Have you ever asked yourself, “How do I find out if a car has auto insurance coverage?” If so, you are not alone. Amid the frantic pace of everyday life, it can be easy to lose track of your current insurance information, including your policy’s expiration date. This is especially true if you opted for electronic notification methods or use a third-party insurance broker.
If your insurance information has gotten lost in the shuffle, then you need to know how to find out if your car is still insured. In our guide, we’ll outline how to check your insurance status and even how to find out if another driver is insured through your plan. Also, if you think it’s time to switch plans, we can help you find a more reliable insurance provider.
At The Detroit Bureau, we have a team of auto insurance experts that have analyzed every major provider. Using our quote tool below, you can obtain free quotes from these top-rated companies.
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How to Find Out if Your Car Has Auto Insurance Coverage
When dealing with your personal policy, there are several ways to verify your coverage status. If you know your current insurer, the best way is to simply call your company directly and ask about your policy. While you are speaking with a representative, be sure to find out when your next payment is due and how much you owe. The company should be able to mail or email you a copy of all necessary documents.
If you cannot remember the name of your current policy holder, check your most recent insurance cards to find out. Your card should also list your policy start date. Most policies are renewed every six months. If the date on your card is less than six months old, then the information on it should be accurate.
Another option is to check your bank statements. Locate the last insurance-related transaction on your account. The transaction should list the insurer name. However, if you’re partnered with a third-party broker, the statement may have an unusual designation.
If all else fails, contact the DMV, which will have a record of your vehicle’s insurance information on file. Keep in mind that hold times with the DMV are usually pretty substantial, so if at all possible, you may want to utilize one of the other methods described above.
How to Check When Your Car Insurance Is Set to Expire
You can use any of the methods listed above to find out when your car insurance is going to expire. Another option is to contact your broker if you have one. They can provide you with any information regarding your policy, including expiration dates and renewal costs.
When your policy is about to expire, you should receive a packet in the mail. This packet should detail renewal information and prompt you to make a payment by the deadline.
Does Auto Insurance Renew Automatically?
Most major insurance providers will renew your policy automatically. In some instances, you may need to manually process your payment. Auto-payment features do not always carry over when a plan passes its renewal period. When you are renewing your policy, you will usually have the option of a lump-sum or monthly payment option.
As stated above, you should get a notice before your policy renews. If anything substantial has changed with your coverage, your company may have included documents for you to sign. These documents must be returned before your deadline. Otherwise, your coverage may lapse.
Anytime your policy is up for renewal, you should consider comparing rates to ensure that you are still getting the cheapest coverage. If your rates have increased dramatically, there is a good chance that a better deal is available.
Whether you decide to switch to a new company or stick with your current provider, be sure to make your choice before the deadline. When switching companies, you should also be sure to notify the financial institution that is servicing your loan.
When You May Want to Find Out if Another Car Is Insured
There are several scenarios where you may need to check if another vehicle (not your own) is insured. This includes when you are involved in an accident or if you are borrowing someone else’s car. Obtaining this information may be a bit more challenging, but it is important to know that the vehicle you are driving is insured, even if it isn’t yours.
Part of your personal insurance coverage will actually “follow” you when you borrow your buddy’s car. The liability coverage portion of your policy is assigned to you, but it still has exclusions. These usually include rentals, loaners from the dealership, or commercial vehicles.
No matter whose vehicle you use, make sure that it has the right coverage before you get behind the wheel.
Should You Exchange Insurance Information After an Accident?
If you are involved in a traffic crash on a public roadway, contacting law enforcement is always the best approach. Depending on your state, they should complete a traffic crash report and provide you with a document that contains the other driver’s insurance information. You will need this info to file a claim.
If the crash occurred on private property (i.e., a parking lot) or only involved minor damage, you may not feel that contacting law enforcement is necessary. In fact, some states do not even accept crash reports that occurred on private property.
In either case, you should always exchange insurance information with the other driver. Make sure that you have the other vehicle’s tag number, as well as the driver’s name, insurance provider, and insurance policy number. If possible, take a picture of both the vehicle’s license tag and any damage to both vehicles, just in case you need it later for a claim.
Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance
Now that you know how to find out if your car has auto insurance coverage, let’s discuss some high-quality provider options. As mentioned above, our free comparison tool will provide you with multiple quotes from top insurance companies in your area.
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Progressive: Best for High-Risk Drivers
We rank Progressive as the top provider for high-risk drivers. Most of the auto insurance giants avoid high-risk drivers, but not Progressive. The company has a great reputation and competitive rates. It also has an extremely user-friendly app so you can easily find info about your coverage. We awarded Progressive an 8.9 out of 10.0 overall. The company also received an 8.5 for coverage and a 9.0 for cost, customer experience, and industry reputation.
GEICO: Best Overall
GEICO is one of the oldest insurance providers in the nation. It is also one of the best. We ranked GEICO as the best overall provider in our industry-wide review, giving it a 9.5 for industry reputation and a 9.0 for cost, coverage, and customer experience. The company offers tons of coverage options, including mechanical breakdown insurance and rideshare coverage.
FAQ: How Do I Find Out if a Car Has Auto Insurance Coverage?
Can I find out coverage information on any car?
No. Typically you can only find out insurance coverage information about your vehicle. However, if you are involved in a crash with another vehicle, then you have a right to obtain that car’s insurance information.
Is going through a broker worth it?
Many drivers use insurance brokers to compare multiple quotes. Before the creation of comparative rate tools, this was a very practical approach. Today, using an online tool is generally a quicker and more efficient process than meeting with a broker. However, meeting with a broker can provide a more personalized experience and give you the opportunity to ask questions.
I don’t know the name of my provider. Whom should I call?
If you cannot find any information on your insurance company, call the DMV. The DMV should have a record of your insurance information and, if so, will provide you with it.
Are digital insurance cards easier to keep track of?
Many drivers prefer digital insurance cards. You can access your digital insurance card through an app or save an image of it to your phone. They are also an acceptable proof of insurance if you get pulled over for any reason.
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, pricing, 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.