but refusing to add it may leave you ineligible for some discounts or with a higher car insurance rate. If you decide to add your Social Security number, make sure to only do so when you’re with a verified insurance agent from a legitimate company.
How To Reduce Car Insurance Costs
If you’re hoping for cheap auto insurance but wouldn’t give out your Social Security number, there are a few options. First, you can lower your insurance coverage to the minimum required in your state. That may mean decreasing your coverage limits or potentially eliminating uninsured motorist coverage or personal injury protection if they’re not needed.
You can also bundle your car insurance with other types of coverage such as health insurance or life insurance. Note that prices for auto insurance change across state lines, so an affordable rate for coverage in North Carolina might look different than one in Illinois.
Get Car Insurance Without a Social Security Number
Not all car insurance companies need a Social Security number to give you a quote, so it’s possible for you not to give it away. A significant number of insurance providers will ask for it, though, to confirm your identity. Get multiple auto insurance quotes to find a provider that doesn’t need a Social Security number.
Does Credit Score Affect Car Insurance?
Yes, most of the time your credit score does affect auto insurance rates. That’s not true in a handful of states, though. Car insurance companies may not need Social Security numbers in the states that don’t allow insurers to change rates based on credit. Below are those states:
Car Insurance for Undocumented Immigrants
If you don’t have a Social Security number or a driver’s license number, it’s extremely difficult to get car insurance. In the following locations, it’s possible to get a driver’s license without proof of citizenship:
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
You may qualify for government auto insurance if you’re a low-income resident of California, Hawaii or New Jersey. It’s a bit more difficult in other spots, however, as car insurance companies need Social Security numbers or driver’s license numbers most of the time.
Do I Need Car Insurance?
Insurance experts recommend that all drivers have at least minimum coverage in the event of an auto accident, and coverage is also mandatory according to nearly every state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV).
It may seem fine to avoid making insurance decisions because you don’t want identity theft to occur after handing out your SSN. This is the wrong choice to make, as you’ll be breaking the law and could face excessive costs if insurance claims are filed against you.
Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance
If you want car insurance from a reputable insurance agency, our top recommendations are State Farm and Progressive. Each company is known to offer competitive rates for coverage, and you may not need to provide your Social Security number with certain agents.
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State Farm: Best Overall
State Farm received 9.1 stars out of 10.0 and holds over 100 years of experience in providing quality auto insurance. Few complaints about State Farm have been made by customers, attesting to the fact that most clients say that it has excellent customer service.
Progressive: Best for High-Risk Drivers
Drivers mention that Progressive doesn’t always need a Social Security number to give you a car insurance quote. The company is known for its low rates for high-risk drivers and for the Snapshot program, which decreases prices for motorists for good driving skills. Learn more in our full Progressive insurance review.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is it OK to give your Social Security number to an insurance provider?
Yes, it’s OK to provide your Social Security number when buying car insurance from a reputable provider. The company will use the SSN to verify your identity and check your credit and criminal background.
Can I get better rates when I give my SSN?
The insurance company can lower your rate if you have a good credit score and a clean driving record. Your Social Security number won’t lower your rates if it indicates that you could be a high-risk driver.
Why would an insurance company need my Social Security number?
Car insurance companies need Social Security numbers to run credit reports on you and to determine your past driving history. It’s the easiest way for them to find out whether you’re a high-risk driver or not.
The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car insurance provider to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Our in-depth rating system takes into account market share, coverage, auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services, customer satisfaction and ratings from industry experts. Each insurer is given a weighted score in four categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.
We recommend auto insurance companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best coverage.